Thats right. It’s OU-Texas game day. It’s here and it’s glorious, and it won’t come without drama.
The Sooners head into this one, unless something changes, most likely without their starting QB. Dillon Gabriel likely to miss not only this week but next, which puts the Sooners in an interesting situation. Who to start?
Davis Beville. General Booty. Nick Evers.
I would tell you this, as fun as it may seem, I don’t think Nick Evers has a real shot of being the starter. Too young. Too small. Too soon.
Conventional wisdom would tell you that Beville has the obvious claim to the Iron Throne here, and while that is my official guess for the starter today, I won’t rule out General Booty. THAT’S RIGHT. I am hearing scuttle butt. It might just be that, but I have been told that is very much in the cards. So we will see. If it’s Beville you can’t be mad, but if it’s Booty I will look like a genius. Such is life.
Storylines to watch
- Oklahoma’s running game is the first, second, and third punch line here. Frankly, after writing this bullet point I don’t think I should write the other three since it is so important. No matter who is taking snaps at QB they still aren’t the passer the DG is. So, Oklahoma is going to need to live or die by Eric Gray and Jovantae Barnes’ success. If they can keep Oklahoma ahead of the chains and the clock rolling, things could be given a breath of life. However, if OU can’t... it likely will be a long day. A backup right tackle likely won’t help the situation, so this is going to call for an otherworldly performance from someone unexpected.
- Can Marvin Mims be this team’s superman in this game again? Obviously this game last year was saved by a host of Sooners but the one who made the splashiest play was Mims. Oklahoma and Jeff Lebby are going to be calling on Mims to be able create something out of nothing. Mims needs a big play to create some breathing room for a struggling team needing a life raft. I do think Oklahoma can have a passible offense, but can Oklahoma hang with a Texas team that has talent? No, unless they get points created by their best players.
- Oklahoma’s secondary is the biggest complaint after this past game. Sooners were forced to watch themselves get burnt like toast. Ya know, they could’ve tried to stop it but they seemed content with being scorched. That can’t happen today. Worthy can turn you into toast without the secondary giving you the opportunity, so the Sooners can’t give them the head start. For goodness sake, just knowing where you are supposed to line up is a good start. Talking to your neighbor is another one. This isn’t Kindergarten, effective communication is expected.
- We all have enjoyed the special teams playing a role for this team for the first time in a long time. Fun needs to start to pay off. Get yourself some short fields, maybe score a point? Again, can this offense muster more than 21 points on their own? I don’t think so. Can this defense slow down Texas to LESS than 21 points. I don’t think so. So, gotta get some help.
Know your opponent: Texas Longhorns
- Quinn Ewers and his hilariously long mullet take center stage on Saturday. Oklahoma will face off against him in only his third start in college. Ewers has been a lighting rod in college football off the field, but he has shown a little juice in the Alabama game. He can make Oklahoma look stupid if they aren’t careful. Especially with Worthy lingering around on the outside starring down the Mr. PI Woodi Washington on the outside. Ewers throws a pretty good deep ball but isn’t exactly mobile, lightening the load on OU to keep contain.
- Bijan Robinson is the focal point of this offense. In this week’s “Chisholm knows this stat but might be getting it wrong from memory” stat of the week — the past 15 matchups, the team with the most rushing yards has won 13 times. Or something very close to that. Keeping Bijan in check, historically, is critical. The Sooners can’t afford to let Bijan into the open field or clean running lanes like the last two weeks. If they do, Robinson will make them look very stupid.
- This defense is polarizing. I have interviewed about 10 people on my show this week. I am not kidding when I tell you six of them said “the strength of this team in the edge players but they are weak up the gut” and four of them said “inside they are stout but the struggle on the outside edge”. So? I shrug. This defensive line, in my estimation, is good. Not as good though as Kansas State but better than TCU. The back end was seriously impressive against Alabama but seriously embarrassing against Texas Tech. So, I shrug again. But it’s good enough to give OU problems with Dillon Gabriel, it will likely give them headaches without him.
- Steve Sarkisian is a man with a lot of characters. I mean seriously it is hard to keep up with what coach he is trying to pretend to be. Unlike most of my counterparts, I do think he has been better this year. I think Sark wants this one in the worst way and when that is the case, generally Sark has came in with a great game plan. Oklahoma last year. Alabama this year. My guess is that he is ready for this game as well. Those “first 15” are generally pretty clean from him, so I expect Sark will have Texas on a quick start.
Sooners just have too many things going the wrong way. Likely no starting QB, starting safety, starting RT, back up LB, and maybe a few more. It at this point for me isn’t even about the TCU game or the Kansas State game. I just think the injuries and the lack of momentum put them in too much of a hole.
OU - 17
Texas - 38