#7 Oklahoma vs. Kent State | Three Questions About The Sooners

Oklahoma checked all of the boxes last weekend in its 45-13 win over UTEP to start the season. The offense showed success on offense and flashed the fast-pace tempo that we have been told about. The defense looked dominating up front and was relentless in the backfield, recording six sacks and disrupting multiple other plays. Now, as they get ready for the second act of the 2022 season, we’ve got a few things we’re wondering about as Kent State comes to town.

Can The Defense Force Turnovers?

In the grans scheme of things the Sooner defense was really good last weekend. OU held UTEP scoreless in the first and third quarters and allowed just a field goal over the final thirty minutes of the game. That said, the defense only recorded one turnover and it came in the closing seconds when Gentry Williams picked off Calvin Brownholtz in the end zone.

The Golden Flashes threw three interceptions during last week’s visit to Washington. The Huskie don’t appear to have the same type of push up front as what the Sooners will present so it’s logical to thing that added pressure might increase the opportunities to snag a more interceptions than what they did a week ago.

Starting quarterback Collin Schlee was guilty of two of the picks but he did throw the only touchdown pass for Kent State on the day. Backup quarterback Devin Kargman completed just two of his five pass attempts and also tossed the third pick of the day for the offense.

At What Point Will Jeff Lebby Take His Foot Off The Gas?

After the first three offensive possessions it was clear that Jeff Lebby and the Sooner offense could pretty much do whatever they wanted against the UTEP defense. Believe it or not, they will face a secondary that’s not quite up to par with what UTEP brought in last weekend. U-Dub quarterback Michael Penix threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns last week as the Huskies posted a 45-20 win over the Golden Flashes.

How much will Lebby want to see of the first unit of the offense a week before the Nebraska game? That’s going to factor in a lot more than the Kent State defense in terms of the number of points Oklahoma puts on the board. Second team quarterback Davis Beville didn’t get to throw a pass last week and back up running backs Jovantae Barnes and Tawee Walker were limited to a combined total of six carries. Will they have the opportunity to do more this Saturday?

Will The Sooners Play A More Clean Game?

The Sooners were flagged seven times last week for a total of 59 yards. Twice UTEP had scoring drives that were extended by pass interference penalties on the Sooners. Granted the call against Trey Morrison was highly questionable but at the end of the day it still provided an opportunity for the Miners to put points on the board.

Neither of the pass interference calls, as questionable as they may have been, can explain away the holding and false start penalties that were flagged though. Can the Sooners clean that up? Just as pass interference penalties can extend drives for opponents, offensive line penalties can stall drives for Dillon Gabriel and the offense. Either way, it probably wouldn’t matter one way or the other with this game but moving forward those type of mistakes can be game changers.

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