I had the pleasure to interview the guys over at Oklahoma's SB Nation blog, Crimson and Cream Machine, ahead of tonight's matchup against the Sooners. Be sure to give it a read, and also check out the questions I answered for them over on their site!
Now, without further to do...
WRNL: It seems after that Texas loss that Bob Stoops has gone into "Eff You" mode, and Oklahoma has shown no mercy on their last three opponents. Sorry to bring up a sore subject, but what happened in the Texas game that was OU's Kryptonite, and what has Stoops done to change it?
C&CM: I think it comes down to both the coaches and players just assumed that by showing up, they would run away with the game. The perception of Texas was beyond bad leading up to the game and I don't think anyone in Norman took the game seriously. As the game progressed the coaches and players began to press which just compounded the mistakes and busts.
I will say if the Sooners don't go three and out on the first drive that was highlighted by a dropped pass, the complexion of the game could have easily been much, much different.
As far as changing it, I think the coaches and players had a "come to Jesus moment" after the game if you will. They have prepared and taken the teams seriously since Texas. It also doesn't hurt it was KSU, TTech, and KU.
WRNL: Is Baker Mayfield the next Heisman level Quarterback at Oklahoma?
C&CM: In short YES. While he may never win the award because of the insane competition (Boykin, Coleman, and Fournette) his play has been nothing short of miraculous this season. I wasn't sold on him coming into the season, but I don't see how he has anything left to do to prove the doubters wrong.
WRNL: I noticed on your website that two key defenders have been battling injuries lately, namely Jordan Evans and Zack Sanchez. What are their chances of seeing the field, and will that have an impact on the game?
C&CM: Zack Sanchez will not play on Saturday. He sprained his ankle pretty bad against TTech and will continue to rest in hopes of being ready to go for Baylor. Look for Dakota Austin to start over him. Austin is undersized, but has filled in adequately in Sanchez's absence.
Jordan Evans should be back. He has practiced at full speed all week. What many people don't realize is that in the games since Tech, the Sooners have played without two of its 4 starting linebackers in Jordan Evans and Devante Bond. Both will play this weekend. Bond has played at nearly an identical level to Eric Striker this year.
WRNL: Looking ahead, where do you see Oklahoma in the Final Big 12 Standings, and who will represent the Conference in a BCS game?
C&CM: It's hard not to be a homer and see the Big 12 now sitting WIDE open for the Sooners to walk right into winning the conference. The upcoming stretch is brutal, but we are cautiously optimistic the Sooners run the gauntlet and emerge 11-1 as Big 12 champs.
WRNL: What is your Prediction for Saturday's game?
C&CM: I think the Sooners defense is dialed in at an incredible level. I would expect Charles Walker, Eric Striker, and the Sooners defense to play another inspired football game. I've got the final score 48-21 (with the Cyclones scoring a TD late against the Sooner backups).
Big thanks to the guys at Crimson and Cream Machine, and hopefully tonight's game is a good, competitive matchup!