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Scouting the opponent: OSU vs. Oklahoma

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Oklahoma State's Amen Ogbongbemiga tackles the carrier during the Oklahoma State vs. OU football game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Scouting the opponent takes a look into OSU’s opposing matchup and formulates a scouting report.

Just a month ago, it appeared Oklahoma’s season was lost — at 1-2, the Sooners were unranked for the first time since 2014. Oklahoma State appeared to have an easy path to the Big 12 Championship Game. But now, things have shifted violently. Oklahoma has won four straight games and is a threat in the Big 12.

Rhamondre Stevenson’s return

When Oklahoma has had explosive offenses the past few years, the run game has been a huge part of that. OU struggled early in the season, and the run game saw a similar dive. Rhamondre Stevenson’s return has paid dividends the past two games as he’s established who RB1 is. Stevenson has some Derrick Henry appeal as a 6-foot, 246-pound big back with immense strength, enticing balance and deceptive burst. Stevenson is a punishing back who’s got a nice complement in T.J. Pledger.

Spencer Rattler outside the pocket

The redshirt freshman was subject to much hype this offseason and for good reason. He’s got a serious arm with pinpoint accuracy and ball placement, and he has aquick release. Like the other Spencer, Rattler has had his inconsistencies this season, but he’s got gaudy playmaking ability. He’s sound in the pocket, but he’s truly dangerous outside the pocket where his ability to make throws on the run makes him extra dangerous.

A deep receiving core

Oklahoma doesn’t have that same “standout receiver” such as Marquise Brown or CeeDee Lamb, but the Sooners have a ton of solid, impact depth receivers. From Marvin Mims and Theo Wease on the outside to tight end Austin Stogner — who has a 25-410-3 line — the Sooners have a multitude of guys to throw to.

Slowing down the OU pass rush

The O-line was at the crux of OSU’s down offensive game against Kansas State. Left tackle Jake Springfield looks like he’ll be healthy, which is a big boost against Ronnie Perkins, Nik Bonitto and an OU pass rush that ranks seventh in sacks per game (3.71). Getting Spencer Sanders enough time will be crucial to OSU sustaining drives and scoring points against a high-flying Sooners offense.

A tough game

No matter what number or stat you want to throw it, this is set to be a close, grinded out game. It likely isn’t going to be the typical 60-52 game, but it should be a great game nonetheless. While OU is technically the favorite, this doesn’t have the same “Oklahoma bound for the College Football Playoffs” feel. It’s going to be a good one.

sports.ed@ocolly.com