The Oklahoma Sooners appeared to be on a collision course with the Baylor Bears for the Big XII Title. Now all that may change as disappointing answers are revealed to hard questions. Here are three quick takeaways from the game this past Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas against the Jayhawks.
Rushing Defense Will Continue To Struggle
The Oklahoma Sooners defense started the season with a shutout after being continuously questioned. The fact that ULM collected a mere 38 rushing yards in Norman was a welcomed sight. However, things took a turn for the worst as linebacker and senior leader Corey Nelson suffered an injury while defensive tackle Jordan Phillips underwent surgery. Without this duo on the field, Oklahoma has given up an average of 220 yards per game on the ground to Texas as well as Kansas. Granted, James Sims is a very capable back and Charlie Weis' game plan was to attack the middle. However, a solution needs to be found and in a hurry as one of the best running backs in the nation, Lache Seastrunk, is about to have his way with this Sooner defensive front.
The Final Product Is A Lackluster Air Raid
Fans are having a flash back to Landry Jones and I'm not talking about his ability to air it out. Instead, Blake Bell has seemed to pick up the happy feet many grew accustomed to and even expected last season. Simply put, when the heat is on and the pocket moves or collapses, decision making suffers leading to poor results. Yet, it goes much deeper than that. When attempting a pass that is 10+ yards, completing them becomes something far more difficult for the Belldozer. On such passes, Bell connects with his receiver 30.6% of the time (I venture to say that number drops significantly without Sterling Shepard as his safety blanket). Can we safely say the explosiveness of the air raid is gone?
LaColtan Bester May Be The Best QB On This Squad
On a reverse, LaColtan Bester threw possibly the best deep ball of the season. With poise, Bester connected with Sterling Shepard on a 49-yard touchdown pass. If your memory escapes you, let The Replay jog your memory. Let's not forget here that Bester played quarterback before coming to Oklahoma.