Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma’s starting center and team captain, is well-versed in the Bedlam series.
The Shawnee native grew up watching Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, he was recruited by both schools and ultimately chose the team that's won a majority of the rivalry's meetings by a landslide.
So far, Humphrey's yet to lose to the Cowboys, who visit Owen Field at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. He and the OU offense will receive arguably the toughest test the Pokes, who are the Big 12’s co-leader in scoring defense, have presented since his college career started.
“They have a really talented defense,” Humphrey said. “Their front seven is really good. Their secondary players are really good. It’s a fun challenge to go into. There aren’t a lot of defenses that do what they do.”
Oklahoma State is allowing a Big 12 second-leading 311.5 total yards of offense and 169.3 pass yards per game, as well as third in sacks with 22.
The Cowboys have kept all of their opponents to less than 21 points, except for Texas, which scored 41 on Oklahoma State in an overtime victory.
Jim Knowles, coach Mike Gundy's third-year defensive coordinator, is to thank for the unit's growth.
OU coach Lincoln Riley noted Knowles’ system seems to have taken full form.
It helps the Cowboys relied on a lot of youth when Knwoles arrived from Duke and have matured into one of college football's best.
“You’ve got a lot of guys who are good football players and they’ve grown in this system,” Riley said. “I think the biggest thing you see is they look like it’s year three. They aren’t making mistakes, they are on the same page. … They’ve had a really, really tremendous year so far.”
• Latest COVID figures: OU announced COVID-19 testing data for its entire athletics department on Monday.
The university reports 20 active cases among student-athletes and 3 among staff across all sports, not just football.
OU tested 417 student-athletes and 159 staff members between Nov. 8-14. Ten people tested positive for coronavirus, according to a press release.
• Rare position: For the sixth time in Bedlam history, Oklahoma will be the lower-ranked team.
Oklahoma State enters Saturday’s game at No. 14, while OU is No. 18 in the latest Associated Press poll.
The last time the Sooners were in this position was 2013, when they beat the sixth-ranked Cowboys 33-24 in Stillwater.
OU is 3-3 against Oklahoma State as the lower-ranked team. OU's two other vicotires came in 2009 (27-0) and 2020 (47-41). Its losses occurred in 1945 (0-47), 1997 (7-30) and 2011 (10-44).
• Injury report: Lincoln Riley kept it short when asked about Spencer Rattler’s health.
“He’s a hundred percent,” the OU coach said.
Rattler took a hard hit to the hip amid the Sooners’ game against Kansas on Nov. 7. He continued to play following the collision but admitted he was not at full strength.
H-back Austin Stogner also sustained a minor injury during the Sooners’ game against the Jayhawks. Riley said Stogner is “doing better” but did not practice last week.
“I imagine the off week, there was some benefit to him there having some time,” Riley said. “So, haven’t had ‘em back on the field yet this week, so we’ll get him back out there, see how he’s doing. Sore last week, but making improvements.”