OU vs Kansas: 5 Keys to Victory


Sep 28, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Blake Bell (10) runs with the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Oklahoma defeats Notre Dame 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


Its no secret the OU offense has been horrible so far in Big XII contests. The Sooners have been unable to get the ball to Sterling Shepard and Jalen Saunders during these games and I think this is partially to blame for the difficulty they are experiencing on offense. Blake Bell has been off it seems against both Texas and TCU. The coaches have been quick to blame the offensive struggles on players around Bell, but in my opinion some of the blame has to fall on him. It seems to me like even though he is mobile when running the ball his ability to move around the pocket and extend the play to get receivers open is severely lacking. All of these factors have led to Oklahoma averaging just 134 yards per game during Big XII play. While not necessarily imperative this week against the Jayhawks the Sooners will need to get the pass game going to have some momentum going into the game next week against an undefeated Tech team.


The inability to manufacture big plays has hurt Oklahoma this season and in my opinion is the reason we ended up losing to Texas. Sterling Shepard and Jalen Saunders have hardly any receptions in conference plays and have not went for over 100 yards in any game. The running game has not created alot of big plays, but the offense has averaged over 5 yards per carry for the season and that is not the problem. I think the key to creating more big plays is getting the ball to the receivers and incorporating Roy Finch into the offense more. If the offense still struggles against Kansas, I think Stoops should put Thompson in at quarterback.


Stopping the run has not really been a problem this year, but against Texas that was finally the straw that broke the defenses back. Jordan Wade and Dominique Alexander will need to step up and fill the gap left by Jordan Phillips and Corey Nelson for the defense to be as effective against the run as it has been earlier in the season.


Turnover differential is important in any game and it will be in Lawrence this weekend as well. The secondary will need to control the receivers and pick off the ball if possible. Equally as important Blake Bell and the offense will need to protect the ball.


Special teams can break a game wide open and as Sooner fans witnessed against Texas a big punt or kick off return can be the difference in momentum in the game. Roy Finch contributed a large amount on kick off return last week and should be counted on again this week to a threat in the return game. As we saw last year Jalen Saunders can be a game breaker at punt returner if given room. The coverage team will need to play well to prevent what happened last week against Texas.