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Bedlam football: Bringing some clarity to the Bedlam matchup

Eight games against the same opponents provide lots of clarity on how the Bedlam game might. So we take a look at a variety of statistical trends that occurred over the course of the Big 12 season.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 1, 2013


photo - BEDLAM FOOTBALL: Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops talk prior to the Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
BEDLAM FOOTBALL: Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops talk prior to the Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

End-of-season clarity is one of the benefits of the current Big 12 football scheduling model.

With a round-robin format, in which every team in the conference plays every other team, season finales provide a ton evidence with which to compare the combatants.

OSU and OU play Saturday in Stillwater, and they've played the exact same eight teams.

There are variances. While both played West Virginia and TCU early, and both played Baylor in November, OU played Texas early and OSU played Texas late. And OSU played Kansas State early, while OU played Kansas State late.

Also, the Bedlam rivals played home/road opposites, with the exception of TCU. Both hosted the Horned Frogs.

But the eight games against the same opponents provide lots of clarity on how the Bedlam game might.

So we take a look at a variety of statistical trends that occurred over the course of the Big 12 season.

BENEFITS OF CLINT CHELF

The numbers of Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh are remarkably similar through 11 games.

Chelf has completed 112 of 199 passes, a percentage of .563, with 1,592 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Walsh has completed 113 of 190 passes, a percentage of .595, with 1,333 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

Chelf was inefficient in his early starts but has played superbly down the stretch — a combined 35 of 47 against Texas and Baylor.

And the difference between Chelf and Walsh — and the early Chelf and the recent Chelf — is in big plays. The Cowboys are getting much bigger plays out of their pass game with Chelf.

The last two games, Chelf has completed nine of 15 on downfield throws. In Chelf's first three games since being reinserted, Chelf completed just four of 16 downfield throws, with two interceptions.

But Chelf was better against Kansas (4-of-9) on deep throws, better yet against Texas (2-of-4) and outstanding against Baylor (7-of-11).

And the biggest recipient of Chelf's deep balls has been Charlie Moore, who has four big plays the last two games and six downfield catches total from Chelf.

Tracy Moore, too, has benefited from Chelf's presence, with downfield catches that have gone for 21, 56, 41 and 46 yards.

And the freshmen receivers have gotten in on the action, too, with Jhajuan Seales snagging four downfield throws from Chelf and Marcel Ateman two.

BENEFITS OF TREVOR KNIGHT

Bob Stoops says the Sooners have been running the ball well most of this season, regardless of who has quarterbacked the Sooners. Maybe so.

But Trevor Knight's re-emergence as the quarterback has invigorated the OU run game. And not just because of Knight's ability to run.

Knight has quarterbacked the equivalent of 31/2 games. And the tailback production is much better with Knight taking the snaps than it was with Blake Bell taking the snaps.

Knight has handed off to Brennan Clay 62 times in those 14 quarters. Bell handed off to Clay 72 times in 30 quarters. Clay has gained 457 yards with Knight; that's 7.4 yards per carry. Clay gained 386 yards with Bell, 5.4 yards per carry. A two-yard per carry difference. That's huge.

Similar numbers with Damien Williams, who no longer is with the squad. With Knight, Williams carried 42 times for 252 yards, 6.0 yards per carry. With Bell, Williams carried 72 times for 301 yards, 4.2 yards per carry. Again, almost a two-yard per carry difference.

Roy Finch's numbers do not vary so much between quarterbacks. With Knight, 14 carries, 82 yards, 5.9. With Bell, 44 carries, 265 yards, 6.0.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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