|Team||Pts/G||Yds/G||Pass Yds/G||Rush Yds/G|
Before last Saturday we didn't really think that the Sooner offense had a weakness and looking at the season stats above they still appear to be without one. However, as a Sooner fan you can't go into this game without being a little uneasy about they way the passing attack fell apart in Boulder last week. Receivers dropped passes, Sam Bradford threw interceptions and Malcolm Kelly was apparently abducted by aliens. Four previous games show that to be an anomaly but leading up to kickoff we'll all be thinking about the last performance.
Without very much help from his supporting cast, Sam Bradford finally looked like a freshman on Saturday. Sooner
fans are wondering how he'll bounce back this week?
Interestingly enough it's the Longhorns' pass defense that has been the Achilles for Texas. Texas has only given up three touchdowns through the air while collecting five interceptions but there isn't a Longhorn anywhere who has confidence in their team defending the pass. They are getting less than three sacks a game and their secondary has, at times, looked undersized and lost while giving up an average of 214 yards per game.
Oklahoma's passing attack should be their strength but after last week we have to say that the running game has been more consistent. OU's stable of backs are the perfect mixture of size, speed and power. Allen Patrick is averaging 100 yards per game on the ground with 5 touchdowns. DeMarco Murray is a touchdown magnet with 8 on the season and is also producing 63 yards rushing per game. Chris Brown is the bruising back with deceptive speed and who is averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
On the other side of the field the Longhorns are only allowing 88.8 yards per game on the ground and have only allowed a 100 plus yard rusher once this season. This result appears to be two fold. First, the Longhorns' linebackers are the strength of the defense and quickly attack the ball. Secondly, teams have been attacking the glaring weakness of the Longhorn defense, the secondary, and as a result are throwing the ball more than running it.
The Plan of Attack
OU would be foolish not to pass the ball on Texas and if Bradford and his receivers can bounce back from a sub par performance last week they'll find that there is plenty of room for success this week. One thing that will help the passing attack get back on its feet is that Texas doesn't have a shutdown corner like Colorado's Terrence Wheatley. That means more open receivers and more confident passes.
The way the Longhorn secondary has played this season Malcolm Kelly
and the Sooner receivers should be in for a banner day.
To help out the passing game Oklahoma will try to run the ball on Texas and I think they'll be able to do that as well. Texas hasn't faced an offensive line like Oklahoma's and their ability to overpower the Texas defensive line will be that catalysis that allows the Sooners to take what they are given through the air and what they want on the ground.
The running game will be Oklahoma's security blanket. If its not there things could get very intense for the Sooner offense but if it is there it should be a fun day as it complements the passing attack.