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the seventh ring of hell Lubbock, there are a number of things that must happen if Oklahoma wants to leave with a victory. These are those things.
Not to be overly dramatic (which virtually guarantees this will be exactly that), but Oklahoma fans are going to learn the future of their offense, arguably their season on Saturday. We make that possible overly dramatic statement based on the fact, through three games at least, the offense appears to be the unit holding this team back. Few who have watched could argue that the Oklahoma offense is anything close to resembling in-sync. After two weeks previously to prepare for K-State, a test in which Josh Heupel clearly failed, the OU offensive coordinator now has a second attempt to prove himself capable.
Again coming off a bye week, Oklahoma fans have been assured changes have been made and a renewed focus on the running game will be on display. Specifically, new fan favorite Damien Williams who through three games has proved to be the Sooners best running threat.
Understandably, OU fans are skeptical. We've heard a lot of these same assurances before only to watch in frustration on Saturdays when few if any are actually instituted. In that same vein, the following 'things that must happen' may not actually be things we see on Saturday
Your base is just that - What we mean by that is your base defense is exactly that, a base on which to build on. In more simpler terms, that means if Texas Tech comes out in a four or five wide set on Saturday you don't stupidly stubbornly stay in your 4-2-5 defense and put a linebacker on a wide receiver. It means you pull a linebacker off the field and put in a defensive back who might actually have a chance to cover said wide receiver.
Believe it or not, it really is that simple and yet for year after year we've seen OU defensive coaches make it so much more complicated that it has to be.
The running game is your best friend - I'm not going to insult your intelligence by attempting to re-phrase this same point for the ump-teenth different time in the last two weeks. Give Damien Williams the damn ball. Give Dominique Whaley the damn ball. Give Trey Millard the damn ball. Give Roy Finch the damn ball. Give Brennan Clay the damn ball.
Sterling = Star - Yes, he's just a true freshman. Yes, it was just one game. But this kid has star written all over him. He needs to be on the field. It's that simple. There are several different ways this can happen, we don't need to go over them all. Barring disaster, there should be more than enough snaps in this game to get Shepard, Stills, Metoyer, Brown, and anyone else on the field at any given time. All I know is Sterling Shepard is a playmaker and he can't make plays when he's standing on the sidelines.
2 + 2 = No Pressure - Even with the return of Casey Walker allowing David King to move back to defensive end, the front four has yet to prove capable of creating pressure on their own. Oklahoma has an above average secondary, but they could have an elite one and if they fail to get pressure on Seth Doege it will make little to no difference. I think most of us can agree that Alabama pretty much sets the standard right now on how defense should be played, right?
Well even the Alabama secondary cannot cover for seven, eight, or even nine seconds. The entire point of all this being they don't have to because they put pressure on the quarterback. So you can rush three, drop eight, and get embarrassed like Baylor did last Saturday OR you can bring pressure and take your chances with your above average secondary.
Size doesn't always matter - Forgive the double entendre, but what we're trying to get at here is the fact that forcing the ball down the field isn't necessarily a better play than a short, quick pass that nets you maybe five yards instead of fifteen. I think you can figure out where we are going here. The point is these short passes, the kind of passes we (and by we I mean myself) used to complain constantly about, can help Good Landry to be much more prevalent than the much less popular Bad Landry.
These kind of throws can get Landry and the offense in a rhythm, can keep the chains moving, can keep the offense on the field, all of which are good things the last time I checked. Help me understand where the downside is in getting guys like Stills, Shepard, Metoyer, Brown, Finch, or others the ball in space because I fail to see it?