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Oklahoma Football escapes BYU, 31-24

The program’s first trip to Provo ends in win for the Sooners.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Brigham Young Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

It was Oklahoma’s first time playing football in the state of Utah, and it turned out to be a successful trip. The Sooners took out the Cougars of BYU, 31-24, in a game that should not have been that close. However, considering the circumstances, OU is grateful to come out with a W.

On paper, the Sooners were favored big in this one, and had the advantage in all three phases. Unfortunately, the game is not played on paper and is played out on the field. The sentiment after the game reflected frustration with Oklahoma’s defensive performance, characterized by missed assignments, missed tackles, and a lack of enthusiasm. Fortunately, the group made enough plays down the stretch to keep Big 12 title hopes alive.

On the offensive front, they found success running the football, particularly with counters. The problem, though, was that it took three quarters before Oklahoma fully took advantage. Jeff Lebby’s offense has proven to be really good when things are clicking, but the lack of consistency leaves you scratching your head sometimes trying to figure out why this team struggles to put away inferior opponents. Their ability to run effectively against a weak BYU front seven finally stood out, with Sawchuk’s 7.6 yards per carry and a hundred-plus-yard game, along with Walker’s effectiveness, underscore the untapped potential in the running game. Let’s hope OU will set the tone earlier in games with the rushing attack and not abandon it.

Dillon Gabriel was 13-21 in his one half of football before going out with an injury, leading Jackson Arnold to step in. Arnold went 5-9 and made a significant 3rd down conversion to Jalil Farooq in the game’s final drive. The third down play gave you a glimpse of Arnold’s knowledge of football, since we found out after the game it was an audible made by Arnold after noticing the advantage on the outside.

Penalties and a lack of discipline plagued the Sooners, impacting both special teams and offensive plays. The defense, while struggling overall, provided a crucial turning point with Billy Bowman’s 100-yard pick-six, contributing to a 14-point swing in OU’s favor. However, defensive lapses allowed BYU to accumulate 390 yards, with 217 on the ground, revealing weaknesses that need addressing. Thankfully for Sooner fans the defense forced three turnovers, which all resulted in touchdowns for OU.

As the team prepares for TCU on a short week, uncertainties surround Gabriel’s potential absence, possibly leading to Jackson Arnold as the starting QB. Heading into the final week, the overarching question looms — will the Sooners resemble the team that dominated West Virginia or the one that struggled against BYU?