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Bedlam football: A look at five key matchups

Herea re five key matchups to watch in Saturday's Bedlam game.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 5, 2013

Here are five key matchups to watch in Saturday's Bedlam game.

Trevor Knight's legs vs. OSU front seven

Oklahoma State has had decent success against running quarterbacks this season, and the Cowboys' formula for success has been forcing those players to throw.

Kansas State's Daniel Sams rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries against the Cowboys, and Iowa State's Sam Richardson picked up 51 yards one run against OSU.

Trevor Knight has rushed for 391 yards this season and averages 7.7 yards per carry. He hasn't faced a defense like OSU's yet, though.

The Cowboys will likely try to make Knight beat them with his arm, and the redshirt freshman has been pretty inconsistent in that category for much of this season. He was much better against Kansas State, completing 14 of 20 pass attempts for 171 yards and a touchdown, which came on the Sooners' opening drive.

OU receivers vs. OSU defensive backs

Remember when Landry Jones lit OSU up for 500 passing yards in Bedlam last year?

Yes, the former Sooner quarterback was excellent. But the Cowboy defensive backs also consistently played soft coverage, allowing Jones to keep throwing to the sticks to pick up first down after first down.

Don't expect the same this season, as the Cowboys have committed to playing more press coverage as part of their aggressive scheme that has made OSU's defense the best in the Big 12.

That should create lots of fun one-on-one matchups, such as Justin Gilbert (six interceptions) vs. Sterling Shepard (428 receiving yards, six touchdowns) on the outside. With a team-best 51 catches and 615 yards, Jalen Saunders is also a dangerous option in the slot for OSU to defend with its various sub packages.

Clint Chelf vs. OU secondary

Chelf is coming off the best performance of his career, completing 19-of-25 passes (including his first 12 throws) for 370 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Sooners, meanwhile, will get a big lift when cornerback Aaron Colvin returns from a shoulder injury to match up with Tracy Moore, Charlie Moore and Jhajuan Seales on the outside. Without Colvin, OU allowed Kansas State's Tyler Lockett to consistently run free, racking up 12 catches for 278 yards and three touchdowns.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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