The Oklahoma juggernaut fell apart this last weekend versus Texas. It was a hard-fought game, but in another big game the Sooners came out with a loss.
This is not to say they are losers, as those on the field played hard and kept the game close even as time ran out. But in the interest of learning from this loss, certain changes must be made.
1) Find a replacement for Ryan Reynolds.
After Reynolds tore his ACL and left the game, Texas went on a 25-point tear to clinch the win. The middle linebacker was the heart of the defense. Seeing as he’s out for the season (if not finished with football for good), someone on the defense needs to step up and fill his shoes. If not, then the defense as a whole just went from stellar to average.
2) Give Sam Bradford his legs back.
Not once during the OU-Texas game did Bradford change the play from the line of scrimmage. Normally this is a good thing, but Bradford has a knack for making the right call at the right moment. Only once this season has a play he’s called failed to produce yardage. Coaches take note—if you kept him from making calls in this game, then you failed.
3) Improve special teams play.
Special teams play has been the weak link in the Sooners’ play all season. Giving the opposing team excellent field position off a punt or allowing them to score is a momentum changer. It loses games in the end. Find a solution to this problem. Now.
4) Use the entire playbook.
Defenses are getting too many looks at the same plays. There are only so many times that you can line RB Chris Brown up in the backfield without the defensive line knowing exactly where he is headed.
Will these four suggestions get Oklahoma back into the hunt for the National Championship? It’s possible. This year anything is possible.
Luckily for Oklahoma they have a whole team of players who not only know the game, but also play hard. No one is quitting. Now it’s up to the coaches to follow that example.