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Enemy Recon: Crimson & Cream Machine

Hope Bob Stoops reads this to know what he's up against

Just researching the games, trying to predict outcomes and even sending our roving Muncie bureau chief Edge to Norman, Oklahoma isn’t enough. Oh no, Cardinals fans, we have to get the scoop. And what better way to do that then to reach out to our friends across the blogosphere who know their team as well as we know Ball State. Today’s guest? Oklahoma experts Crimson and Cream Machine. Check out their answers below and follow the links for our answers to their questions and the OTP guest spot on their podcast.

OTP: As we talked about on the podcast, the offense for BSU takes what the defense gives them. What concerns do you have about the OU defense? Obviously there’s a talent gap, but where are the weaknesses for the Sooners on the defensive side of the ball?

CCM: Oklahoma is inexperienced in the secondary particularly at the safety spot. In all three games this season there has been a breakdown in the secondary that has cost Oklahoma points. Two of those were safety Javon Harris who actually leads the team in interceptions but takes a lot of risks and has gotten lost in coverage a few times. That’s a good place to start.

OTP: The timing of this game is curious. Do you think the players and staff may be glimpsing ahead to the Red River Shootout next week against Texas? Has Stoops and company been able to keep the team focused on the one game at a time mentality in recent years?

CCM: I absolutely think they’re looking towards Texas next week. I know I am! However, there are some things that need to be addressed and fine tuned before the Sooners get to the Cotton Bowl on the 8th. I already mentioned the safety positions in the secondary but there’s also an issue on the offensive line where starting center Ben Habern suffered a fractured arm last week and now Gabe Ikard will slide over from guard to snap the ball. There are a lot of people curious to see how that works out.

Oklahoma was flat last week against Missouri and they know it. Coming off a huge win at Florida State they just didn’t play with the same emotion and intensity that we saw in the first two games. Are they looking at Texas? No doubt! However, this team will be focused and poised on Saturday evening because they know that will be key in getting fully prepped for the Longhorns.

OTP: Offensively for the Sooners, what should BSU fans expect? We’ve seen a watered down version of the OU attack with Kevin Wilson at IU in the season opener, but aside from the difference in athleticism, what are the areas to key on for the BSU defense?

CCM: Oklahoma is still “finding” their offensive identity under new coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell. They’ll continue the fast paced attack that started under Wilson and will be committed to passing the ball all over the field with the plethora of receiving talent they have. I also think they’re still working out some kinks in the running game and will try to shore it up a bit.

OTP: BSU has had its fair share of hostile road environments in recent memory against teams like Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. How’s the environment at OU compared to some of the other venues you may have seen? Are the fans taking this game and opponent lightly?

CCM: I think BSU fans who travel to Norman will really enjoy the environment. Hopefully they’ll take time to stroll through Heisman Park on the east side of the stadium and also take in some tailgating. Every fanbase has their share of jacktards but for the most part OU fans are known for their hospitality.

There are several things that make Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium different from others. You team is visiting the home of seven national champions and they’ll be reminded of that when they take the field. The Sooners also have the nation’s longest home winning streak (again the BSU will be reminded of that when they take the field) and the fans have had an influence on that.

Unfortunately the fans are going to be overlooking the Cardinals because Texas is next week. That means the crowd may be deafening at the beginning but could quickly lose interest if the game isn’t close as it moves into the second half.

OTP: As for the game itself, I’ll assume you predict a Sooner win. Do you have a prediction for the flow of the game and the outcome? Is this a blowout for the Sooners with no chance for the Cards? What in your mind constitutes a success for OU?

CCM: I mean absolutely no disrespect in this but if the Sooners are legitimate national championship contenders then there’s no way this game should be close. I expect the Sooners to jump out to a huge lead in the first half and then put it on cruise control in the second half. I’m predicting a 48-9 OU win.

I think success for Oklahoma would be not turning the ball over and showing that the secondary can play a complete game without a massive breakdown. This biggest thing is for OU to come out of this game healthy.

Big thanks to Crimson and Cream Machine for reaching across the aisle this week for some build up to this game. Want some more info and interaction? Of course you do! Check out these morsels…

OTP’s Answers to Crimson and Cream’s Questions you can check out here.

Crimson and Cream Machine’s Podcast with Fearless Leader Previewing the Cardinals you can check out here.

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