There has been no official word yet on whether Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles will play against the Texas Longhorns or not but the fact remains that OU needs a receiver to step up in a big way. Against Baylor the Sooners used sophomore Dejuan Miller in an attempt to fill a void left void by the absence of Broyles. In his first start for OU Miller caught 5 passes for 67 yards but that was Baylor, can he do it against Texas?
Texas is second in the conference in passing defense allowing their opponents 186.8 yards per game through the air. They've given up 6 touchdowns through the air and have picked off quarterbacks 8 times. Quarterbacks are only completing 52.9% of their passes against the Longhorn defense. To put the hopes of an effective passing game on just one person is a bit unfair as it takes a receiver who can catch, a line who can block and a quarterback who can throw to make the passing game work. So the better question is can Miller fill the void once again but against a stronger defense?
Miller has a 6-5/200 pound frame which is four inches taller than Blake Gideon and Aaron Williams who are the tallest members of the Texas secondary. Baylor isn't the best in the conference when it comes to pass defense but they aren't the worst either. The Bears are 5th in the conference against the pass so that we can assume his test last Saturday was legit. That means, to me, that he's ready for this game. OU hasn't faced a defense like Texas and other than Nebraska they won't again. That doesn't remove the fact that he proved himself on Saturday and is now ready for the next challenge.
* Note: The OU depth chart was updated on Tuesday and Broyles does not appear on it.
Here are a few other answers to some questions from Saturday.
A: Very significant!
Q: How important is the knee injury to left guard Brian Simmons?
The left side of the line has been Oklahoma's strong side or at least it appears that way. OU doesn't seem to have a favorite side to run to. Against Baylor on Saturday the Sooners ran 16 times to the left, 16 to the right and 17 up the middle. They gained 82 yards to the left (5.1 YPC) and 73 to the right (4.3 YPC).
It should be noted that Stephen Good was in on some of those plays after coming in for the injured Simmons. However, it should also be noted that Good gave up Oklahoma's only sack on Saturday.
A: Not a big deal but frustrating.
Q: How crucial were the dropped passes on Saturday?
I hate to say it but we're used to seeing dropped passes by now. It's a recurring theme that we see every week but this last weekend, like with Idaho State and Tulsa, it didn't really matter. It was frustrating to watch though because there is an obvious pattern developing here and just as crucial drops had their place in the BYU and Miami games they'll also have their place this weekend against Texas. Oklahoma will just have to find a way to overcome them.
A: Because the commitment wasn't there, in other words they didn't try.
Q: Why did Oklahoma only have 25 rushing yards in the first half?
OU ran the ball 50 times against Baylor but only 14 times in the first half. It was clear that they wanted to see Bradford air it out and give him as many opportunities to get back into the rhythm of live action as possible. Still, a 1.78 yard per carry average in the first half isn't very encouraging. However, 172 yards on the ground in the second half should have been more than sufficient to ease any doubts.