The Sooners are set to host the Cowboys for the outright Big 12 Championship. Each team has star power and can score in bunches. The Sooners will have their hands full with the Pokes tomorrow and unless they are successful in the following areas, they will find themselves in a difficult situation tomorrow morning.
Win the Turnover Battle
The OU defense wasn’t especially great against West Virginia, but they won the turnover battle, thus allowing them to cruise to victory. The Pokes have turned the ball over 14 times this season, so this is an area the Sooners can have success.
Slow Down the Pokes Passing Attack
Eight Pokes have receiving touchdowns this season and the Sooners pass defense has been below average to really bad throughout most of the season. I am not sure if the Sooner cornerbacks can make it through a game without getting burnt at least several times. It would be crazy to think that the Sooners can completely shut down the Pokes passing, game but if they don’t at least slow things down, it could be a long day in Norman, as the Pokes can shred teams through the air.
Handle the Weather
The forecast looks pretty bad. Cold and lots of rain. A wet football tends to lead to poor throws, dropped passes, botched snaps, and fumbles. Both teams throw it all over the field, so whoever can handle the weather, should have the upper hand tomorrow.
Ride Perine and Mixon
Yes Mixon is just fine, in spite of reports to the contrary. He and Perine must become the focal point of the Sooners offense tomorrow for them to be successful. I would look for each back to have at least 20 carries if the Sooners want to have success tomorrow.
Expect and Handle the Unexpected
Kick-sixes happen, fakes happen, and trick plays happen. The ball has a tendency to do weird things in Bedlam. The Sooners will likely find themselves on the receiving end of a couple of weird plays, ball bounces, etc…. They must not let that rattle them.
Baker Make the Smart Play
I don’t in anyway want the Sooners to coach the gunslinger mentality out of Baker Mayfield, but he needs to make sure that he doesn’t try to do too much. It’s not always necessary to get an extra yard and take a huge hit, or take a shot into double coverage. Mayfield has shown the ability to limit this, but he must make the smart play.
Play Four Quarters
The Sooners didn’t show up for much of the 2nd half against West Virginia, and they allowed the Mountaineers to almost get back into the game. The Sooners can’t let up, because for whatever reason teams like to hang around with them and take advantage of the Sooners allowing them to stay in the game.