What to know before you go: Here come OU, OSU’s biggest non-conference games

What to know before you go: Here come OU, OSU’s biggest non-conference games

On your way to the game? Getting ready to watch on TV? Either way, Jenni Carlson has some tasty nuggets for you to enjoy. Here are some pre-game snacks before OU hosts SMU and OSU travels to Arizona State.

Jenni Carlson

By Jenni Carlson

| Sep 9, 2023, 5:00am CDT

Jenni Carlson

By Jenni Carlson

Sep 9, 2023, 5:00am CDT

The first week of the season is exciting simply because it’s the first week of the season.

But truth be told: last week’s matchups for OU and OSU were duds. The game in Stillwater ended up being closer than expected, but there wasn’t much juice about Arkansas State or Central Arkansas.

SMU and Arizona State aren’t big names, but they’re the biggest on OU and OSU’s non-conference slates.

Frankly, I’m way more excited about these games than last week’s.

So, to make sure you’re properly fueled for today’s games, I bring you my weekly tasty offering of pregame nuggets. They’re digestible. They’re packed with goodness. Put them on your game-day snack table, or keep them all to yourself.

Totally up to you.

Sooner to watch: Tyler Guyton plays a position that gets little attention: right tackle. But the Sooners have a left-handed quarterback in Dillon Gabriel, and SMU has a defense that notched seven sacks a week ago. That means Guyton (in tandem with right guard McKade Mettauer) is going to have to be on top of his game to protect Gabriel’s blind side.

Cowboy to watch: Gunnar Gundy has a real shot at becoming the Cowboy starting quarterback. Those are words I really didn’t expect to type this season, but after the way Gundy finished out the game against Central Arkansas, it will be wildly interesting to see whether he starts at Arizona State and/or how he plays after last week’s success.

Newbie Sooner to watch: I’m keeping the newbie category for at least this week because frankly, this is the first legit opponent OU is playing. With that in mind, keep an eye on Andrel Anthony. He had three big catches in the opener and looks to be the receiver most likely to fill hole left by Marvin Mims’ departure to the NFL. Can Anthony produce another big game?

Newbie Cowboy to watch: Sticking with receivers, De’Zhaun Stribling has my full attention after his performance in the opener. Big plays. Strong move. The transfer from Washington State has drawn comparisons to another Wazzu receiver transfer, Tay Martin. If Stribling is that good for the Cowboys, watch out.

Familiar face in Norman: Former Sooner defensive lineman and defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux is in his second year as SMU’s defensive line coach. But there’s a more interesting local tie to the Mustangs. Will Kuehne was an all-state quarterback at Owasso High, but after two years at North Texas, he decided to transfer in Aug. 2021. Reports indicated he was headed to Tennessee, but he never materialized in Knoxville. Then in March 2022, Kuehne landed at SMU. He didn’t play last season, and if he sees the field Saturday, it won’t be at quarterback. He now plays wide receiver.

Familiar face in Tempe: A pair of former Sooners are now Sun Devil starters. Clayton Smith, who played in four games for OU last season, will start at defensive end while Jalin Conyers will start at tight end. He transferred after the 2020 season, his lone season OU in which he saw no game action, but he’s now on the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award.

Cool stat at OU-SMU: SMU has only beaten OU once in series history, a 28-27 win in the 1968 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. SMU rallied from a 20-6 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, but OU had a chance to win on a field goal as time expired. It was wide left. The winning SMU coach that day: Hayden Fry.

Cool stat at OSU-Arizona State: Everyone knows Colorado under new coach Deion Sanders welcomed in the most new players with his Buffalo rebuild. But a close second? Arizona State. The Sun Devils have 78 newcomers compared to 88 for the Buffs. Under first-year coach Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State brought in 40 transfers, also second-most to Colorado.

If you go … : OU is asking fans to stripe the stadium, so if you’re sitting in an even-numbered section or the student section, wear crimson. In odd-numbered sections, wear cream. Definitely a cool effect.

If you don’t go … : A vast majority of OSU fans will be watching from home, but consider this a good warmup for the expanded Big 12. Kickoff is at 9:30 p.m. Oklahoma time, and such late starts could become more normal with Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah joining the league next year. Big 12 After Dark, anyone?

If I could be in two places: Hard to top Texas at Alabama. Not just this week. Any week. The game might end up being a total dud, but if it comes anywhere close to the hype, the SEC preview will be a dandy.

Playing favorites: Fans love evening kickoffs. Gotta admit: I dig ‘em, too. OU kicking off at 5 p.m., OSU at 9:30 p.m. gives me a Saturday to sleep in and be lazy in the morning. Or maybe I’ll mow the lawn or do some laundry. Enjoying even part of a Saturday is a luxury during football season.

Share with your crowd
Jenni Carlson is a columnist with the Sellout Crowd network. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniCarlson_OK. Email [email protected].

The latest from Sellout Crowd

  • May 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; The Oklahoma City Thunder bench watch the final minute of their game against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

    Does OKC need more Aaron Wiggins?

  • May 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder fans cheer as their team scores against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter of game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

    Thunder-Mavericks: Why these playoffs might spawn a new OKC rival

  • May 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket beside Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half of game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

    OKC fans chanted ‘Luka sucks,’ but Doncic’s play said otherwise

  • Tailgating on The Grove on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Ms., on Saturday September 15, 2018.

Pre309

    OU’s move to the SEC: Listing the things to look foward to

  • Ireland travelblog: Farewell to the Emerald Isle, which keep Americans coming

The latest from Sellout Crowd

  • May 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; The Oklahoma City Thunder bench watch the final minute of their game against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

    Does OKC need more Aaron Wiggins?

  • May 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder fans cheer as their team scores against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter of game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

    Thunder-Mavericks: Why these playoffs might spawn a new OKC rival

  • May 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket beside Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half of game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

    OKC fans chanted ‘Luka sucks,’ but Doncic’s play said otherwise

  • Tailgating on The Grove on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Ms., on Saturday September 15, 2018.

Pre309

    OU’s move to the SEC: Listing the things to look foward to

  • Ireland travelblog: Farewell to the Emerald Isle, which keep Americans coming