I get it. Kyler Murray is a Heisman finalist in part because he’s completed 70% of his passes for 3,310 yards and 34 touchdowns. Throwing the ball around the yard is something the Sooners have been doing for a long time now.
I get it. Oklahoma is extremely thin at running back. Injuries have decimated the Big 12’s best stable of backs, leaving redshirt freshman Kennedy Brooks as the only completely healthy scholarship running back going to Morgantown.
I fully understand where this offense right now. Murray is the guy who makes them click. CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown are as dangerous of a receiver combo that you’ll find in college football. I also understand that Oklahoma leads the nation with 576.1 yards of offense per game and 315.4 yards of that comes through the air. Trust me…I get it.
I still think Oklahoma should heavily favor running the ball on Friday evening though. I know that it may sound crazy with OU’s quick strike ability, but here me out for a minute.
The Defensive Struggle Isn’t Going Away
We’re beyond casting blame. They’re just bad. They’re all bad. The players are bad, the coaches are bad, at this point I’m even going to say that the equipment managers who set out the uniforms are bad.
Among Big 12 schools, only Kansas and Oklahoma State have given up more points than Oklahoma’s 282 this season. Now, I’m looking at Will Grier and company and I’m seeing the second highest scoring offense in the conference and I don’t want the ball in his hands.
Chew up the clock while you’re chewing up yards on the ground. That could very well be Oklahoma’s best defensive strategy on Friday night.
Make The Possessions Count
If you’re limiting possessions by grinding away at the clock then you’re making each time West Virginia gets the ball more valuable.
Oklahoma has been here before. They’ve played for, and won, championships. This is as deep as the Mountaineers have ever made it towards the Big 12 championship. The tenancy with limited possessions is to make mistakes and truthfully OU needs West Virginia to make some mistakes.
Kyler Murray Is The Most Dangerous College Football Player In America
In the thick of the Heisman hunt it is absolutely possible for Murray to advance his cause by rushing for 100 yards are more while leading his team to the conference championship game. Defensive coordinators don’t sleep at night because of the threat that Murray poses. Even Dana Holgorsen said this week that Murray can’t be stopped.
Committing Kyler Murray to the run will only make the pass more dangerous.
The Numbers Favor Oklahoma
The Sooners’ offensive line is just nasty. They want to demoralize you and they know the best way to do that is by running right over you. They would love a game plan like this because it plays to their, “dominate the trenches” mentality.
West Virginia is giving up an average of 3.69 yards every time an opponent runs the football. That’s a first down, by an extra yard, every third time you run the ball.
Kennedy Brooks is averaging 9.9 yards per carry on the season and Kyler Murray isn’t too far behind at 7.1 yards per carry.
How can you not like those odds?
The End Result Is All That Matters
Here’s your Captain Obvious statement of the weekend. A loss here ruins Oklahoma. They’re already a long-shot for the playoffs but a loss in Morgantown absolutely eliminates them. It also ends OU’s historic run of dominance in the Big 12 and crushes Kyler Murray’s Heisman chances.
That’s a lot on the line! Are you good with trusting Oklahoma to win a shootout, on the road, with this defense? I’m not!
Let’s run the ball then. Whaddya say?