OU Football: Sooner Stat of the Week


For the season, the OU football offense has been fairly balanced between running plays and passing plays. The circumstances of every week, including what opposing defenses are allowing the Sooners to do on offense, dictate how well or how much a team is able to keep its run-pass ratio in balance.

It is true that Oklahoma is looking to throw the ball more in its new Air Raid offense, but Bob Stoops is also a strong advocate of running the football, if for no other reason than to create more opportunities in the passing game. In the 2015 season, the Sooners have run the football 58 percent of the time, and 42 percent of there offensive plays have been passes.

What’s interesting about that run-pass ratio through seven games in 2015 is that it is surprisingly close to the run-pass mix of the previous season, when the passing game was not as reliable and OU seemed to feel more confident keeping the ball on the ground. The Sooners run-pass mixture in 2014 was right at 60 percent run plays, 40 percent passing downs.

Oct 24, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) stiffarms Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive back Jah

In posting a 55-point win over Kansas State, followed by a 36-point margin of victory over Texas Tech on Saturday, OU ran the ball a combined 109 times out of 163 total offensive plays. That means that in their past two games (with rushing totals of 232 and 405 yards), the Sooners have reverted to the run game 67 percent of the time.

With the huge success they were having attacking on the ground against Texas Tech, the percentage of run plays went up to 72 percent (57 of 79 total plays on offense).

In the past two games alone, Oklahoma has produced almost half of its total rushing yardage of the season (637 of a 1,358 total rushing yards through seven games).

All of this to bring us to the Sooner football stat of the week: 43.

That represents the number of spots Oklahoma moved up in the national rankings in average rushing yards per game.

Before exploding for 405 yards on the ground against a very bad Texas Tech run defense, the Sooners ranked 84th in the country in rushing offense among 127 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams. This week the OU run game stands at No. 39 in the nation.

Heading into the Kansas State game, one game after being held by Texas to just 65 yards on the ground, the Oklahoma offense was averaging a mere 144 rushing yards per game, 120 yards-per-game fewer than its league-leading average just one year earlier.

Samaje Perine, the Big 12 rushing leader in 2014, exceeded the 200-yard rushing mark Saturday against Texas Tech, the fourth time in his relatively short OU career that he has achieved that feat. Perine set an NCAA record with 427 rushing yards last season against Kansas, the Sooners’ opponent this coming weekend.

As good as the Sooner rushing attack has been in the last two games, it would be a mistake to overlook the other half of the OU offense: When the Sooners attack through the air.

Led by quarterback Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma also is picking up plenty of yards through the air this season. The Sooners are averaging 313 passing yards per game, 18th best in the nation halfway through the 2015 season.