Bedlam is only a day away, and the Oklahoma Sooners are looking to improve the program’s record in the series to 88-18-7. Here to talk about the Oklahoma State Cowboys is Micah Allen of Cowboys Ride For Free — SB Nation’s Oklahoma State site. Today she tells us about the fan base’s current attitude towards Mike Gundy, the offensive line’s struggles, and more!
Oklahoma State obviously has great talent at the skill positions, but the offensive line has experienced issues – particularly with pass blocking – that have sort of kept this offense from being an elite force. Is there still hope that the unit can truly get on the right track, and has the offensive front shown signs of improvement as a pass-blocking unit during conference play?
Sadly I haven’t seen a whole lot of improvement from this O-line. However, when the coaches can develop a game plan that allows them to play to their strengths, I think we can be a completely different football team. I feel like they’ve gone insane and they’re trying to stay a pass-heavy offense when that’s just not going to work as well this year. I think they’ll be the unit that Gundy said they were going to be this year in 2019. Josh Henson is a fantastic coach who’s been hitting the recruiting trail hard and I think it pays off eventually.
Speaking of the skill positions, OU fans are obviously quite familiar with Justice Hill, but there are a lot of fresh faces in the receiving corps, including sophomore Tylan Wallace. What makes him such a special player, and who are some of the other receivers that Oklahoma fans should be aware of?
Tylan Wallace just has this insane ability to make something out of nothing. He can be double teamed and still come away with ball somehow. I think he’s going to be something special. Another Biletnikoff Award in OSU’s future? Yes please. Another guy to watch is Tyron Johnson. He had a great game against OU in Stillwater last year and I think he’ll make some plays on Saturday.
Oklahoma State fans have obviously been frustrated with Gundy at times this season, but his track record speaks for itself. What’s the fan base’s general attitude towards him at this point?
Exactly what you said. They’re frustrated. But they know what Gundy has done for the program and where we might be without him. They just really want a championship. And some Bedlam wins. And some five stars. I think right now they just want him to try some new tricks. Get out of his box.
On the defensive side, Jim Knowles is in his first season at OSU. What changes has he made to the defense since arriving in Stillwater? How does he differ from Glenn Spencer?
They’ve shied away from the ‘bend, don’t break’ defense. He runs a 4-2-5 rather than the 3-5 we were running. Spencer recruited for that defense and that’s what Knowles is dealing with right now. I’m curious to see what this defense looks like once he gets his guys in.
Speaking of the defense, who has stood out in that unit this season?
Jordan Brailford. He’s been a quarterback’s worst nightmare this season. He’s got 9 sacks on the year for 50 (!!!!) yards.
Bedlam is obviously a tense affair, but what’s your favorite aspect of the rivalry?
It’s one of the greatest rivalries in college sports. It’s so historic. I also think it’s unique because it started through wrestling. (Which we still own at BTW *wink emoji*)
What do you hate most about OU fans?
The T-shirt fans. That there are so many that have absolutely no affiliation to the school but will tell that “their” school is better that yours until they’re blue in the face because they win football games. Also the OU Twitter trolls are the worst yo.
What worries you most about this game? What makes you confident?
Everything. Mostly that OU is the better team. What makes me confident is that this feels like one of the years where we just pull a fantastic game out of nowhere and win. We’re an underdog (2014.) and we have a fantastic running back (2014). PUNT IT AGAIN. Now granted, this year OU has Kyler Murray….
Who’s your favorite OSU alum outside of sports?
T-Boone. He’s donated a wing at the children’s hospital I went to until I was 17. While it wasn’t the branch of medicine I went there for, I still appreciate what he did for Scottish Rite Hospital. Also I appreciate everything he’s done for Oklahoma State.
What’s your favorite bar on The Strip?
Which would you take – 10 straight national championships in wresting, or the option to change the past and give Eddie Sutton an NCAA Tournament Championship?
Wrestling has enough. EDDIE EDDIE EDDIE!
What does OSU have to do to pull off the upset, and what’s your final score prediction?
Mike Gundy has to pull out all the stops. Trick plays and the whole 9 nine yards. BOLD PREDICTION I’M GOING TO REGRET LATER: 35-28 Cowboys.