Oklahoma State football: Coaches might dig into bag of tricks for Bedlam matchup

Both OSU and OU have been shakers and movers in the series, and whoever does it best will likely win the ballgame.
by John Helsley Published: November 18, 2012

Another Bedlam beckons, calling for acute focus and analysis on the matchups.

Offense and defense.

Kickers and returners.

Big boys and ball boys masquerading as receivers.

And the coaches — don't forget the coaches — who might be under the microscope more than ever in this rivalry.

When talent is a wash — and it is now in this series, as the pro scouts passing through both locales regularly attest — coaches often step into the spotlight, which we've seen on display each of the past two years.

That adage that players win? Yeah, it's mostly true.

But the headset and visor crews put those players in position to win in the biggest games. Tweak the plan. Exploit strengths and weaknesses. Break out new looks.

Sometimes it's a simple twist.

Sometimes it's radical, like Tavon Austin lining up at running back.

Or like the stuff we've seen on both sides of Bedlam of late.

Bedlam 2010: the Sooners installed the “50 Defense” the week of the game and used it to interrupt OSU's rhythm in a 47-41 win. The Cowboys' potent offense produced two long scoring drives, but otherwise scuffled by their standards, with 14 points coming on defensive and special teams touchdowns. The 50, which features three defensive linemen — a tackle and two ends — and drops eight into coverage, except on blitzes. OU managed to bottle up the Cowboys run game, holding Kendall Hunter to a season-low 55 rushing yards. Overall, the Sooners limited Dana Holgorsen's highflying attack to a season-low 19 first downs and 379 yards.

“Any time you're dropping eight in coverage, you have to stuff the running game,” OU linebacker Travis Lewis after the game. “We pretty much made them one dimensional.”

Bedlam 2011: OSU brought the nation's No. 2-ranked passing offense into the game … and ran the ball. Over and over, gashing the Sooners for 278 yards on the ground and producing two 100-yard rushers in Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith. Randle went for 151 yards and two touchdowns and Smith added 119 yards and two more scores, reaping the rewards of a mismatch in the trenches.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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