MWC Game of the Week #1: BYU @ Oklahoma | Sharapova's Thigh

I can't help but have two MWC games of the week this week. It's Labor Day weekend and college football's opening weekend. Two good things deserve two good matchup previews. Besides, I have to include two teams to equal a MWC matchup right?

This preview is for the highly anticipated BYU/Oklahoma game, and I'll have a preview for Sunday night's Colorado State/Colorado game coming in the very near future as well.

Well, here we go. As T.O. would say "Get your popcorn ready." It's going to be a helluva ride...


MWC Game of the week: #20 BYU Cougars @ #3 Oklahoma Sooners.
Time: Saturday @ 5 PM MT.
Location: Arlington, TX.
Line: (OU favored @ -22 1/2)
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Max Hall, are you ready? Are you ready for 80,000 screaming Big 12 fans ready to help make sure you don't upset OU in the new Dallas Mega-Stadium? Can you show Bradford that you can potentially be in the running for the Heisman against him? (P.S. Try to hit the Scoreboard, I want to see a pass up there.)

Sam Bradford, are you ready? Are you ready to show you continue to be worthy of the Heisman Trophy, and prove that OU can make it to the BCS Championship outright without the help of voters?
(Recall the huge ordeal that ensued between Texas and Oklahoma for who should go the BCS Champ game)

How they match up:

BYU is 1-6 vs ranked teams under their current head coach. They lost star wideout Austin Collie to the NFL, so exactly how their wide receivers are going to perform is yet to be seen. Two-time All-MWC tight end Dennis Pitta(pictured top left) is likely to be Hall's primary target.

If Oklahoma can get pressure on Hall, he will be in for a long day. He threw several critical interceptions in big games last year. He has four new starters on his line. However, if he can stay in the pocket and the receivers can get into the secondary, he may have a chance, as Oklahoma is starting two new safeties.

The good news for BYU is that they lead the series 1-0, as they beat Oklahoma back in the 1994 Copper Bowl 31-6. It doesn't mean much, but hey, it gives the fans some more hope.

Oklahoma is coming off a 12-2 season in which they were beaten in the BCS Championship game by Florida. They are looking to come out swinging. However, stud tight end Jermaine Gresham will be out with a knee injury. The 6'6" target led the Sooners in touchdowns last year with a whopping 14, and had 950 yards receiving. Those are sensational numbers for a tight end.

Gresham's absence is sure to hurt the Sooners, but they still have a very solid receiving corps. The biggest concern for Bradford(pictured right) will be his protection. BYU averaged 1.5 sacks per game last year. If they can get pressure on Bradford, he is more likely to throw the ball away or dump off to a check-down route, as Bradford is not the type of quarterback to tuck and run. He averaged 1.1 yards on 41 attempts last season. He did have five Rushing touchdowns, but most of them were during goal line stances.

I see the OU line prevailing, allowing time for Bradford to connect with receivers in the banged-up BYU secondary.

Prediction: Oklahoma 45, BYU 31.

P.S. For all you Matt Clapp fans, he apparently plays Fullback for Oklahoma. He's listed at #34, and is 6'3", 235 pounds. Matt, who knew you had a double life?

(Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be used to pick teams for wagering. Matt Clapp, editor of Sharapova's Thigh, is not the same Matt Clapp on Oklahoma's football roster. No football thrown in the new Dallas Stadium will probably ever hit the scoreboard, so don't prop bet it.)

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