With the high-stakes Bedlam matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys just hours away, we welcome Micah Allen of Cowboys Ride for Free. We discuss Spencer Sanders, Jim Knowles’ defense, places to go in Stillwater and more!
The most of the attention pertaining to the Oklahoma State Cowboys involves the defense, and for good reason. What has been the biggest key to success for Jim Knowles’ group?
I think it all has to do with age. This defense is full of experienced veterans. In addition to that, I think we’re seeing the payoff of hiring Jim Knowles a few years ago. He’s got a defense that is pretty much his guys that he brought in and he’s able to run that system exactly how he wants.
Speaking of the defense, Malcolm Rodriguez being snubbed from the list of Butkus finalists seemed exceedingly odd. Do you think he has been the best linebacker in the country this year?
Oh, 100%. There is not a doubt in my mind that at the very least Rodriguez should have made that watch list. He is without a doubt good enough to be. He has been an offense’s worst nightmare. He’s just such a great athlete and I hate that he got snubbed.
Offensively, the Cowboys have improved substantially. Has it simply been a matter of Spencer Sanders taking better care of the football, or does it go a bit deeper than that?
I think Spencer Sanders taking care of the football has been a huge part of the improvement that has been shown. But it goes deeper than that I think. They have found what works for this team. Jaylen Warren has stepped up in a big way and I think that has made a difference as well. Tay Martin being out at the beginning of the year hurt this offense more than I think would have been expected so getting him back has been big as well. I think Dunn has got it mostly figured out when it comes to running this offense too. There were definitely some growing pains there. A healthy offensive line has helped as well.
Of Spencer Sanders’ targets, who should OU fans be most aware of entering Saturday?
Running back Jaylen Warren. He got dinged up a little in the Texas Tech game but I think he’s had time to get 100% and I fully expect they use him quite a bit in the game. He’s just so talented at making guys miss and getting those yards after the carry.
Is there a particular personnel matchup where you envision OSU struggling in this one?
Spencer Sanders vs himself. We need good Sanders in this game. He’s going to have to be on his A-game and the OU defense is not gonna make things easy for him. But he’s on the ball and he can play to his potential I think the Pokes are in good shape. This is also gonna sound funny with how I answered the last question but this OU run defense vs Warren. If I remember correctly they held Breece Hall fairly well. I’m curious to see how they contain Jaylen.
Where should OU fans eat and drink when they go to Stillwater?
Ya have to go to Eskimo Joe’s for some cheese fries, then head on over across the street to George’s Stable for some pre-game adult beverages.
Who is your favorite OSU alum outside of sports?
I’m not entirely sure if he graduated, but Jason Boland.
What’s your score prediction?