Five Takeaways From the Sooners’ Victory Over West Virginia

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The Defense Was Opportunistic

Oct 3, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Eric Striker (19) pressures West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Skyler Howard (3) in the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively, the Sooners left a lot to be desired in the Tulsa game. The unit improved against West Virginia: as the Sooners raced to a 24 – 7 first half lead, the defense played much better as they held the Mountaineers to a single score.

But during the third quarter, the defense regressed back to porous mode as West Virginia cut the OU lead down to three points with 58 seconds left in the third quarter. The fourth quarter, however, saw the OU defense find its fangs once again as they forced and recovered a Skyler Howard fumble and intercepted him twice. Those turnovers led to ten Oklahoma points and allowed the Sooners to put away the Mountaineers for good.

So, even though the defense did not play a complete game, they made enough plays to allow the OU offense – which sputtered during the third quarter – to ice the game. Eric Striker led all defenders with 13 tackles, including three for losses and two sacks. Jordan Thomas also had a stellar day as he snagged two interceptions. Moving forward, OU’s defense must continue to improve, with a focus on putting together complete games with no lapses that allow opponents to get back in the game. The majority of the offenses in the Big 12 are just too good and will exploit such opportunities.

Next: The Receiver Corps Is Quickly Becoming a Strength