What Adjustments Did OU Need To Make During Bye Week?
Coming off of a much needed BYE week, the Sooners look to bounce back as they host Iowa State. In what has become a rarity, the game will kick off at 7 PM (CST) this Saturday night.
Two years ago, ISU came to Norman and shocked the number three ranked OU team, led by Baker Mayfield. As a 31-point favorite, it was one of the more shocking upsets in school history.
Both teams come into the game following upset losses. Oklahoma traveled to Manhattan, Kansas and was knocked off by the Wildcats. Iowa State lost on the same day to the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. With the Big 12 as wide open as it has been in years, this game is critical to both teams.
The Sooners new look defense was dismantled and shredded all day long as KSU had their way running the rock and hitting open receivers in soft coverages. One of the biggest take-a- ways was how the Wildcats seemed to know what hole to run through as OU shifted their defensive line. Has Grinch become predictable? Was this just poor tackling and not being gap sound?
As for the offense, there have been some questions surrounding Lincoln’s play calling. The inability or lack of getting the running backs involved has really been a key talking point. Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks combined for six carries in the loss at KSU. Jalen Hurts leads the team in rushing yards and attempts. This can’t be the norm. After a BYE week and time to re- evaluate the offense, will the RBs see more carries?
The passing game has primarily run through CeeDee Lamb, as it should. The biggest difference this season compared to last-- the tight ends not being involved. Yes Calcaterra has been injured, but the TE position is deep and loaded with playmakers. What does Lincoln need to do to get them involved?
After dissecting the offense, the defense can’t be left out after the sluggish performance in Manhattan. One of the main reasons the defense seemed to be so improved over the first seven games was the pressure that the defensive line was able to apply on the opposing quarterbacks--hence the nine sacks against Texas. Since the RRR win, the Sooners have just one sack and sixteen tackles for loss. To put that into perspective, OU had nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss against the Longhorns. Can the front seven apply pressure to Brock Purdy this week?
Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. Coming into the season, one thing we knew about Alex Grinch was his philosophy on having a fast defense and forcing turnovers. The Sooners have forced one turnover in their last five games, dating back to Texas Tech. That’s not good enough. Iowa State brings in a capable passer and someone who can burn the OU secondary if they aren’t in the right position. After throwing 62 times against Oklahoma State, how will the Oklahoma secondary hold up? Can they force Purdy into some bad throws and capitalize with a turnover?
- Austin Wood