The Oklahoma Sooners step up in terms of competition with a non-conference tilt against the UCLA Bruins. With something to prove after a week one falter, Chip Kelly’s team is going to leave everything on the field in Norman. The OU offense must once again rise to the occasion, this time against a bigger athlete across the board. Here are the keys to success on Saturday.
Run Rodney, Run
One year ago, the Bruins ranked last in terms of rush defense. Looking to improve upon the number significantly, the defense surrendered 194 yards to their week one opponent. While the offense looking confused, still attempting the grasp the scheme, the defense provided a chance of securing the win. Now, the defensive group must face a a much larger — literally speaking here — challenge.
Behind the experience and size of the offensive line, Oklahoma continues to find success in the running game. That’s a good sign as I believe the secondary remains the strong suit of the UCLA defense. Rodney Anderson’s burst of speed and ability to find running lanes make this back a lethal threat every time he touches the ball. The Sooners must give the star a chance to impact the game in a huge way to secure a second win especially in the rain.
Of course, all of these things apply to the man among boys in Trey Sermon.
Take What The Defense Gives You
As mentioned above, the secondary appears to be the strong suit of the UCLA defense. Recording five pass break ups in week one along with three QB hurries, the group will undoubtedly put pressure on any quarterback to make plays. Fortunately, Kyler Murray has the playmaking ability when the pocket breaks down. However, the starter must prove accurate in pass attempts.
The Bruins held their week one opponent to 4.2 yards per pass attempt which remains impressive. Yet, there are windows of opportunity that open up within this unit. Of course, this Sooners offense is known for scoring on long plays time and time again. In order to pull away from UCLA, must take what the defense gives them instead of forcing the big play.
This seems simple on paper but has proven to be a completely different monster in live action situations. Regardless of the play drawn up, it means nothing without execution. After two top-ten recruiting classes, OU possesses limitless talent on the offensive side of the ball. Against bigger, stronger athletes the veterans and youngsters alike must execute at a high level especially if it continues to rain like it has all week long. This game could get interesting early if players think this one is a cake walk.