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Big 12 notebook: Battle of the third-down defenses

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Oklahoma State's Devin Harper makes the tackle during the Oklahoma State vs. OU football game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Boone Pickens Stadium.

After a week of just two Big 12 football games, the conference’s coaches spoke to the media on a teleconference.

Battle of the third-down defenses

Third down conversions will likely be a deciding factor in Saturday’s Bedlam matchup. Oklahoma State’s third-down conversion defensive ranks fourth in FBS at an impressive 23% while Oklahoma’s is 10th at 28%.

“Third downs are always important,” coach Mike Gundy said. “Statistics allow us more accessibility to teams than we’ve ever had before, but third downs get you off the field.”

Wishful Wildcats

Kansas State is running out of healthy bodies. KSU head coach Chris Klieman said a few undisclosed position groups are “right on the cusp” of the Big 12’s cancellation threshold. According to the Big 12, a team must have a minimum of seven offensive linemen, four interior defensive linemen and one quarterback available.

In addition, Klieman said this week is the most nervous he has been about meeting the threshold since the bye week of Sept. 14.

“We’ve been pretty good COVID wise up until about ten days ago,” Klieman said.

Stogner returning to practice

Oklahoma H-Back Austin Stogner will be back on the practice field this week, according to head coach Lincoln Riley.

Stogner exited in the second quarter of the Kansas game following a tackle with what was described as a lower leg injury.

“He’s doing better but he is still sore,” Riley said. The sophomore is a critical piece to the Sooners offense and has recorded three touchdowns and 25 receptions thus far.

Save the date

Dec. 19 is now the official date of the 2020 Big 12 title game. According to the Big 12’s press release, tickets for the 2020 Dr. Pepper Big 12 Football Championship will be on sale starting Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. C.T. The contest will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

sports.ed@ocolly.com