Oklahoma biggest offensive obstacle on Saturday should be avoiding the letdown a week after beating Texas. Based on the way the first seven weeks of the college football season have played out, the Sooners should find little resistance from an inexperienced and undermanned West Virginia defense when they host the Mountaineers for Homecoming.
Keys To Success
Run The Ball | This is about as simple as it gets. Oklahoma is one of the best rushing teams in the country and West Virginia is one of the worst at defending the run.
Heading into Saturday’s game, the Sooners are chewing up 286.3 yards per game on the ground and the Mountaineers are giving up 174.8 to opponents.
Oklahoma’s offense is hard enough to defend as it is but when you can’t stop the run Lincoln Riley has an extremely unfair advantage.
Protect The Ball | This should go without saying but here we are. Turnovers have been the elephant in the room with Oklahoma’s offense this season and unfortunately they all fall on Jalen Hurts. The Heisman hopeful has thrown three interceptions this season while also losing three fumbles. He is solely responsible for all six of the OU turnovers this season.
This shouldn’t be a game where Hurts feels any pressure to be the guy to make a play. There shouldn’t be a need to force a pass or grind out for an extra yard or two. Look for Hurts to be more focused on ball security, meaning we could easily see him tuck and run more often as well as just throw the ball away.
Take Advantage Of Downfield Opportunities | Riley’s offense uses the run to set up the pass and there should be ample opportunity to take downfield shots. The Mountaineers are going to have to figure out if they want to sell out in an effort to stop the run or try to play balanced. Either way it opens the door for downfield opportunities.
Players To Watch
As usual Oklahoma’s offense will run through Jalen Hurts. He should be on pace for another big afternoon but look for these two guys to join him in having a huge impact.
Trey Sermon | Perhaps a little bit of a sentimental pick here because I expect Oklahoma’s running backs to have a huge day. However, Sermon was left in the cold last week at the Cotton Bowl by not earning a single carry in the game. I fully expect Lincoln Riley to make up for that and I fully expect Sermon to take advantage of any and all opportunities that may come his way.
Charleston Rambo | Yeah, I know. CeeDee Lamb should be the pick here but this just sets up for one of those days when Rambo gets in on a monster play or two. With the Mountaineers being limited on the defensive side of the ball, and with Lamb coming off a career day against Texas I fully expect WVU make Lamb a primary focal point of their defense. This should put Lamb in some one-on-one opportunities and we all know how much Lincoln Riley loves to expose those type of match-ups.
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