I’m going to write this as quick as possible, as I’ll be getting on the road to Norman shortly...post your predictions in the comments below! I'd say the closest guess wins a prize, but...yeah...uhh...no prizes to give just yet. Right now, we're playing for pride. Just like Nebraska. ZING!
Missouri QB vs Oklahoma Defense
Oklahoma handles the spread offense quite well as a whole, but...yeah, at this point I’m just too cocky about the rhythm Chase Daniel is in. Until a defense beats him, I’m going with Chase. Edge: Mizzou.
Missouri RB vs Oklahoma LBs
News about Tony Temple has been held under lock and key, but with a healthy Temple or not, OU is great against the run. LB’s Ryan Reynolds and Curtis Lofton may struggle in pass coverage, but they’re beasts near the line of scrimmage. Edge: Oklahoma.
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Missouri WR/TE vs Oklahoma DBs
As with Chase, until somebody slows them down, I’ll wonder if it can be done. Edge: Mizzou.
Missouri OL vs Oklahoma DL
This is a tough one. Since the Illinois game, Mizzou’s OL has played virtually flawless. However, OU’s D-line is obviously as good as Mizzou’s seen since Illinois. I think OU’s got the edge up front against the run, but Mizzou still has a strong edge against the pass. By a nose, Edge: Mizzou.
Oklahoma QB vs Missouri Defense
I’d love to think that the Mizzou defense we saw last week is the D we’ll see from here on out...but I’m not going to get caught making that presumption. Sam Bradford has been fantastic for all but a quarter or two this year, and that’s a longer track record than the Mizzou D so far. Edge: Oklahoma.
Oklahoma RB vs Missouri LBs
Strength versus strength. The Mizzou LBs played unbelievably well last week, and while I talked in yesterday’s Beyond the Box Score Preview about how OU’s RBs are relatively inconsistent—no gain, small gain, no gain, 50-yarder—I do still have memories of Allen Patrick ripping off about 175 yards against us last year. Edge: Oklahoma.
Oklahoma WR/TE vs Missouri DBs
I also mentioned yesterday that there’s a lot of pressure on Mizzou’s safeties to stop the big plays. I think they can, but...I don’t want to understate how good Malcolm Kelly and Joachin Iglesias have been so far this season. They haven’t been given just a ton of opportunities—at least not compared to the spread WR’s that Missouri has—but they’re steady and efficient. Mizzou’s secondary is improving, but...Edge: Oklahoma.
Oklahoma OL vs Missouri DL
Sam Bradford is almost never sacked, and the RB’s—consistent or not—average 6 yards per carry. It’s hard to ignore that. And even though Mizzou’s D-linemen played with all sorts of fire last week, this is going to be quite a test. Edge: Oklahoma.
Garrett Hartley has struggled a bit more than he was expected to, but he’s still got a booming leg. If he can punch kickoffs through the endzone and take the ball out of Jeremy Maclin’s hands, that’s a tremendous advantage for Oklahoma. Both units here are strong and steady, but I’m going to ride the ‘importance of touchbacks’ logic for another week. Actually, no...I remember Quan Cosby ripping off some nice returns last week in the Cotton Bowl. Screw it. Edge: Mizzou.
I still have memories of the 2002 game in Columbia, where Gary Pinkel coached circles around Bob Stoops—the FG unit even had the infamous fake FG covered well...it just somehow worked anyway—but Bob Stoops has been in a lot more of these "Gameday is coming to town!" games than Pinkel, and Stoops’ teams have the tendency to show up in a big way when some up-and-comer comes knocking on their door. Edge: Oklahoma.
OU has Owen Field on its side. Mizzou has "The season of upsets!!!" on its side. Upsets are a possibility, but Owen Field karma is almost a certainty. Edge: Oklahoma.
That’s 7-4 Oklahoma...that sounds about right, honestly. I know that Mizzou really could pull off something monumental tomorrow, and I’ll be there to see it if it happens, but...the odds are still in Oklahoma’s favor here. 34-24 Oklahoma. Prove me wrong, guys.