437 is the key number in this match-up, by my reckoning.
tOSU, when they sparked last week, looked really good. It's hard to decipher what kind of team Indiana has, but the adage holding true that if a team can score twice a quarter (ttl:56pts), they are good regardless of competition. Okey, on the other hand, managed to meet the mark of 'good regardless' right on the head, and w/o the drama of allowing UTEP to hang around until deep in the third. Instead, they let them tear off a 29 yard run before breaking their hearts. That single 29 yard sprint removed from their total offensive production left only 138yards of offense from those Miners... That, too, is impressive.
So this is definitively a 'meeting of monsters', and the far ranging murmurs speak of national championship implications. It kinda is 'that big of a deal' for either team to be taken seriously in these talks for the remainder of the '17 season.
Nuts and bolts:
tOSU's defense ought to be all that. But... 437. That is what they gave to Indiana last week. That doesn't pertain to an offense with a theme; that pertains to a vanilla offense ran by a well documented OC. It was a 'first' game, though. Still, these boys on paper are tough, and my opinion is we'll see them mentally prepared and anxious to play those Sooners. It's Urban Meyer himself who said "the team better prepared almost always wins". I suspect we'll see a defense playing much more like the fourth quarter of last week's game than the first three. I think they can hold Okey to half a century. I think they better be prepared to do better than that, though- and hold them to less than 42.
Okey's O is led by an obvious Heisman candidate in Baker Mayfield who can do everything expected of him and then some. I don't think the tOSU D will be able to contain him for the entire game. He didn't even play the entire game last week. 19 for 20 tallying 329 yards in one half is impressive. That there is qualifying for anyone to be a Heisman hopeful this early on. To lend an assist, Sutton is a runner and can also put up some serious numbers. In tandem, and with a cast of receivers in support, I don't see anyone holding these guys under 35 points this season. Don't get me wrong, it may happen, but it will more than likely be their actions holding them back, and not any fault of any opponents D. I'm fairly certain OU will take a 45lbs chunk out of tOSU's D this weekend.
Okey's D has every ingredient of being great, and they looked the part already. That was UTEP. These Buckeye's are different. They won't be able to sell out to the obvious ploys, but will have to defend both the run and the pass on every play, and over any square inch of the field on every play. Yeah, they're good. They'll still give up at least 28 points to the tOSU O imHo. Possibly 35. Maybe 42.
tOSU's O is explosive when it wants to be. When the receivers aren't clearing the off-season's rust and dust from their sticky gloves they are dangerous. The QB situation is able to be seen with greater clarity and the RB's, much like the receivers, now have a scrimmage behind them. We'll see Urban's true colors now, because they'll have no other choice. I'm excited to see it. They can score over the half century, but.... not against the Sooners.
tallied and marked:
Okey can score a basement of 31 and a ceiling of 56 on these Buckeye's, and their D can hold the Buck's to less than 30 on a good day, and give up upwards of 45 on a bad day. that's a mean of 43:38 points while giving the cumulative extra point to tOSU... that also sounds about right to me.
intangibles are hard to predict in the first place, but weird things happen to the best of teams. Giving up field position, coughing up the rock, a bad bounce from a goofy ball, or any other thing comes into play with top tier teams just like it does any team- just with less frequency. I don't see one of these teams removing the other from their comfort zones w/o the presence of an 'intangible', so... I gotta stick with the basics instead.
there will be no ketchup in this game... it will be tit-for-tat, and up until the final possession. One of them splits the uprights for the win... I flipped a coin in your absence, and Oklahoma won three out of five flips. They get the extra three to win, but i'm less certain about that than i sound.
season record: 1/0.