No. 7 Oklahoma plays No. 21 Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3 Big 12) Saturday night and needs a win in order to stay in the College Football Playoff conversation.
Here's what The Daily's sports desk predicts:
George Stoia, sports editor: Sooners 38, Cowboys 31
Oklahoma, like it has in the recent past, will take this one to the wire. Jalen Hurts will need to take care of the ball for the Sooners to walk out of Stillwater with a win, and the defense will need to force a turnover or two. If OU does those two things, it should be able to earn a big road victory in November.
Caleb McCourry, assistant sports editor: Sooners 45, Cowboys 31
Since the disastrous first half of the Sooners' 34-31 comeback win at Baylor, the defense has been stable enough and has even garnered three takeaways, a point of emphasis for first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch's newly implemented scheme. With Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders and wide receiver Tylan Wallace injured, Grinch and the defense will have an easier time stopping the pass game.
But Grinch will also need his defense to rally off its late-season momentum to stop the nation's leading rusher Chuba Hubbard, who ranks No. 1 in rushing yards and rushing yards per game. I think quarterback Jalen Hurts — despite his recent ball-security struggles — will get the job done on offense and will lead the team to a win, but I also think OU's rushing defense won't leave Stillwater without giving up a lot of yards.
Vic Reynolds, senior sports reporter: OU 35, Cowboys 24
It's odd thinking that neither team will score 40 points based on this game's recent history, but both teams are playing far better defense and are putting up fewer points than normal this season. For the first time in a few years, Bedlam might come down to defense.
The Sooner offense has struggled in recent weeks with costly turnovers, and that could continue this week, but Hurts has shown an elite ability to battle through that adversity and still find a way to win games. Grinch and the defense will do just enough to contain Hubbard, and the Sooners will escape a relatively close one with their College Football Playoff hopes intact.