OU football: Sooners to improve offense fresh off bye week
Ben Williams, The Oklahoma Daily
After idling two of the last three weeks, the No. 17 Oklahoma football team finally can start to settle into a successful cadence the team says it has been missing during the first five weeks of the season.
The Sooners were victims of the Big 12 Conference’s realignment rescheduling that turned a previously nonconference foe — TCU — into this season’s conference finale opponent, while leaving two open dates in close proximity on OU’s calendar.
The players didn’t allow the unbalanced schedule to become an excuse for coming up short against Kansas State in OU’s Big 12 opener, but they did admit that getting the idle weeks out of the way allow the Sooners to build on a tempo week after week.
“It almost feels like this week is the start of the season after all of the bye weeks,” junior linebacker Tom Wort said. “It’s been hard to get in a rhythm and stay sharp, but I think we did a pretty good job.”
Since 2001, there hasn’t been a season when Oklahoma had two bye weeks in the same month. This year, the Sooners had two off weeks before the end of September.
“You barely get started and you have two bye weeks,” Wort said. “It’s a tough schedule, but now were going to hit the stretch and get in that rhythm.”
And OU’s schedule doesn’t get any easier.
The Big 12 flexed its offensive muscles during both the Texas-Oklahoma State and West Virginia-Baylor match-ups last weekend. All four teams combined for more than 2,500 yards of total offense and 210 total points where the wins were decided by single-digits. And OU has all four of them left on its schedule.
The Sooners also have a tough conference matchup this weekend against the nation’s fifth-best defense. Texas Tech has allowed opponents to average only 10.8 points per game, while averaging 43.8 points per game on offense.
But regardless of whether OU can escape Lubbock with a victory, the Sooners can be certain of one thing: They won’t have anymore off weeks to wait for the opposition.
“(It was) pretty awkward,” junior center Gabe Ikard said. “But our coaches made sure we stayed on edge, and now we have nine straight weeks of the grind.”