Kickoff: 6:30 PM CT
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Twitter: Follow @HeartlandPokes for live-tweets during the game
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are in the Big 12 Championship Game, and they have already over achieved for the season. With a 10-1 record, the Cowboys have far surpassed preseason expectations, and just earning a berth in the conference title game is an incredible achievement. Still, the season is not over, and Oklahoma State is now pushing for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The regular season culminates in today’s matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners in one of the greatest traditions in college football history: BEDLAM.
The Sooners enter today’s Bedlam match with an identical 10-1 record, but the way that they will arrive is quite different from the Cowboys. While Oklahoma State had a bit of a rough start to the season and has gradually ramped up to have one of the best defenses in the country and a pretty solid offense as well, Oklahoma has struggled fairly consistently throughout their season with a couple of gems mixed in. Still, rankings, prestige, and season statistics and trends tend to go out the window whenever it comes to Bedlam. Let’s take a closer look at the some expectations and predictions for the game.
Why the Cowboys SHOULD Win
Despite opening as a 1-point underdog, Oklahoma State enters today’s game against Oklahoma as a 4.5-point favorite. Simply put, the reasons the Cowboys should win comes down to one word: defense. Oklahoma State’s defense ranks as the best in the Big 12 in every major statistical category. Perhaps the most important stat that could come into play today is sacks.
The Cowboys lead the conference with 43 total sacks on the season, 11 more than second-place Iowa State. Oklahoma State is going to do everything they can to make life difficult for Sooner quarterback Caleb Williams, and if the Cowboys can manage to get their hands on him, it could be a very a good day for Oklahoma State.
Why the Sooners COULD Win
The X-factor for Oklahoma is Caleb Williams. The Sooners will go as far as Williams can take them. If he can’t handle the pressure of Oklahoma State’s defense, then that’s likely going to be a wrap for Oklahoma. However, if Williams can scramble for extra yardage, make the right reads, and avoid making mistakes that lead to costly turnovers, then the Sooners could definitely come away with the win.
Staff Score Predictions
|Matt||31-21 Oklahoma State|
|Zack||31-24 Oklahoma State|
A Win Today Would…
- Mark OSU’s fourth win over an opponent ranked in the AP Top 25 this season. To this point, only Georgia and Alabama have four AP top 25 wins.
- Make the Cowboys the only FBS team with two wins over opponents ranked in this week’s AP Top 10.
- Mark the Cowboys’ fifth win over an opponent with a winning record this season.
- Secure an outright regular season Big 12 title – the Cowboys’ first since 2011.
- Make the Cowboys 14-5 in the past 19 games vs. AP Top 25 teams.
- Mark the Cowboys’ ninth win over an AP Top 10 team since 2008 and its first since 2018.
- Make OSU 13-1 in its last 14 games overall, dating back to the 2020 season.
- Give OSU an eight-game winning streak in Boone Pickens Stadium, matching the fifth-longest home winning streak in school history and the longest since a nine-game streak from 2012 to 2013.
- Mark the third 11-win season in program history (2010 and 2011).
- Mark Mike Gundy’s 35th career win vs. AP Top 25 opponents. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the only other active coaches with more wins over AP Top 25 teams at their current schools.
- Mark the fourth win in school history in a game between two teams ranked in the AP Top 10.
- Make OSU 7-2 in its past nine games when both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25.
Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game
- OSU is averaging 41.25 points and 482.25 yards of offense in the last four games.
- OSU has outscored its last four opponents by a combined margin of 165-23, which amounts to an average score of 41-6.
- In its last five games, OSU has thrown 11 touchdown passes against just one interception.
- OSU has given up just one offensive touchdown in the last 16 quarters of play and it came when the Cowboys held a 49-3 lead in the fourth quarter over TCU and the third-team defense was on the field.
- OSU has held its last four opponents to 7-for-53 on third down (13.2 percent).
- OSU has held three of its last four opponents under 2.9 yards per play.
- OSU has held three of its last four opponents under 150 yards of total offense. No other FBS teams has held three opponents under 150 yards this season.
- OSU has held six of its last nine opponents under 100 yards rushing.
- OSU has held seven of its past eight opponents under 200 yards passing.
- OSU has held 20 of its past 22 Big 12 opponents under their season scoring average.
- In the last two games, OSU has averaged 12:16 more time of possession than its opponents.
- OSU has won 79 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating back to Sept. 13, 2003 – the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and longest since at least 1980.
- OSU has held its opponent scoreless on its game-opening drive in 22 of its past 28 games.
- OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50 percent third down conversion rate in 22 straight games.
- OSU has held its opponent to fewer than 20 first downs in 10 straight games – the longest active streak in the FBS and tied for the most games in the FBS this season.
- Malcolm Rodriguez has recorded at least five tackles in 18 of his past 19 games.
- OSU is 30-11 in its past 41 games decided by fewer than 10 points.
- OSU is 39-6 in its last 45 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016.
- Dating back to 2005, OSU is 43-4 when not committing a turnover.
- Dating back to 2008, OSU is 69-8 when winning the turnover battle.
- OSU has won three of its last four overtime games.
- OSU has forced 23 turnovers in its last 15 games.