Oklahoma Sooners: Shamiel Gary

Here are five things we'll be watching when Oklahoma visits Oklahoma State (noon ET, ABC).

[+] EnlargeTrevor Knight
Brett Deering/Getty ImagesTrevor Knight rushed for 123 yards against Iowa State and 82 at Kansas State to spark the Sooners.
How will Trevor Knight play? The Sooners quarterback played his best game of the season in a 41-31 win over Kansas State two weeks ago. With his quickness, speed and running skills, Knight can create problems for any defense. But he will have to play well and take good care of the football for OU to win.

Will Caleb Lavey or Justin Gilbert put a stamp on their bids for Big 12 defensive player of the year? Lavey has been the foundation of OSU's strong defense throughout the season. His veteran presence and versatility is key. Gilbert has realized the potential he's shown since his true freshman season, becoming an NFL-level player before our eyes. One or the other could make a strong case for player of the year consideration with a strong final game at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Can OU's running game take over the game? The Sooners' ground game has been terrific, and Knight brings an added dimension with his running skills. OU has the potential to really test the physical nature of OSU's defense with its quarterback run game, the physical style of Brennan Clay and open-field brilliance of Roy Finch.

Does Clint Chelf deserve All-Big 12 quarterback consideration? Why not? If he leads the Cowboys to another win over a top 25 opponent and continues to play well doing so, Chelf would have an argument as good as Baylor's Bryce Petty. Simply put, Chelf has played his best during the biggest stretch of the year for OSU.

Will an unknown emerge as a Bedlam hero? Last year it was Clay, who won the game with an overtime touchdown run that left Cowboys safeties Shamiel Gary and Daytawion Lowe reeling. Who could it be this year?

Big 12 lunchtime links

October, 31, 2013
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He's back, and he's still gettin' buckets.

Big 12's unsung heroes: Week 5

September, 30, 2013
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Here are the unsung heroes in the Big 12 during Week 5.

Defensive end Nick Kron, Iowa State: The sophomore wasn’t dominant nor did he have eye-popping numbers. Yet he recovered two fumbles in the Cyclones’ 38-21 win over Tulsa. He was consistently around the football and ready to pounce when Golden Hurricane quarterback Cody Green got sloppy with his ball handling on Thursday night. Kron added one tackle and one tackle for loss as ISU secured its first win of the season.

Linebacker Marcus Mallet, TCU: Teammate Sam Carter grabbed the headlines with his two interceptions but Mallet was a beast in the middle of the Horned Frogs’ defense. The junior had 10 tackles including four tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble forced in TCU’s 48-17 win over SMU. If Mallet is a consistent, productive player in the middle for the Horned Frogs, they should be one of the Big 12's top defenses.

Running back Charles Sims, West Virginia: The Houston transfer was overshadowed by the gutsy performance from quarterback Clint Trickett but led the Mountaineers with 157 all-purpose yards. Sims had 82 receiving yards, 60 rushing yards and 15 kick return yards in WVU’s 31-20 win over Oklahoma State. Sims averaged 6.17 yards per touch on offense. He's been the Mountaineers most consistent and explosive offensive player this season.

Safety Shamiel Gary, Oklahoma State: The Cowboys safety has looked like a different player this season. He’s been solid in OSU’s secondary and made several key open field tackles against WVU to keep the Pokes in the game. The senior finished with nine tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup. Improved safety play is critical for the Cowboys as they look to rebound against Kansas State this weekend and insert themselves back into the Big 12 title hunt.

Defensive end Geneo Grissom, Oklahoma: The most overlooked starting defensive lineman on the Sooners’ squad, Grissom has been solid throughout the season. He lead OU defensive linemen with six tackles including 0.5 tackles for loss in OU’s 35-21 win over Notre Dame. Grissom has joined Charles Tapper and Jordan Phillips to give the Sooners a much improved defensive front in 2013. Now that they have gained respect, it will be critical for Grissom and company to continue to improve throughout the season if OU wants to make a BCS bowl appearance.

Note: Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas and Texas Tech had byes in Week 5.

Top 5 moments: Clay's overtime scamper

December, 12, 2012
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Brennan ClayAP Photo/Sue OgrockiBrennan Clay's overtime touchdown run vs. Oklahoma State won the game for the Sooners.
SoonerNation is counting down the top five moments of Oklahoma’s 2012 season this week.

Play No. 3

Few Sooners have been passed over on the depth chart more than Brennan Clay. In 2010, Clay was supplanted in the rotation by Roy Finch, after Finch returned from a foot injury. In 2011, Clay started the opener but was eventually replaced in the starting lineup by walk-on phenom Dominique Whaley. This season, junior-college transfer Damien Williams quickly took carries away from Clay on his way to winning the starting job.

But late this season, Clay’s patience finally paid off. After Williams was injured at the end of the Notre Dame loss, Clay got the nod at Iowa State. Clay made the most of 24 carries, rushing for 157 yards and a touchdown in the best performance of his career.

His shining moment, however, came three weeks later. After trailing Oklahoma State the entire game, the Sooners finally had a chance to win after the Pokes settled for a field goal in the first possession of overtime.

Trey Millard took the opening salvo seven yards. Then, riding the hot hand, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel called Clay’s number on a trap play. Clay maneuvered his way through the Cowboys' front line, spun out of Daytawion Lowe’s attempted tackle, then escaped Shamiel Gary's diving attempt at the ankles before lunging into the end zone.

Clay was mobbed by teammates in the end zone, and the Owen Field crowd hung around for several minutes to celebrate the Bedlam victory with the team.

The O-line did a great job getting blocks; shout-out to Gabe Ikard and Bronson [Irwin] and Adam [Shead],” Clay said afterward. “They hit their guy and parted the way and I was able to hit the hole and made a few guys miss and get the end zone.

“Being able to break a long one and being able to score the game-winning touchdown, it's really blessed me."

Film review: OU 51, OSU 48 

November, 25, 2012
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Many Sooners called it one of the best games of their careers. Others called it special. No matter what words are chosen to describe Bedlam, one thing is certain. This year's Bedlam was unlike any other.

Oklahoma knocked off Oklahoma State, 51-48, in overtime at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday to keep the Sooners' Big 12 championship hopes alive. Several big plays changed the game but here are five critical plays that helped decide Bedlam.

[+] EnlargeJalen Saunders
William Purnell/Icon SMIAfter missing the first few games of the season, Jalen Saunders has provided a spark for the Sooners.
Jamarkus McFarland’s first-down stop after OU’s turnover on downs

Five storylines: OSU vs. Oklahoma 

November, 21, 2012
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1. Can OSU win in Norman?

With all the success he’s had during his career in Stillwater, Mike Gundy is still searching for his first win in Norman, Okla. as a head coach. And OU coach Bob Stoops is 5-1 against the Cowboys during his tenure.

During the Cowboys' last trip to Norman in 2009, they appeared to have their best chance of giving Gundy his first win with the Sooners playing a makeshift offensive line in the midst of a disappointing 8-5 season.

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