Power Lunch leftovers: Bedlam edition
I got a ton of great questions in Thursday’s Power Lunch chat. Here are some of the ones I didn’t get to. Hopefully it’s a good way to kick off your Bedlam Saturday.
If OSU is going to win, the defense must ______?
Get pressure on Landry Jones, who gets a bit skittish and makes bad throws when that happens. If weather becomes a serious factor, stopping the run will be the biggest key and those defensive tackles become the most important players. And, of course, this defense needs to force turnovers to offset the yards it will likely give up.
Which is more likely, Justin Gilbert housing a kickoff return or getting a pick-six?
I’ll say housing a kickoff return, mostly because he’s done that twice this season and the Cowboys have (surprisingly) only taken one turnover to the house all year. OU ranks fourth in the Big 12 in kickoff coverage (43.9 net average). But remember Bedlam last year?
The outcome of Bedlam will come down to who gets the ball last or who can force the most turnovers?
Yes. Oh, you want me to pick one? I’d say which team can force the most turnovers. If one team can win the turnover battle by two or more, then that might be enough possessions for it to build a big enough lead that the other team can’t keep up in what I think is going to be a shootout with very few punts. But don’t be surprised to see this game come down to who has the ball last and who has the best kicker. Quinn Sharp might have a chance to redeem himself for the miss at Iowa State.
All this hype for OSU. Don’t count Bob Stoops out. He will be ready. Maybe that is why he has a great W-L record. What do you think about that?
I think the hype for OSU is warranted—this could be a historic night in Stillwater. But, of course, Bob Stoops will be ready. Our man Berry Tramel wrote about Stoops’ success when the Sooners have their backs against the wall the other day, and there’s a reason why OU hasn’t lost Bedlam since 2002. Everyone picked the Cowboys to win last year and the Sooners came out on top. It’s a similar situation this season, and OU has a great chance to win the game.
It seems like losing to ISU is the worst thing for OU. It exposed some weaknesses (linebacker, offensive line play) and OSU had 10 days to fix them. Do you know if they have focused on those or any other weaknesses this week?
One thing that I know has been a focus is Joseph Randle’s fumbling troubles. I wrote a story about that last week. I’m sure the other weaknesses have been addressed. The offensive line has not been a weakness—in fact, it’s been a big strength—all season until the ISU game, so I’d imagine there didn’t need to be any huge adjustments there. I think the bye week most benefitted OSU because it gave the Cowboys two extra practices to prepare for OU—especially things like the Belldozer package.
Who will have a bigger game, Landry Jones or Brandon Weeden?
I’ll take Weeden, based on how poorly the OU pass defense has played against really good quarterbacks. I touched on this a lot in my pregame story in today’s paper, but Seth Doege hit the Sooners with the short passes and Robert Griffin III hit them with the long ball. Weeden and those receivers can do both.
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