5 Keys to the Game: Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech

Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech

Oct 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners receiver Sterling Shepard (3) runs with the ball against Texas Longhorns buck Jackson Jeffcoat (44) in the first quarter of the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

GET THE BALL TO STERLING

I have said it again and again that if Oklahoma wants to successful with Josh Heupel as the offensive coordinator they will have to throw the ball. I honestly do not think that Heupel knows how to run an offense that has a small time air game. In my opinion the key to getting the ball moving through the air is getting the ball to Sterling Sheppard, the guy is a playmaker. We have other ball  players at wide receivers, but the road for a passing game runs straight to Sterling Sheppard. During the Kansas game when the offense needed a spark Heupel went to Sterling on a trick play and he delivered. For the 3rd week in a row I say the key to winning this game is going to the air, but this time get Sterling the ball he will get the offense going.

LIMIT JACE AMARO

Imagine a 6 foot 5 receiver that is 260 pounds many Sooner fans can not because we can not seem to find a tight end, but if you can you have Jace Amaro. With the game on the line against West Virginia Amaro told Kingsbury to put the game on his back and he’d win them the game, guess what he won them the game. This tight end is in my opinion the best receiving tight end in the nation, and if the defense expects to slow down Tech’s air game at all they’ll need to limit his touches. Mike Stoops needs to find a player that can stick with him all game, and my vote for that player is Cortez Johnson. My reasoning here is I think he is honestly too fast for a linebacker or Julian Wilson and Cortez is a big bodied, physical corner that I think can get the job done. If for some reason they are unable to limit this guy, the Sooner defense will have a very long 4 quarters against this Texas Tech offense.

GET PRESSURE ON THE QUARTERBACK

To be clear this is not something the Sooner defense has struggled with, heck Eric Stryker is one of the best pass rushers in the Big XII in my opinion, but getting to the quarterback creates turnovers, and we will need turnovers to win this game. The Texas Tech quarterbacks are young, but they have been tested a couple times. The Sooners will need to make whichever one plays look their age, and or like a walk on quarterback. Both have played stellar and have had their bad games, and as Oklahoma fans know a first year starter struggles. The pocket needs to be an uncomfortable place for their quarterbacks. They need to be getting pressured on every drop back and sacked at least a couple times. We will see Saturday how Mike decides to do this.

RUN THE BALL EFFECTIVELY

Blake Bell is not a straight drop back quarterback like we have had in the past, but he adds an option game that Sooner fans have not seen in a long time. I think the Sooners need to pound the ball with Blake, Brennan, Damian, and Keith Ford to start the game, and continue to use the run game throughout the game to open up passing lanes. Another aspect of the game that a run game helps with is giving the defense rest, with limited help in the middle due to injuries the defense will need as much rest as it can get to stop this Texas Tech offense. If Oklahoma can run the ball effectively, I believe that they can grind out a win against a Texas Tech team. I would like to add that I do not think the offense is capable or winning a shootout with Tech, at least not from the sample of games that I have seen.

SPECIAL TEAMS

This has been on here for two weeks in a row now, and you know why because its a bigger aspect of the game then most people give it credit for. We had a punt blocked against Kansas and that led to a Jayhawk touchdown. We need to execute on special teams especially if this game turns out to be a close one. Exactly like I said last week a game can be won or lost by a huge momentum swing on a kick off return or blocked field goal. If you do not believe me about this just ask Michigan how they feel about Appalachian State.

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