Army Black Knights at Oklahoma Sooners | Defensive Keys To The Game

One thing the media seems infatuated with as the Oklahoma Sooners prepare for the upcoming weekend is the Army Black Knight offense. Employing a modern version of a relic, the visiting team utilizes what has become known as the flexbone offense. Rarely throwing the ball, the scheme heavily tests the opposition’s front seven. Here are three defensive keys to the game for OU.

Gap Assignment

The flexbone makes use of wide splits among the offensive linemen as if the scheme were tempting pass rushers to walk into the backfield. Combined with a quarterback under center, a fullback in the backfield, two quick slotbacks, and two receivers the choices remain nearly endless once the ball is snapped. Make no mistakes, this is an option offense from beginning to end. All it takes is a single missed assignment to turn a carry into a first down and more. Come Saturday, Oklahoma must play sound football by filling in the gaps.

Textbook Tackling Techique

This past weekend, the Sooner defense missed tackle after tackle leading to a ten point victory instead of a potential twenty-four point tilt. Whatever the reason, it’s not a trend a coordinator hopes to see from the defense unit. It’ll likely a point of emphasis this week leading up to the contest. However, executing in a live situation remains vastly different than drills during a practice. It was said on Monday that if a player failed to demonstrate consistency in the fundamentals of tackling, that athlete would vacate the position. When Army throws the ball and a missed tackle allows the receiver to tack on extra yardage, let’s see if that holds any truth against Army.

Get Off The Field

Run heavy offenses like the one the Black Knights are bringing to Norman require the defense to be on the field for extended periods of time. Absorbing hits and exerting effort on each play certainly take a toll on the athletes throughout the duration of the game. Yet, the Army offense also lends a hand to keeping opposing quarterbacks off the field. Making few mistakes, don’t expect turnovers to end the service academy’s chance of scoring on a drive. That will be the case once again as two programs collide in the Palace on the Prairie. In order to remain fresh, Oklahoma must find a way to secure a few 3-and-outs. Doing so not only allows the defense to take a breather but also puts this Sooner offense back under the lights with the chance to take control of the contest.

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