Lots of people believe the Oklahoma Sooners have no chance to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide on January 2. The Allstate Sugar Bowl would be a colossal win for Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma program, and while a lot of people don’t believe it can happen, 10 wins did not seem all that likely either. OU faced adversity all season long, but managed to win 10 games and get one last shot at a BCS Bowl win. How did they do it? Well one-on-one, let’s see how the Sooners pulled off each win.
The second week of the season brought one of the Big 12‘s newest members to Norman for the first time since 1978. The West Virginia Mountaineers gave the Sooners an all-out battle in Morgantown last season, but without Tavon Austin and Geno Smith, it was uncertain how Dana Holgerson could duplicate such a potent offense.
Dreamius Smith seemed to answer that question early. The junior tailback from Wichita ran 75 yards in to the end zone six minutes in to the game.
Oklahoma fans, who showed their support by striping the stadium, thought it might be another shootout. However, it was the exact opposite of last year’s thriller.
Despite struggles with Oklahoma’s offense, Trevor Knight found Trey Millard early in the second quarter to take the lead for the Sooners. OU would never lose that lead, and would make a quarterback change, but the team outlasted a West Virginia team that had more than enough struggles this season.
Oklahoma won their second game, but this one raised plenty of questions. Who would be the starter against Tulsa?
Well, the quarterback change was a decision forced by a Trevor Knight injury, though, fans gave the Belldozer a gracious ovation when he entered the game.
The lesson from this game, that Oklahoma can utilize against Alabama is to not be rattled by “the big play.” The Alabama Crimson Tide have more than enough weapons to give OU’s defense problems, but even if Alabama gets out early, the Sooners have to keep calm.
OU had the support of their home crowd, but they will not have to walk in to Tuscaloosa. The Sooners need to stick to their guns and play lights out defense.
The defense held the Mountaineers the rest of the game, and while the offense struggled to find rhythm, Brennan Clay amassed 170 yards on 22 carries. He could not find the end zone, but Oklahoma was able to pull out the victory regardless.
Oklahoma will need Clay to power through the Alabama defense, which undoubtedly will be the toughest test of his career.