No. 9 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) survived a close one Saturday night, beating Iowa State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) 42-41 on a game saving play by Parnell Motley.
After the game, sports editor George Stoia answered all of your questions concerning the Sooners:
@astoiahenderson: If you were Alex Grinch how would you deal with the Bookie penalty- especially since it was away from the play?
Make him run stadium steps. Obviously you can't do things like that, but Bookie is also, right now, Oklahoma's only reliable option at the nickel position.
The kid made a huge mistake. I'm sure Grinch and Riley will handle it internally and make sure it doesn't happen again.
@soonerfan432: Was this the o-line’s worse showing yet? Seemed like free rusher every time. Is there a problem for the defense getting pressure now?
It was bad. I would probably say it's up there with the South Dakota game, which is weird because offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has been praising them for the last three weeks.
There does seem to be a problem getting pressure and I'm not exactly sure why. Neville Gallimore has basically been ineffective since the Texas game, as well as guys like Jalen Redmond, Marcus Stripling, LaRon Stokes, among others. I will say, Iowa State and Kansas State do have two of the better offensive lines in the conference. Baylor does not.
@spencer_m_king: Why has Riley abandoned the short passing game? The short passes, the swing passes, getting the ball out of Hurts’ hands quickly? Is this Jalen driven or what?
Great question. I think there a lot of questions about the offense that no one quite understands. Like, why isn't Jadon Haselwood playing anymore? And where has the run game gone?
As for short passes, I think offensively Oklahoma is stuck in this mode of "pass it to CeeDee Lamb and hope for the best" at times. And a lot of times that works. I think part of it is Riley hoping to hit the homerun play every time as well as Hurts not being patient and also wanting to hit the homerun play.
As for the run game, they ran well Saturday. Kennedy Brooks, when given the opportunity, was exceptional. But really baffles me how Riley has abandoned the run the last two games when his team goes up by a couple scores. I think he really needs to give Rhamondre Stevenson some carries, because he might just be Oklahoma's most talented back. It really makes little sense.
@spartand34: What happened to 'Speed D?'
They're banged up. That's the honest truth of this defense.
Remember the beginning of the year when Grinch would sub guys in and out on every possession? He's not doing that near as much anymore. Guys are hurt and it shows.
Also, teams know what Oklahoma is doing now. They're able to game plan around guys like Kenneth Murray and Gallimore. They're making OU's playmakers non-factors.
@harrisontarr15: Not necessarily an OU question, but also relevant. If you’re Matt Campbell, do you go for two at the end of the game or do you take the PAT?
You have to go for two there, in my opinion. You have all the momentum and OU couldn't stop you. And truthfully, Iowa State should have got it. The referees could have called pass interference on Parnell Motley, but also Brock Purdy had Charlie Kolar wide open.
@Blake_Cramer: Can I just start getting excited about Rattler and the team next year? I don’t want this team playing Ohio State or LSU.
Yes, you can. And yeah, I don't think any Sooner fan wants that.
But hey, you never know. Anything can happen in college football, right?
@corinnermelton: Why does Jalen Hurts drive me bonkers?
Because he's a 22-year-old kid that makes mistakes. I'm 23 and I know I drive my mom crazy every day. It happens.
Also, he's not Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray. I know he's putting up stats like them, but he is nowhere near the passer even them were. He's going to make a bad throw every once and awhile.
@manfordou: Is the main thing still the main thing?
If winning is the main thing, I would assume yes.
@allie_tompkins: What is with this defense?! Can Grinch get them into shape before Baylor next week?
The defense is just inconsistent. They show flashes of being a great defense about three or four possessions a game. Then on about three or four possessions a game they look like the 2018 defense.
OU fans need to stay patient with Grinch. Fixing a defense doesn't happen in one season and definitely not over night. It's going to take a couple years. I think they're going to be just fine. Also remember that when the offense only scores seven points in the second half, that's a lot of pressure on the defense to continue to get stops.
@Momma_Bame: 2-point conversion doesn't count on the books as a take away. How long until we do see a take away?
I think they get one next week against Baylor. Big time players step up in big time games, right?
(I'm looking at you, Kenneth Murray.)
@TanNewman: Yes George, umm why do we suck again?
They don't suck. They're just not a national title contender, right now in my opinion. Can they get there by the end of the season? Maybe.
But OU is a good football team. The Sooners should win a fifth-straight Big 12 title. And I know those are getting old, but that is still undoubtly impressive.
@WeInventedIt: When we will have a team that is worthy of a top 10 ranking?
This year. This may not be a playoff team, but this a top 10 team in the country.
@allie_tompkins: We definitely drop in the rankings, right?
I think they stay put at No. 9. If they would have blown Iowa State out, I think they could have jumped up all the way to No. 6.