Sooner Football Stat of the Week: Owning the Second Half


To borrow from the maxim, “It’s now how you start, but how you finish…,” there probably isn’t a more telling description of how the Sooner football season has gone through the opening three games.

While some OU fans would prefer to their team get is engines rolling Sooner in the game than later, truth be told, it is how Oklahoma has finished out that has paid the biggest dividends thus far in 2015.

The second half of games has been golden for the Crimson and Cream this season – and not just on offense, on defense as well.

Sep 19, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Mark Andrews (81) and Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jarvis Baxter (1) celebrate in the endzone after scoring a touchdown against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane during the third quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners have outscored their three opponents 59-14 in the second half in regulation. The win at Tennessee was a perfect example of how strong OU has come out in the second half. The Volunteers dominated the Sooners on both sides of the ball in the opening 30 minutes of that game, taking a 17-3 advantage into halftime, but after intermission, the tide flowed totally in the opposite direction.

The OU defense locked down, holding the Tennessee offense scoreless in the second half, while the Sooner offense turned on the jets and produced a game-tying 14 points and more offensive yardage than it had in the first three quarters of the game.

In the season opener against Akron, OU outscored the Zips 24-0 in the second half, and the Sooners owned the second half over the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa in their most recent victory, with a 21-14 advantage.

The second half of Saturday’s game with West Virginia could be particularly telling, because the Mountaineers also appear to be a good second-half team, scoring 49 of their total 85 points this season over the final 30 minutes, while holding their opponents to just 17 total second-half points.

It also should be noted that the Mountaineers have shut out their 2015 opponents in the first half, not allowing a single tally in their three wins to start the season. Oklahoma has scored 51 of its 124 points this season in the opening two quarters (20 in the first and 31 in the second quarter).

Statistically speaking, how the Sooners and West Virginia do in the third quarter could well be a strong barometer on which team prevails at the final gun. Oklahoma has scored 35 points and given up 7 in the third quarter, while the Mountaineers have outscored their opponents 28-7 in the opening quarter of the second half.

What this tell us is that the Sooners and the visiting Mountaineers may be just starting to get heated up by halftime on Saturday.