Sooners Rank 124th In Turnovers Forced
“The story of our season has been getting off the field on third downs and the failure get take-a- ways,” coach Grinch during his weekly interview, “it’s a results business.”
One turnover is all the OU defense has been able to muster in the last five games, dating back to Texas Tech. Grinch has been displeased, to say the least. “We say turnovers equal victories. It was a cute sound bite until it truly does.”
The Sooners rank tied for 124th in the country, one turnover away from being dead last. The biggest emphasis for Alex and his staff is being in the right position. He knows how crucial the turnover battle is. While at Washington State, the Cougars ranked in the top fifty every year, with a combined 75 turnovers forced in the three years Grinch was the DC.
With only six turnovers for the year, Oklahoma is -2 in the turnover margin category. This means they have two more give-a-ways than take-a-ways. Since 2010, OU has only had 4 seasons in which they were on the positive side of the turnover battle. Currently, the Sooners are on pace to have a worse turnover margin than last year-- and is staring down being ranked near the bottom in the country.
After a full two weeks to prepare for Iowa State, what changes will the defense have in place to force a turnover or two. Kyle Purdy, the Cyclone QB, averages almost 37 passes per game. In their last game, a defeat at home to Oklahoma State, Purdy threw the ball over 60 times. This is ample opportunity to force a turnover.
It all starts up front. After nine sacks against the Longhorns, will the defense be able to get to the QB? Gallimore, Perkins and Redmond are all going to be key as they have been difference makers up front. At the second level, Murray, Bonitto, White, and Asamoah will have their numbers called often too. Suring up tackles, being gap sound, and getting to the QB will be the biggest needs for the talented LBs. It goes without saying--the less time the DBs must cover, the more successful the defense will be.
Oklahoma enters the matchup against Iowa State as a 14-point favorite. If the defense fails to get off the field on third down and can’t force turnovers, the game could be decided in the fourth quarter.
- Austin Wood