It's been over a week since the Sooners last took the field against Tulsa as Oklahoma had a bye week placed right in between non-conference play and their first conference game. The Sooners offense was seemingly unstoppable last time we saw them, but Baker Mayfield and the offense are going up against maybe one of the best defenses they'll see all year in West Virginia. The Mountaineers have allowed just 23 points through three games, which puts them at number one in the whole nation in points against.
They aren't in the top 10 in passing defense or rushing defense, but no team in the country has forced more interceptions than the Mountaineers. They've also only given up two turnovers, which is why they're number one in the country in turnover margin too.
It's going to be a big test for Lincoln Riley's air raid offense who will be coaching his first Big 12 game at Oklahoma. Here are a couple of things to keep an eye out for when the Sooners kickoff against WVU.
Sticking To The Running Game
Samaje Perine had his best game yet this season against Tulsa and so did the Oklahoma offensive line. Perine rushed for 152 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Perine's best game last season other than Kansas was the West Virginia game, which was his first real breakout performance. He rushed for four touchdowns and 242 rushing yards in Morgantown, which ended up being a 45-33 win for Oklahoma.
If Perine and freshman Joe Mixon can put up anywhere near those numbers, then the Sooners passing game should be able to play with a little more ease. Making Mayfield's job a little bit easier.
Another Slow Start
Slow starts on offense have become the norm for Oklahoma this season. They average just 6.67 points in the first quarter, which is the only quarter in which they average less than a touchdown. Another slow start like in the first two weeks of the season might happen this weekend, but Mayfield has eventually figured out every defense they've faced this season. It might take a quarter (or two) but the Sooners offense should be at their best in the second half just as they've been all season.
To avoid a slow start they will need to run the ball efficiently and avoid any costly penalties or turnovers. Penalties have been a big reason why the Sooners started off slow against Akron and Tennessee.
The Sooners best kept secret on offense is listed at 6'5" 245-pounds and can play tight end or wide receiver. He scored two touchdowns last week and should remain a big part in the offense this week against the Mountaineers. Against their secondary, the Oklahoma receivers won't have quite the field day like they did against Tulsa. So Mark Andrews, who creates a match up problem with his size and quickness, should play a big factor.