Key stats support Sooners' strong start

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
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NORMAN, Okla. -- A lot of the focus around Norman has been on Oklahoma’s inability to pass with great efficiency through two games.

Yet, that’s just about the only part that the Sooners have experienced major struggles with in the first two victories. Here’s a look at five stats that represent OU’s strong start in 2013.

Special teams expected points: 9.66. Even though the Sooners special teams have been a strength for the past few seasons, new special teams coach Jay Boulware still deserves a pat on the back. OU’s 9.66 special teams expected points added leads the Big 12 by a wide margin. The league average is 2.17. (Note: Here’s an explanation of ESPN.com’s expected points metric)

Expected points added on opponent pass plays: The Sooners lead the Big 12 in expected points added on opponent pass attempts and sacks at 28.99. OU has three new starters in the secondary with Zack Sanchez, Julian Wilson and Quentin Hayes, but it looks even better than last season's group. The league average is 7.98.

Win probability added by defense and special teams: Don’t believe the Sooners are 2-0 thanks to their defense and special teams? OU leads the Big 12 in defense win probability added (0.56) and special teams win probability added (0.22). It’s helped OU overcome a league-worst minus-0.43 win probability added on Sooners’ passing plays.

Rushing yards per game: The Sooners lead the Big 12 with 310.5 rushing yards per game. OU wanted to become more physical and run the football better in Bill Bedenbaugh’s first season as offensive line coach. The Sooners are averaging 5.8 yards per carry through two games.

Points per drive allowed: OU ranks No. 4 nationally in points allowed per drive at 0.24. Wisconsin, which began the season with back-to-back shutout wins, is the lone team to play two games yet surrender less points per drive. OU’s defense entered the season with a chip on its shoulder and has been dominant in two games.

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