As a Sooner fan, I know I'm supposed to feel good about Saturday's 35-10 win over TCU.
I mean, quarterback Sam Bradford threw for a career-best 411 yards. The offense torched the Horned Frogs' vaunted defense for 35 points. Holding the 24th-ranked team in the country to just 10 points is impressive as well. To top all that off, OU avenged one of the worst losses in team history under coach Bob Stoops. So why did it feel so unsatisfying?
Offensively, the lack of a consistent running game was troubling. Gary Patterson clearly decided to sell out to stop the run all night, which led to all of the Sooners' success through the air. Given OU's physical advantage, that certainly makes sense. Still, as good as OU's offensive line is supposed to be, 25 rushing yards is troubling. Also, was it just me, or did it seem like the Sooners' passing game took advantage of multiple blown assignments on the part of TCU's defensive backs?
The OU defense gave up more than 300 yards to TCU's decidedly mediocre offensive attack. The big reason for the 25-point margin was really the four turnovers caused by OU defenders. I just don't feel comfortable relying on forced fumbles and intercepting tipped passes all year.
Lastly, the kickoff coverage remains terrible, reflecting the poor tackling that has plagued the Sooners for the last few years.
Granted, this may seem like nitpicking. If you need evidence of what makes those kinds of things important, look at Oregon State's upset of USC on Thursday night. The Beavers capitalized on the Trojans' tendency to overrun ball carriers, gashing the USC D's interior with cutback runs all night. There's no doubt USC is a superior team to OSU from a talent standpoint, but that one fatal flaw turned out to be the Trojans' undoing.
OU has the players to line up and beat any team in the country. At some point this season, though, that's not going to be enough if opponents (see: Texas) have the personnel to put pressure on Bradford or stuff OU's run game without loading the box.