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Monday, October 15, 2012
Roundtable: Three thoughts on Texas-OU

By SoonerNation staff

After Oklahoma's game every week this season, the SoonerNation staff will look at the most impressive thing from the game, the biggest concern from the game and an interesting storyline moving forward.

On Oklahoma's 63-21 blowout win over Texas:

What impressed me most: The OU defense, specifically the Sooners front. We knew the secondary was capable of shutting people down. But the OU defensive line was dominant, too, completing shutting down the Texas running game. This is looking like OU's best defense since 2009, which featured All-American Gerald McCoy. This team might not have any All-Americans up front. But they still are proving to be a tough matchup.

What concerned me most: What concerned me most: The offensive line played really well, but minor injuries to Bronson Irwin and Adam Shead underscored just how thin the Sooners have become up front. OU is down to its last 6-7 guys on the line, and can't afford to lose anyone else especially inside where OU is already without Ben Habern, Tyler Evans and Nila Kasitati.

The most interesting storyline going forward: Interesting storyline going forward: Can the Sooners sneak back into national title contention? It won't be easy, considering OU will have to beat Notre Dame and West Virginia on the road, among others. But such a strong schedule will be an asset to the Sooners should they survive it in the computer polls.

- Jake Trotter

What impressed me most: The Sooners defensive line was the most impressive thing in the blowout. Several fingers were pointed at OU's defensive interior before the game started and clearly they were sick of it. Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker made sure they went out as winners in their final Red River Rivalry appearances. The Longhorns tried to run early with four of its nine first-quarter plays on the ground but gained just nine yards. The Sooners stuffed Texas running game early and often on Saturday.

What concerned me most: The biggest concern for OU is its offensive line depth. The Sooners are one injury away from serious trouble. In a matter of months the offensive interior went from one of the deepest groups on the roster to the thinnest thanks to a combination of injuries and departures from the program. OU will need to be creative as the Sooners prepare for the worst case scenario with seven straight weeks of football ahead of them.

The most interesting storyline going forward: The biggest storyline is OU's turnaround in a matter of weeks. While some outside the program were poised to burn the ship and bail, Bob Stoops was unwavering in his commitment to keeping things the same and moving forward. Stoops commitment has paid off and should be noted, OU his righted the ship can could find itself right back in the conversation for a championship, particularly with a road win at Texas Tech already on the resume and games Notre Dame and West Virginia remaining on the schedule.

- Brandon Chatmon

What impressed me most: The defense is finding its identity under Mike Stoops again. The passion is back, and it has shown big time in the last two games. I picked Texas 30-26 because felt it would be a coming out party for Johnathan Gray. Instead, the OU defense stifled the Longhorns all day as Texas only rushed for 74 yards on 23 carries. You add in the second consecutive game where the Sooners defense has forced three turnovers, and now you start to see why OU was ranked No. 4 in the preseason.

What concerned me most: It's still concerning Landry Jones has those moments when you have to scratch your head. The last two weeks have been a huge statement by Jones in bouncing back from his subpar effort against Kansas State, but there was still that moment. Jones threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. It will get lost in the shuffle because OU was so dominant for the rest of the game, OU cannot afford those lapses in concentration and execution going forward.

The most interesting storyline going forward: Do we now know who OU is this season? Nobody had any idea after a so-so start to the season coupled with a home loss to Kansas State. But now after back-to-back impressive outings in the Lone Star State, fans should feel like they have a reason to believe. And after seeing Texas Tech whip West Virginia, that might even make fans feel even better. Getting back in the BCS national championship race will still be tough, but the Big 12 championship is back in play. Not sure anybody could say that with conviction two weeks ago.

- Bob Przybylo