In yet another rivalry game, the Oklahoma Sooners found themselves in a heated contest. Knowing the Oklahoma State Cowboys would leave everything on the field, this one proved to be a stress filled contest. However, when it was all said and done, it would be the home team securing the victory 48-47. Here are three quick thoughts on the game.
A Case For The Heisman
By all accounts, Kyler Murray should be the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy for several reasons. Discussing the one that matters the most, it’s this quarterback delivering win after win. Remaining composed in the face of adversity, Murray is consistently asked to pull out the victory despite a lack of defensive stops.
With the game knotted up at 41-41 in the fourth quarter, the defense finally produced a turnover. Putting the ball back into Murray’s hands, the signal caller dropped a 10-yard pass to Marquise Brown. Keeping drives alive while scrambling to make plays happen, the first year starter never crumbles under the pressure. Placing the ball in the gut of the running backs to march downfield, the offense scored to take control of the game.
I have yet to see Tua Tagovailoa lead the Alabama Crimson Tide down the field on a game deciding drive. Call me a homer, but the Tide rely heavily on the defense to separate themselves from the competition. On the other hand, Oklahoma doesn’t have that luxury.
An Emphasis On Running The Ball
Over the past two months, several Sooners have come into their own without relying on Rodney Anderson to carry the load. Emerging as the ‘go to’ back, Trey Sermon punishes anyone willing to stand in the way. Running over, through, and around the opposition the sophomore started the game with a 60 yard rumble to set the tone for the evening. Collecting 124 total rushing yards on the night, the young, budding star produced a second consecutive outing of 100+ yards from scrimmage.
Joining in on the fun, Kennedy Brooks showcased more than straight line speed. Breaking numerous tackles, the freshman stepped in as a compliment to the aforementioned back. Producing fireworks yet again, Brooks cross the goal line three times while amassing 165 rushing yards.
The real story here though is that this duo has helped produce over 300 rushing yards in the past four games. It’s a great sight to see as it brings a heavy dose of balance to this offense that was once heavily reliant on the skill set of Kyler Murray. Once championship week rolls around, this group has the potential to carry the load.
Same Ole Secondary
Many people were hoping for immediate defensive improvement under the direction of Ruffin McNeill. Initially, the stats spoke volumes without through the first two weeks following the change. But it must be noted the numbers were posted against subpar offenses. Now facing groups that rank in the top half of the conference, a different opinion continues to rear it’s ugly head. Giving up numerous big plays to open the game, Oklahoma surrendered more than 45 points in back-to-back weeks.
It’s becoming clearer that the secondary remains the weak point of this Sooner program. As Taylor Cornelius challenged the unit to respond, the quarterback threw for 501 yards and three touchdowns. Finding Tylan Wallace time and time again, the receiver racked up 220 yards and two scores.
Regardless of the names on the field, the result largely remains the same. It’s time to let go of the hope that this secondary can make the stops necessary to change my opinion of the defense as a whole. That’s not to say the group isn’t capable as it is still a young corp. of defenders.