Ed. note: bumped
1. I believe that you have to hire Mike Stoops back as your co-defensive coordinator or at least bring someone with some ideas to offset Brent Venables. I believe that that the league, just like in baseball, has a book on Venables and understands the recipe for success against him but I will say that it is not all his fault or the fault of the defense and I'll address this later in my post. As a quick aside, we need to add a run game coordinator. At this point we have two guys that coordinate our offense which are the wide receivers coach and the quarterback coach can we see why the run game has not flourished this year? No, diamond formation or innovation in the run game outside of the bell-dozer set but what could really be expected.
2. The Sooners offense has to turn back the clock a little and go back to the huddle. The demise of the defense has been at the explosion of offensive numbers. Rarely do you find teams that are amazing offensively and extraordinary defensively because in football usually sacrifice one for the other (see LSU and Alabama.) The fact of the matter is that even though when Mike Leach showed up on campus we threw the ball more, the offense still was control oriented in the short passing game and we didn't win big until we had a solid running game. We have to get back to that. We need to scrap the "slo-huddle" because one we no longer go fast but every once in awhile during the game and there are times (see Trent Ratteree last night) that players are confused. Another issue it may contribute to is slowing the development of young players as the idea of huddling gives them a chance to get their bearings. The no huddle limits the personel groups you can have on the field to be effective.
3. Going along with the last point, we need to see more running formations and more downhill running from the Sooner offense. This will do two things. One, it will take pressure off the QB as well as time off the clock allowing us to control the ball and secondly, it will establish a sense of dominance which will extend throughout the entire persona of the team. We have the backs next year to do it with (Dom Whaley, Roy Finch and Brandon Williams). I believe that the over use of the spread formations makes teams "soft" not just on offense but also on defense as this is what you practice against more often than not. We need to take a page out of Bill Snyder's book of offense and become more ball control oriented so that we can limit the exposure that our defense has against these explosive offenses in the Big 12.
4. We as fans and by proxy, the coaches, need to become less enamored with offensive stats and more focused on defensive numbers such as points surrendered and yards given up. The fact in football remains that a defense always provides a team with a chance to win but great offenses can and will have a game or two when they are misfiring (especially pass oriented offenses). It's great that Landry Jones, Jason White and Sam Bradford had such prolific careers throwing the football but they have the same number of national championships as Nate Hybl, Rhett Bomar and Paul Thompson. The thing that stands out in the years for the latter three (less for Bomar than the other two) is the defensive units were relied on to carry the team. That is the formula.
As much as I hate to admit this, it has been a fun run with no-huddle fun and gun Leach-Spurrier hybrid offense but it is time to return to our true Oklahoma roots and turn back the clock with a contemporary Switzeresque OU football in which we control games with a punishing run game and a dominant defense with a true leader at QB. We have moved to one end of the spectrum with is pass happy/run lite offense with a decent defense and need to get back to the center of the spectrum with opportunistic pass/balanced run offense with a dominant defense.
Great run game+ Dominant defense + Outstanding athletes/recruiting = #8