If there's one thing that we learned about Oklahoma's offense last week it's that we should always expect the unexpected. Just because things are working doesn't mean that OU's coaching staff won't lay them aside and go with a significantly different, and detrimental, selection of play calls anyway. So when it comes up to game planning against the Sooners' biggest rival, there's a good chance we'll see what Oklahoma should do weighed against what they will do.
With that in mind, here's what we believe that you should be able to expect from Oklahoma's offense in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.
Run the ball, run the ball, and then run the ball. There's no question that moving away from the run caused Oklahoma's offense to stall in Ft. Worth on Saturday. There has yet to be an explanation, and there won't be, but the truth remains that the Sooners have to run the ball. You just can't deny the results.
Remain patient. There's little doubt that Texas is going to play Oklahoma to stop the run and force the pass. Longhorns defensive coordinator Vance Bedford even admitted as much on Wednesday. What Oklahoma has to do is remain patient and and keep grinding. Texas is 8th in the Big 12 in rushing yards allowed with opponents averaging 3.8 yards per carry and 199 yards per game. The other stat to keep in mind is that the Longhorns are anemic on offense with a national ranking of 117th in scoring (18.4 PPG). The Sooners don't want to force the issue and possibly give Texas a short field off a turnover. Keep grinding!
Put Trevor Knight in a position to be successful. The 35 passing attempts last week against TCU were far too many. No one is ever going to confuse Knight for Sam Bradford or Landry Jones, so why keep him in the pocket. Put him in the position where he has the best chance for success by rolling him out, letting him run, and throwing short to mid-range routes when he's in the pocket. We saw in this game last year how quickly a turnover can change the momentum. To keep Knight comfortable and give him success they have to get him out of the pocket.
Get nasty and prove yourself. I hope that by now the offensive line is sick of seeing Samaje Perine getting stuffed in the backfield on 4th and 1. The fact remains though, championship caliber teams get that one yard. This o-line is back to being where they must prove they were worthy of the attention they received in the preseason. Saturday will provide them an opportunity to do so.
The is no margin of error for Oklahoma anymore. There will no doubt be one-loss teams in the playoffs and the Sooners still have as good of a shot at getting there as anyone does. However, another loss and that opportunity is most likely gone for good. Texas brought it to Oklahoma in this game last year. The Sooners can't allow that to happen again and playing sound on offense is going to be the key to preventing it.