You’ve probably heard the term “football games are won in the trenches“. Well, it’s not just hyperbole. If you’ve followed Oklahoma State football over the last few year you’ve seen how issues up front can limit a team’s success.As we count down to a Bedlam Big 12 title game, let’s see how the two teams stack up.Oklahoma State’s O-LineLT – Victor Salako (RSr.) 6-6, 335 / Matt Much (RSo.) 6-5, 300LG – Marcus Keyes (RFr.) 6-3, 300 / Jesse Robinson (RJr.) 6-5, 315C – Brad Lundblade (RJr.) 6-3, 300 / Johnny Wilson (RFr.) 6-3, 305RG – Michael Wilson (RSr.) 6-6, 305 / Lemaefe Galea’i (RSo.) 6-4, 325RT – Zachary Crabtree (RJr.) 6-7, 310 / Michael Wilson (RSr.) 6-6, 305OSU’s starting O-line averages 6-5, 310 pounds. It should be noted that Mike Gundy also said right guard Larry Williams will play, but he is not listed on the current depth chart.The most maligned position group in orange is just now stepping out of a three-year slump. With Greg Adkins now in his second year and cycling in some of his recruits with those left over, the Cowboys are finally starting to see results.Add to that to the use of the “Cowboy Backs” in blocking and the emergence of Justice Hill and renaissance of Chris Carson and the Cowboys are looking as good in the run game as they have in three-plus years.Oklahoma’s D-LineDE – Neville Gallimore (RFr.) 6-3, 305 / D.J. Ward (RJr.) 6-2, 265DT – Jordan Wade (RSr.) 6-3, 310 / Matt Romar (RJr.) 6-0, 304 / Du’Vonta Lampkin (RFr.) 6-4, 335DE – Austin Roberts (Sr.) 6-6, 275 / Kenneth Mann (RFr.) 6-3, 270 / Dwayne Orso-Bacchus (RSo.) 6-5, 301OU’s two-deep D-line rotation averages 6-3, 288 pounds.Mike Stoops uses a three-man front which has taken a hit depth-wise, as of late, with the loss of defensive ends Matt Dimon and Charles Walker. JUCO-transfer Austin Roberts and redshirt freshman Neville Gallimore have been thrust into starting roles.Defensive tackles Jordan Wade and Matt Romar are formidable playmakers, each with 2.5 sacks and combining for 13.5 tackles for loss.The Sooner D-line gets big contributions from their linebackers. Outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (6-2, 245) leads the Sooners in sacks (7) and tackles for loss (8.5). Inside linebacker Jordan Evans also has eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks and can make plays.But over the last three games, Oklahoma has allowed 243.3 yards per game on the ground at 6.7 yards per carry. Don’t be surprised if OSU commits to the run to take advantage of this and to open up big passing plays against the Sooners’ struggling patchwork secondary.The upward trending offensive line play of Oklahoma State meets a talented Sooner defensive front who lacks the depth they had earlier in the year.Advantage: OUEven with the improvement up front, the Cowboys have struggled to protect Rudolph, ranking 91st in sacks allowed (29) through eleven games. Although they miss Walker and Dimon, the Sooners still have more “dudes” in this matchup and get the slight edge.Stayed tuned for Part II where we’ll look at the opposite matchup. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.