Breaking down the Bedlam matchups

COLLEGE FOOTBALL — Mike Baldwin and John Helsley see how the Sooners and Cowboys stack up.
BY MIKE BALDWIN and JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writers Published: December 1, 2011
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The Oklahoman's Mike Baldwin and John Helsley break down the matchups that will determine the outcome of Bedlam football 2011:


OSU RUN OFFENSE

VS. OU RUN DEFENSE

Oklahoma State has one of the nation's top passing attacks, but it can also run the ball with Joseph Randle, Jeremy Smith and a veteran offensive line led by Levi Adcock, Nick Martinez and Grant Garner.

OSU is averaging a solid 4.4 yards per carry and 186.6 ground yards a game. One concern: have Randle's recent fumbling woes impacted his effectiveness?

With more consistent D-line play, Oklahoma's run defense is improved this season, allowing only one 100-yard rushing game (Missouri quarterback James Franklin — 103) all season.

The Sooners, though, can be vulnerable at times up the middle. With dual run-pass responsibility, how linebackers Travis Lewis, Tom Wort and Tony Jefferson play will be a key factor in how much success the Cowboys have on the ground.

Edge: Cowboys

OU RUN OFFENSE

VS. OSU RUN DEFENSE

The Sooners lost their leading rusher (Dominique Whaley) to a broken ankle a month ago, yet Roy Finch has helped fill the void (88.6 yards average the past five games). Brandon Williams (80 yards last week) is finishing his freshman year strong.

OU is averaging a healthy 4.8 yards per carry, 172.4 yards a game. The Belldozer package, a recent wrinkle involving quarterback Blake Bell, has been a huge success, although it stalled a couple of times against Iowa State.

The Cowboys' run defense, needing big games from linebackers Shaun Lewis, Caleb Lavey and Alex Elkins, has been vulnerable all season, allowing six opponents 100-yard games. Led by defensive ends Jamie Blatnick and Richetti Jones, OSU compensates by having recovered a league-best 16 fumbles.

Edge: Sooners

OSU PASS OFFENSE

VS. OU PASS DEFENSE

Brandon Weeden leads the nation's second ranked aerial attack, averaging more than 400 yards a game.

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