If you listen to Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, you’ll learn that the Cowboys’ opponent Saturday night - rival Oklahoma - is simply a wishbone team. Remember the old Sooners? Thomas Lott, The Honorable J.C. Watts (yes, he served in the House of Representatives and yes, the J.C. stands for Julius Caesar!). How about Jamelle Holieway? You won’t be seeing the wishbone on Saturday night.
Gundy pointed out recently that none of the aforementioned Sooners quarterbacks were a bigger part of the Oklahoma offense than current signal caller Jalen Hurts.
The graduate transfer from Alabama has completed 192 pass attempts and has run the ball 180 times. He leads the team in rushing with 1,156 yards and has thrown for 3184. He has accounted for an incredible 47 touchdowns.
Oklahoma has won the last four in a row in the series and eight of the last 10. The Sooners are ranked No. 7 in the nation and still have an outside shot at getting back to the College Football Playoff.
So, is it that simple then? Do the high-flying Sooners just march into Stillwater with their do-it-all quarterback and beat the Cowboys? Not exactly.
The Sooners of the first half of the season are not the Sooners are the second half.
Similarly, the Cowboys of early 2019 are not the same Cowboys of late.
In their first seven games of the season, Oklahoma averaged over 50 points per game on offense and the defense, an issue a year ago, was giving up just 19.4 points a game.
Over their past four games, head coach Lincoln Riley’s squad has cooled off on offense - 36.3 points a game - and the defense has lost its way. The Sooners are giving up 36 points per game.
Over the same last four games, Oklahoma State is 4-0 SU and ATS and has a favorable record when playing as the underdog. Dating back to 2016, the Cowboys have been the underdog 12 times. They are 9-3 SU in those 12 games and, more importantly, 11-1 ATS.
Oklahoma State has been the dog twice this season and has covered on both occasions. Gundy’s Cowboys lost 36-30 to Texas as 7-point underdogs and beat Iowa State outright despite being a 10.5-point dog.
Both teams put up points by the bunches.
Oklahoma is averaging over 45 a game and Oklahoma State checks in at just over 35. In four of the last five OU-OSU meetings, the Total has gone OVER. It would sure be easy to pick the Over again, but what seems more viable is this.
The Cowboys, with Heisman Trophy candidate RB Chuba Hubbard and his 1,800-plus rushing yards and a defense that has allowed just 13 points in each of its last two games, are going to battle the Sooners at home in Stillwater.
Gundy’s teams usually rise to the occasion in games like this. Considering the Sooners have won their last four games by 4, 3, 1, and 7 points; the Coach likes Oklahoma State +13.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.