Oklahoma can't afford to not be creative on offense Saturday morning when they kickoff against Kansas State. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in rush defense with an average of just 2.8 yards allowed per carry and 81.4 yards per game. The Sooners absolutely cannot get away with running up the middle on first and second down and then passing on third and long. It's time to open up the playbook!
The last time we saw the Wildcats in Norman they were an opportunistic team that played sound defense, protected the football, and capitalized on mistakes. The 2014 version that is returning on Saturday is almost a clone of that 2012 squad and a closed playbook simply won't get it done. This isn't a Texas squad that you patiently wait for them to self-destruct. This is a hungry and talented team that is well coached and coming to Norman to win a football game. It's time to open up the playbook!
Use plenty of motion and misdirection. The KSU defense is disciplined and opportunistic. Oklahoma needs to get them guessing where the play is going. The Sooners have had a high rate of success on misdirection and motion plays but we didn't see very much of it against Texas. With a guy in motion the offense has multiple options and the defense knows it. Can we get back to what we saw against Louisiana Tech and Tulsa?
Run the ball...especially with the quarterback. I'm tired of the notion that keeping Trevor Knight healthy is the top priority. How about we make scoring points the top priority? People say that if Knight goes down then so do Oklahoma's chances of winning the conference and making the playoffs. Guess what. If Oklahoma loses another game then you can kiss the conference and playoffs goodbye anyway. This is a different offense when Knight runs the ball because suddenly the zone-read works the way it is supposed to. How about some option plays and quarterback draws as well?
Use short passes to build up for shots over the top. Confidence and rhythm are key. Without those you've got yourself a struggling quarterback. I still say that short to mid-range passes continue to be the key to success for Trevor Knight. Sure he's got Sterling Shepard but one-on-one is still the best coverage for a quarterback to find any receiver in and if Knight can get the ball into the hands of his receivers at or within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage then it brings the safeties up and gives OU a better shot at going deep.
Oklahoma will need to pass the ball to win this game. Trevor Knight has struggled in spots over the last two games but those contests have also shown that the notion of the Sooners lining up and running over opponents is a bit of a misnomer. I like what they did with Knight during Oklahoma's two scoring drives of the second half against Texas. The Sooners went 63 yards in five plays and 47 yards in five plays by using motion and misdirection to set up running and short passing plays. It led to a 24-yard touchdown pass from Knight to Shepard and a 13-yard touchdown run by Samaje Perine. We need to see more of that style of offense for Oklahoma to have a chance at walking off their home field with a win over the Wildcats for the first time since 2009.