Monday, October 8, 2012
First glance: Breaking down: Oklahoma
By Carter Strickland
Campus location: Norman, Okla.
Conference: Big 12
Record: 3-1, 1-1
Record vs. Texas: 42-59-5
Last game: The Sooners, left for dead or at least the bottom half of the Big 12 after a home loss to Kansas State, rebounded with authority against an overmatched Texas Tech team. Landry Jones threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns while the OU defense forced Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege into three interceptions. Oklahoma has gone 13 years without losing consecutive regular season games.
Last meeting with Texas: Oklahoma took advantage of young quarterbacks and a soft offensive line to throttle Texas 55-17. The Sooner had 367 yards passing, scored on a 64-yard run as well as a three defensive touchdowns. Texas could only manage one offensive touchdown in the last three minutes of the game. The Longhorns did get a 100-yard kick return for a score from Fozzy Whittaker in the second quarter.
Key player: Jones has been much maligned in recent weeks but the senior has won his last two starts against Texas and appeared to get on track against Tech with two touchdowns and no pick. Jones is experienced and knows how to speed up the game at the right time to take advantage of a tired defense. When given time, Jones can be pinpoint accurate and rarely throws a bad ball.
Why Oklahoma might win: Oklahoma has a reliable enough run game that it can keep Texas off balance and exploit the middle of the Longhorn defense. If OU is able to do that -- and given that Texas is having tremendous tackling issues it is not a reach to believe the Sooners can – quarterback Landry Jones will have plenty of time to operate in the pocket and utilize play-action passes down the field.
Why Oklahoma might lose: The Sooners have not been reliable against consistent pressure and Texas’ defensive line will provide more than they have seen this year. That pressure could force OU into some costly turnovers and those type plays typically dictate the outcome of rivalry games.