Three Things We Learned from Oklahoma’s Victory Over Tennessee


The fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners had their chance to impress the country Saturday night when they face the Tennessee Volunteers on a national stage.

Oklahoma did not disappoint, as their defense was stifling throughout the game—forcing five sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble. The defense also held Tennessee QB Justin Worley to only 21/44 passing and picked him off twice. The win sent a message to the nation that Oklahoma is for real. Here are three things we learned from the game:

1. The Oklahoma defense can make a case for the best in the nation.

The defense ranked first in the Big 12 last season, but this year, they may make a case for #1 in the country.

The defensive line held Tennessee to negative rushing yards at the half and got Tennessee QB Justin Worley under pressure throughout the whole game. Eric Striker also has an argument for one of the best defensive players in the country.

He’s arguably one of the nation’s best pass rushers and he’s also great in dropping back and covering receivers. It seems like Striker is in every play, making a tackle or sack, or placing pressure on the quarterback. If this defense can stay healthy, it can become something very special.

2. Third down offense needs to improve.

The offense overall was good in this game. Inconsistent at times, but overall, they did what it needed to. One area they need to improve is 3rd down efficiency. OU was 3/12 on third downs. That’s only good for 25%.

Trevor Knight, Sterling Shepard, and the talented running backs need to find a way to convert on third down better. The defense had to bail out the offense many times due to the offense stalling, though credit Tennessee’s defense.

3. Trevor Knight (and Bob Stoops) love SEC defenses.

Trevor Knight threw for over 300 yards, one passing touchdown, and scored six on his feet. It was the second time he’s thrown for over 300 yards. The other time was the Sugar Bowl against Alabama.

Knight has embraced his role and has become very accurate throwing the football. There were about three of four passes where the receivers picked a big yardage after the catch. Knight started those by leading the receivers to the perfect place and putting the ball in the right spots to allow his receivers to get free. If there were any more doubts about Trevor Knight, they’re gone now.

Now at 3-0, the Sooners move on to Week 4 when they take the not-so-fun trip to Morgantown where they’ll take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Last time the Sooners were there, Landry Jones threw the game winning touchdown to Kenny Stills in a game that featured no defense by either team. We can be sure we’ll see a lot less scoring this Saturday with the Sooners defense getting back to the way it always has been under Mike Stoops.

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