While the Oklahoma defense has been giving coaches and fans fits over the past three weeks, the Sooner offense has been rolling along like an Abrams tank. Since the loss to Notre Dame, the Sooners are scoring at a clip of 44.5 points per game.
“I have never been associated with a football game where we got 44 first downs; that is pretty amazing really,” said Co-Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell. “We are quite capable of functioning at a very high level, and we have the last two weeks, but the margin of error is very small.”
Actually, over the past three weeks, the Sooners have thrown for 1336 yards and 1740 yards of total offense. That’s 445 yards per game through the air and 580 yards of total offense per game.
Most of the credit for the offensive explosion has to go to senior quarterback Landry Jones, who has led the Sooners to game winning touchdowns in each of the past two weeks.
“He’s played really well,” said Co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel. “He’s in a good rhythm and the guys around him are playing at a high level; that makes his job a little easier. He’s been good, for the most part, in taking care of the ball. We’ve put a lot on him the past couple of weeks, and he’s been able to carry the load and produce in some tough situations.”
Of course the guys catching the football have really come around over the course of the season as well. Many consider the Sooner receivers one of the best units in the country.
“It certainly changed us,” said Heupel. “The arrival of Jalen [Saunders and Justin Brown], allowing us to move Kenny [Stills] to the outside. It changed some of our sets. I think both those guys have been real threats on the inside. It changes the way defenses play; it makes it difficult to defend when you can spread the ball around the entire field.”
One huge stat that got overlooked in the OSU game was the offensive line giving up just one sack in 71 passing attempts. With two major losses along the line in pre-season and most of the guys up front playing with some type of injury right now, the “O” line has been outstanding, despite a lack of success running the football.
“I thought we had some depth heading into the preseason; by the third day of training camp you saw that go away,” said Heupel. “Guys have battled and kept themselves on the field when they could and have played well when given the opportunity. We’ve been thin here down the stretch and those guys have competed in a really good way.”
“At the end of the day you put 11 guys out there and you’ve got to trust all of them. I trust those guys whether we’re running the ball or dropping back. Saturday will be another test for all of us.”
The test Heupel speaks of is against TCU, who the offensive coaches believe will feature one of the best defenses that the Sooners have seen this season.
Mike DellaVecchio will preview the OU offensive and TCU defensive matchup later on Thursday.
The Sooners and Horned Frogs will kick off at 11:00 on Saturday morning in Fort Worth.