This game was painful to watch. Let’s get that out of the way first and foremost. Yet for much of the game the Sooners couldn’t get out of their own way. Here are just several of the mistakes that cost the Sooners in a huge way.
- Missed FG. Siebert is off and I don’t understand why. You can’t miss chip shot FGS
- Mayfield making one of the worst throws I’ve seen when he had Andrews wide open for a TD.
- The immediate follow up to this play was tip interception that led to 6 points
- The failure of Steven Parker and Ahmad Thomas to get lined up correctly as Ohio State motioned, which ultimately led to Ohio State breaking contain and scoring a TD on 4th down
- Baker Mayfield not throwing the ball away on the 1st and goal play at the 3. Maybe the Sooners should have ran the ball, but it doesn’t matter. Mayfield can’t make the plays he did tonight and lead the Sooners to a victory
- Mayfield’s second interception when he could have easily scrambled for the 1st down
This was all just in the 1st half. These effectively took the wind out of any sail that Sooners had and completely took them out of the game. The game snowballed and the Sooners got beat in every facet of the game.
This loss was painful and mistake filled, but it ultimately points to a much bigger issue. When you make mistakes and don’t have elite talent, you can’t overcome them.
I will not call out any player but, there have been too many reaches and last minute reaches that have severely depleted the talent on this team in the trenches and at linebacker. It hasn’t helped that the Sooners are on their 3rd defensive line coach in 3 years, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
After National Signing Day in 2015 the Sooners coaches made the claim that they had exactly the number of scholarship linebackers that they needed at 11. In actuality, it was coach speak attempting to cover over poor positional recruiting.
Further, Bruce Kittle had ZERO business coaching at OU, much less Norman North High School. Bobby Jack Wright is a nice guy, but he overstayed his welcome and became stagnant. They same issue was true of Jackie Shipp. As a result you are seeing talented players but not elite players.
Ohio State’s offense was overly simple, they just simply have far more talented players lining up on both sides of the ball. That is not to say that the Sooners don’t have talent, but across the board they don’t have the playmakers that the Buckeyes and even Clemson had last year. But as the teams lined up the Sooners couldn’t stop a very simple gameplan by the Buckeyes.
So where do the Sooners go from here.
- Either commit to fully running the 3-4 or not. You won’t immediately recruit to a level of Bama, but you can’t continue to recruit undersized players at linebacker and expect to find success with the 3-4 defense.
- Coaching changes…maybe…I think everyone knows where one to two significant weak spots are on the coaching staff.
- Take each game as if it’s the last. Winning the Big 12 sounds like a terrible consolation prize, here is what it does. It allows you to continue to recruit at higher level. You let the wheels fall off and this class could fall apart.