Because of conference realignment, Bedlam has not been played in Norman since 2009.
That means several current Oklahoma State players have never experienced the rivalry atmosphere at Owen Field.
OSU coach Mike Gundy said he expects a rowdy Sooner crowd on Saturday afternoon, but believes his Cowboys are equipped to handle it because of their previous experience playing in other hostile road environments with high stakes.
“Certainly, there's an advantage with playing at home,” Gundy said. “I don't think anybody would deny that. But I think these guys have played in big games on the road.
“They've played at Texas two years in a row and played in the Fiesta Bowl and played at Missouri when they were ranked real high and at (Texas) A&M. So I think it shouldn't really factor in other than typical home-field advantage.”
OSU has been one of the nation's best road teams in recent seasons, posting a 15-4 record in its last 19 contests away from Boone Pickens Stadium. But the Cowboys are just 1-2 on the road this season, with losses to Arizona and Kansas State and a 20-14 closer-than-expected victory over Kansas.
OFFENSIVE LINE SHUFFLES
Gundy knows better than to question Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline's musical chairs on the offensive line.
But that hadn't really been the case so far in 2012, with OSU running out the same starting five — Parker Graham, Jonathan Rush, Evan Epstein, Lane Taylor and Daniel Koenig — in seven of its first nine games.
Saturday's contest against Texas Tech, though, brought multiple changes, with Graham moving from left tackle to right tackle, Devin Davis getting his first-career start at left tackle and Brandon Webb starting for the second consecutive game at left guard.
Of those moves, Webb's insertion into the starting lineup appears to be the most permanent. He replaces Rush, a sixth-year veteran who has battled multiple injuries throughout his career.
“Jonathan Rush has given us a lot, but Jonathan's beat up,” Gundy said. “He's had surgeries. He's beat up, and Webb has performed as good, if not better, at times. And so we've made a switch, and Jon still plays some.”
TODD MONKEN NAMES J.W. WALSH PACKAGE — TWICE
Against Texas Tech, OSU backup quarterback J.W. Walsh was consistently used in a special package designed for him for short-yardage and goal-line situations for, really, the first time all season.
This week, Walsh and the Cowboys will face an OU squad that features its own running quarterback used in similar situations, Blake Bell.
Bell's package has already earned the nickname the “Belldozer.” So what should the Cowboys call Walsh's set of plays?
The always-candid Todd Monken, the always-candid OSU offensive coordinator, gave two creative answers, and explanations.
“Postage stamp might be it for him,” Monken said. “He's always stuck on the defender. I know he's tough, but I don't think he has to prove that every week by standing straight up and down and getting drilled.
“He's not heavy enough to be a Belldozer. He'd have to be like a Tonka Truck or something, for right now, until he gets his pads down.”