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How Mistakes And Penalties Killed OU Against BYU

There's plenty of blame to pass around for Oklahoma's 14-13 loss to BYU on Saturday night in Arlington but at the end of the day I think that it could be summed up by lack of focus. This resulted in a plethora of mistakes and miscues that ultimately led to Oklahoma's demise. This in no way discredits the BYU Cougars who came out and basically took it to the Sooners on a national stage but we can't ignore the fact that OU did more to help the Cougar cause than their own. Here are some examples.

Oklahoma's Opening Drive Beginning At 14:53 Of The 1st

Chris Brown's 3-yard run and Adron Tennell's 7-yard catch should have been enough for a first down but instead the Sooners turned a 1st-10 into a 1st-15 and a 3rd-5 into a 3rd-10 and then into a 3rd-15. Despite gaining 10 yards of offense in this series Oklahoma lost 5 yards of field position. After starting at their own 25 they punted from their own 20 and BYU had nothing to do with that. Definitely not the way you want to start the season with a new offensive line.

Oklahoma's Second Possession Beginning At 8:34 Of The 1st

Oklahoma committed two more penalties on this possession for a total of 25 penalty yards and even though the Sooners had to kick it away because of a 15-yard penalty they were able to take advantage of a muffed punt by BYU and score on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Ryan Broyles, overcoming a 10-yard holding penalty in the process. In two offensive series Oklahoma had committed five penalties for forty yards.

Oklahoma's Third Possession Beginning At 3:10 of the 1st  

Following a Ryan Reynolds interception Oklahoma set up shop at the BYU 30. With the momentum in OU's favor DeMarco Murray moves the ball to 16 in just two plays. If the Sooners punch it in here, or even settles for a field goal, there is no way BYU wins the game.   

Oklahoma's Sixth Possession Beginning At 4:58 Of The 2nd

With the aid of a BYU penalty the Sooners had moved the ball 45 yards in two plays after the second Cougar turnover. The BYU defense was back on its heels and Oklahoma nearly in scoring position OU committed their second turnover on the night. After recovering Ryan Broyles' fumble the Cougars scored 5 plays later tying the game 7-7.

Oklahoma's Seventh Possession Beginning At 1:20 Of The 2nd

This possession would be Sam Bradford's last of the game and despite kicking a field goal to take a 10-7 lead they were still flagged for a 10-yard penalty. This means that out of OU's seven first quarter possessions they were either flagged or turned the ball over on five of them. On three of those five drives the mistakes killed the drive.  

Oklahoma's Eighth Possession Beginning At 14:53 Of The 3rd

Under normal circumstances a 13-yard pass play should be enough to merit a first down, but because Oklahoma started out with a 1st and 24 due to a 15-penalty on first down Brandon Caleb's 13-yard reception wasn't near enough.

Oklahoma's Ninth Possession Beginning At 9:47 Of The 3rd

Again the Sooners were flagged for holding on first down and despite 11 yards passing on the series it ended in another Sooner punt.

Oklahoma's 11 Possession Beginning At 0:30 Of The 3rd

This was Oklahoma's most promising drive of the second half and where I personally thought the Sooners were going to put the game away. Starting at the BYU 27, following a Keenan Clayton interception, OU got as close as the BYU 2 where they had a first and goal. An incomplete pass on first down, a DeMarco Murray rush on second down and a quarterback sneak on third down put OU with a fourth and goal just inside the 1. Buckling under the pressure of the situation and desperately needing to punch it in the Sooners let the play-clock expire which moved them back five yards forcing a field goal attempt instead of going from it on fourth down. In my opinion this was the most critical mistake of the game because following the Kickoff BYU answered with an 18-play scoring drive to take the 14-13 lead.

Oklahoma committed 12 penalties (10 of them offensive) on the night for 93 yards. While much has been said (including from me) about the coaching staff shouldering the blame for not having the team prepared to play I think that it should also be said that with exception to the delay of game call the coaches weren't responsible for committing a single penalty or turnover. Ultimately the team has to take responsibility for their performance and hopefully use it as motivation. The last thing that they need, or we want to see, is another performance like this.