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Sooners vs. The Stats | How Oklahoma's Offense Stacks Up Against The Norms

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A quick look inside the numbers shows the Sooners are doing better than average on offense. So what's the problem?

Brett Deering

A 2-2 conference record has Oklahoma fans searching for answers and demanding change. The immediate response to to look at the offense and say the blame lies there. I don't believe that's the answer though. Sure OU's offense has had some issues and you won't find anyone saying the offense has been perfect or even a well oiled machine. What you will find though is an offense that consistently has performed above the averages of the defenses they are playing against.

Opponent Total Yards Rushing Yards Passing Yards Points
LA Tech 351.1 148 203.1 26.7
OU Game Stats 436 183 253 48
Tulsa 494.9 207.1 287.7 40.7
OU Game Stats 580 261 319 52
Tennessee 325.9 159.6 166.3 24.4
OU Game Stats 454 146 308 34
West Virginia 382.3 167.3 215 27.1
OU Game Stats 510 301 209 45
TCU 359.5 137.5 222 20.7
OU Game Stats 461 152 309 33
Texas 346.3 182.4 163.9 24.6
OU Game Stats 232 103 129 31
Kansas State 359.5 100.8 251.2 22.5
OU Game Stats 533 198 335 31

The Texas game is the only one of the seven where the Sooners performed below the averages offensively. Oklahoma only scored 17 points on offense that day but special teams and defense bailed them out with two extra touchdowns. In every other game this season the offense has outperformed the season averages in multiple categories. So what's the problem?

I don't believe there are major issues within the offense. The production is what it is and as much as we've been frustrated with play calling (Yes, you do have the right to complain about play calls) the numbers speak for themselves in as much as Oklahoma's offense is producing. For the record, Oklahoma's season stats are 39 points, 458 total yards, 266 passing yards, and 192 rushing yards per game.

If you want to point out an issue on the offense then there are two immediate factors that come up. Third down conversions and turnovers have been far too costly for this team. The Sooners rank 70th nationally on third down, having successfully converted on 38 of 95 (40%) third downs this season. The two biggest offensive stalls of the season have come in the waning minutes of the TCU and Kansas State games.

The other, and biggest, factor that has cost Oklahoma this season is turnovers. Trevor Knight has thrown nine touchdown passes this season but he also has six interceptions. Two of those interceptions have been returned for scores and they both happened in losses where the Sooners fell by less than a touchdown. Wide receiver Durron Neal has Oklahoma's only other turnover which came last Saturday when he threw an end zone interception on a reverse pass.

Every coach in America looks at their team and says, "We can be better" in certain aspects. The Sooners scoring average is pretty good but maybe, just maybe, had they taken care of the ball and converted on third downs just a bit better then we'd be talking about a team that's 7-0 instead of 5-2.