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Oklahoma Sooners Football: A Few Takeaways From a Wild Week 9

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The Sooners face a quick turnaround before the Thursday night date in Ames.    

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
  • OU took care of business as expected against Kansas, and after being outplayed early, were able to coast to an easy win while getting reps for most of the roster. There was really nothing else a virtual scrimmage against the Jayhawks offered on a late October Saturday before the trip to Ames for a Thursday night game with the Cyclones on a short week. So the rest to the starters was good, and extended game experience for the young guys was even better. But the stretch of truth in November begins in less than two weeks. OU needs to get healthy in a big way, but continued to establish offensive identity despite changes in personnel, and displayed at least a semblance of defensive experimentation and flexibility in a tune-up game, which was also good to escape without incident or significant injury. I wonder how many questions about Kansas are even asked at Bob’s presser tomorrow.
  • I feel that this is the point when Baylor begins to unravel, and the perplexing play calls in clutch time in Austin is an indication. After the paltry early schedule and an unimpressive “not a loss” against Oklahoma State, the wheels might be getting ready to finally come off in Waco. Their bye week before OU hopefully only takes away more offensive rhythm than was lost in yesterday’s puzzling loss in a poorly played game against Texas, which should wear on an undisciplined Baylor team for two weeks. This should be fun.
  • Conversely, Oklahoma State look to be getting stronger and are playing some really good football at the right time. Gundy’s dancing again, and that mullet is in fine form. The Baylor and West Virginia losses may not add any appeal to the Big 12, but it’s not like there was any to begin with. But these results certainly didn’t hurt OU either, and instead have paved the way for an Oklahoma team that now owns its’ destiny on the road to winning a consecutive conference “championship”. Provided WVU wins in Austin in two weeks and the Pokes continue to move up a few spots before Bedlam, OU begins the run for an outside shot at crashing the College Football Playoff with No. 13 Baylor in Norman on November 12, followed by two more ranked opponents to close the season.
  • Obviously, some things have to line up for the Sooners, and Clemson appear to have a berth all but locked up at this point. Washington looks very good, but could very well slip up in the Pac-12 championship, though it seems unlikely as the Huskies are for real. I don’t expect Bama to lose this season. OU could jump the rest of the teams ahead of them if the Sooners win out the rest of the way. Crazier things have happened in the final month of the season. No reason to believe we won’t see the same unfold in the coming weeks.
  • My friend William (whom we all call DJ) is convinced the most fitting end to this season would be Oklahoma facing Trevor Knight and the Aggies in the Sugar Bowl if the Sooners win a Big 12 title, but (most likely still) fall short of the Playoffs. I’m inclined to agree with him, and this appears a plausible scenario. I’d prefer this to getting fed to Clemson, Michigan or Alabama.
  • I’m starting to worry a little about losing another touted 2017 commit, as we reported yesterday that four-star #SoonerSquad17 wideout Charleston Rambo was seen next to #SoonerSquad17 OU de-commit Jalen Reagor on the TCU sidelines during the game against Texas Tech. This may mean nothing, as it was Rambo’s scheduled visit. Or it could mean exactly what it looks like. Not saying Lincoln Riley is done bringing in quality perimeter talent, and CeeDee Lamb certainly fits the mold of a possible game-breaking talent. But the Sooners will need a late push to replace what was lost with Reagor, and Rambo if he also bolts to Fort Worth. I wish Geno Lewis could somehow get another graduate transfer season, as I’m not convinced A.D. Miller or Dahu Green have much more upside than Quentin Chaney at this point. Mykel Jones and Jordan Smallwood are starting to show some flashes and could contribute in bigger roles next season. It didn’t seem possible to replace the prolific production of Sterling Shepard, but Biletnikoff favorite Dede Westbrook has taken care of that. The Sooners are looking at having to replace an even bigger percentage of wide receiver production next season, and having a few guys on campus early (like Lamb, Rambo) building a rapport with Baker is key to a smooth start to the offense next season. CeeDee Lamb:
  • It’s clearly evident now you can never be too stacked at running back. Possibly going 5-deep to enter the season OU now looks very thin in the backfield, but luckily Joe Mixon looked fine upon returning in the second half after leaving with an apparent leg injury in the first. It was nice to see walk-on Devin Montgomery get a shot — and deliver — in his backup role to freshman Abdul Adams during the Mixon-less stretch last night. I know it’s a ways away to National Signing Day, but similar to wide receiver, this starts to foreshadow how inexperienced this position will be going into next season, as most expect Mixon, and likely Perine, to enter the NFL draft next spring. Along with Abdul Adams, who definitely has the look of a productive college back, Rodney Anderson is expected back next season. #SoonerSquad17 looks promising all around, including four-star running back Kennedy Brooks, who is enjoying a dominating senior season at Mansfield (Texas). Joining Brooks is fellow four-star RB Trey Sermon from Marietta, Georgia, and athlete Marcelias Sutton, who looks to be a game-ready JUCO prospect. These young guys will be playing and expected to contribute right away in 2017. I know, way too early. But it was a little unnerving to see us down to one available scholarship back for multiple series last night. Kennedy Brooks and Sutton below: