We talked yesterday about the things that can't happen, so it's only fitting today that we talk about the things that need to happen Saturday night. For the sake of avoiding redundancy, we'll consolidate the obvious part of this with respect to what was addressed yesterday.
In short the OU defense needs to lock up Kendall Wright, prevent Terrance Ganaway from getting the Baylor run game going, contain RGIII, and avoid Bad Landry. Now, onto something with substance.
The Broyles Replacement Plan. Typing that feels harsh, using the word 'replacement' that is, but unfortunately it's the reality of the situation. Whether it's Kenny Stills stepping up to be that bonafide #1 threat or it's a guy like Dejuan Miller, Trey Franks, or Kameel Jackson becoming a viable option as the third WR. Simply put, some one or some collection of guys is going to have to step their game up if this pass offense is going to remain anywhere near as potent post-Broyles.
A #2 RB option. You know, I know, we all know that Roy Finch, for as dynamic as he is, won't hold up to 25+ touches a game over an extended period. Cale Gundy, the RB coach, simply won't be able to continue just dishing out a token carry here or there for the guys behind Finch. Whether it's Brandon Williams (yes please!!!), Brennan Clay, or Trey Millard they are going to have to help shoulder some of the load. Outside of a rematch with Ball State, there is arguably no better game on the OU schedule to experiment with who the guy/s might be. Baylor's defense is terrible, they won't take offense to that trust me they know. If the Sooners are going to determine who their best option is at RB behind Finch, they won't get a better opportunity than Saturday night in Waco.
Heupel gets creative. I think it's fair to say that taking over for Kevin Wilson who certainly had his fair share of detractors within Sooner Nation, Josh Heupel was a certain degree of pressure even before this season kicked off. Well the second Broyles went down, that pressure just increased significantly. Obviously he was going to have to replace #85 next year regardless, but he would have had a spring and summer practices to do so. Losing Broyles with three games to go obviously doesn't afford him that same opportunity. So he's going to have to get creative and it starts Saturday night.
Primer for OU defense and Bedlam. We talked about it last night on the podcast, so this is a bit of a rehash but still a valid point brought up by CC. Baylor will do a lot of the same things Ok. State will do on offense in terms of their tempo and multiple threats. It will be a good test for a defense dealing with some injuries as well as repeated inconsistencies. If the defense struggles against Baylor, it certainly won't be the end of the world but it can't bode well for how this defense will match up with OSU.
This is a game, if all goes as planned, that OU can work on some things both offensively and defensively. Pretty much all of that changes if they don't come out ready to play, as we've seen several times this year, and/or they get down by any kind of significant margin. They need to be sharp early and often on both sides of the ball. This team needs to play a full four quarters and there is no better time to start than Saturday night.