Planning for success: Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- Coming up with a plan of attack for Bedlam has an added twist this year.

Neither Oklahoma or Oklahoma State will likely enter the game expecting to pull out its entire arsenal on offense. And it’s not because of anything the Sooners or Cowboys defense will bring to the Boone Pickens Stadium turf.

Saturday’s forecast in Stillwater, Okla., calls for chilly weather with below-freezing temperatures expected on the heels of back-to-back days of snow and ice on Thursday and Friday.

Not exactly the ideal conditions for two teams who have become known for their passing prowess in the past few seasons.

“Our view is that both teams have to deal with it,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “So it isn’t like it’s bad for one and not the other, so I think things you emphasize are ball security, kicking game, being smart with your throws.”

Cold, windy weather could help things fall just right for an Oklahoma squad that has been among the nation’s top running teams throughout the season. The Sooners are averaging 242.2 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry this season, 15th among FBS teams in both categories.

Yet, it also could set up well for an OSU defense built upon forcing turnovers and taking advantage of mistakes. During the Cowboys’ seven-game winning streak, their defense has forced 22 turnovers, an average of 3.14 turnovers per game.

The conditions won’t be ideal for either team, providing yet another test to find out just how bad the teams want to secure bragging rights for another year.

“It’s a little bit tough,” OU running back Brennan Clay said of playing in cold weather. “It’s football, though. Once you get your adrenaline going, you’re body warmth going, you’re fine out there on the field. It was cold two weeks ago against K-State and I think we handled that pretty well. I don’t think it necessarily hinders us at all on the field.”

The cold weather will make life harder on both offenses but Stoops believes the wind, if it picks up, has the potential to have a much bigger impact. A windy game would create havoc with the passing game making even the simple throws difficult.

“Mid 20s to 30 with little wind I don’t think is as big of a deal,” the Sooners veteran coach said. “The wind to me is always the biggest factor.”