Bedlam should be fun for fans. Not so much for defensive coordinators Brent Venables and Bill Young.
Watching film of Oklahoma's 53-24 blowout of Baylor reiterated a season-long trend on both sides of the football.
If the Sooners are to win Saturday to capture the South division they'll probably have to win a shootout.
OU's offense once again showed it will destroy defenses that play soft coverage like Baylor. The Sooners' fast pace offense consistently picked up easy yards on bubble screens, quick slants and short sideline routes to methodically drive down the field.
The Sooners ran 50 plays the first half. Only three gained more than 15 yards â€” DeMarco Murray's 76-yard TD reception, a Ryan Broyles 28-yard catch and a Trey Franks' 20-yard reception.
OU's precision offense dominated the first half, compiling 17 first downs and 314 yards to lead 34-7 at halftime.
Will Young, OSU's defensive coordinator, copy Texas A&M and Missouri, playing tighter coverage to minimize OU's low-risk options? The risk is possibly giving up big plays like Nebraska used to hand the Cowboys their only loss.
Another variable is the Sooners are going down field more late in the season. Three plays against Baylor stood out.
Kenny Stills caught a 49-yard TD pass and also drew a pass interference penalty on a deep pass in man-to-man coverage. Murray exploited a linebacker to race down the sideline for his 76-yard TD off a short swing pass.
â€œWe really didn't stretch the field at the beginning of the season, but we're doing a good job of that now,â€ said wide receiver Ryan Broyles. â€œIt gets defenses on edge.â€
But that's the flip side. OSU's offense will put Venables' defense on edge.
The Sooners defense played well for three quarters against Baylor but now faces its biggest challenge.
OU has surrendered 51 plays of 20 yards or longer this season, including 28 plays 30 yards or longer. Nearly half have been running plays.
After Baylor's Jay Finley (50 yards) and Jarred Salabi (38) broke long runs, corralling Kendall Hunter and OSU's ground game has to be a priority.
But because the Cowboys have Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and a potent passing game Venables can ill afford to put eight men in the box to focus exclusively on the run.
Most expect a shootout with a ton of yards and points.
"We understand Oklahoma State has an excellent team and they've had a great year," said OU coach Bob Stoops. "But we're going to go in, be excited about it and go after it."
Other observations after watching the film:
When given solid protection, QB Landry Jones rarely throws incompletions, a credit to receivers getting open when given time to complete their routes... Broyles is nearly impossible to cover man-to-man. ... Freshman wide receiver Kenny Stills plays like a veteran. ... Fullback Trey Millard and receiver Roy Finch threw solid blocks on Murray's 14-yard TD run out of the diamond set. Millard's blocking all season has been exceptional for a freshman. ... The Sooners once again rotated eight offensive linemen with success against one of the biggest defensive lines they've faced. Reserve guard Brian Lepak played a lot of snaps. ... Tress Way (49.0 average) is punting as well as he has all season.
Austin Box supplied a huge play, stuffing a fourth-and-1 that helped OU take a 14-0 lead. Box, though, suffered an ankle injury covering a kickoff in the first quarter. Box tried to gut it out but left in the second quarter. His status for Bedlam is uncertain. ... Tom Wort (eight tackles, one sack) played well after replacing Box. ... For the second straight game, safety Quinton Carter was OU's leading tackler (10). ... The Sooners were fortunate Baylor's Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half wasn't a touchdown. Brad Taylor juggled the ball in the end zone, allowing Tony Jefferson to steal the ball for an interception. ... Most of OU's No. 1 defense was on the field during Baylor's two fourth-quarter TD drives. ... Defensive end Jeremy Beal's impact goes beyond stats (five tackles, one sack)... Linebacker Travis Lewis recorded a season low three tackles.