How do you process a game like this? Overreact? Play "Michael Row the Boat Ashore” on acoustic guitar and ignore it?
At times, OU looked unstoppable. At other times, the Sooners simply stopped themselves. To me, it looks like OU’s Columbus hangover extended into the second game. To be fair, Baylor got back about 10 key players and changed back to the regular Baylor offense, not the Matt Rhule offense.
Abdul Adams and Trey Sermon
The running backs have made the doubts about replacing Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine seem irrelevant. Adams early and Sermon late provided a powerful one-two RB duo.
Adams' 99 yard cross-country bolt for a TD should erase most doubts that he does not have home run speed. He’s rounded into form and looks like the best overall back.
Sermon’s fourth-quarter impersonation of Perine was just as effective. He pounded Baylor defenders and made yards after contact, showing moves to finish runs.
This RB group behind this offensive line is trending in the right direction. Adams and Sermon might not be NFL starters, but their ceilings at RB are very high.
It is still clicking at times. Baker Mayfield’s passes to Mark Andrews in the first quarter were amazing. The 52-yard TD to Dmitri Flowers was a great play call. Jeff Badet’s touchdown came off a perfect pass from Mayfield.
If anything, the deep passing game was too good, and Riley started relying on it too much.
The Not so Good as Usual
While OU put up more than 600 yards and scored 49 points, the OL had an average game with six holding calls. One stopped OU from winning 49-34 and putting the game away.
Mayfield going deep
Mayfield again had a very efficient game at times, but he and Riley are still focusing on too many low-percentage deep strikes when intermediate passes are there. OU needs to move
the chains just as much as they need to push the field downfield – just looking for some balance.
Riley’s play calling is connected to this issue as well, and he said as much. Too aggressive at times.
OU gave up two touchdown plays that went 70-plus yards. The Sooners had a terrible time getting off the field. OU seemed like it was just moments away from sacking Zach Smith over a dozen times.
To be fair, did OU prepare for this old Baylor offense? And OU’s secondary depth was taking huge hits, with injuries at safety and cornerback. Those reduced Mike Stoops' coverage schemes and options. Even with all that, Stoops still seemed passive at times, only rushing three and giving too much cushion on third and short.
Also, on third and long, is OU getting its best pass-rushing package on the field?
I don’t have a huge problem with OU getting nailed for six holding calls, mostly while running the ball. But you cannot then not call many of the egregious pass protection holds by Baylor. The penalty disparity was crazy.
OU's onside kick
Overall, I don’t have a problem with trying to steal a possession if the receiving team leaves a clear opening. That was the case here.
But onside kicks also have a psychological boost, and OU didn’t get that. If anything, the emotion swung the other way and gave Baylor a boost. The call was unnecessary.
Fumbles, injuries, penalties, execution
The Sooners constantly got in their own way on Saturday. It sounds like a total cop out, but OU looked like a tired team. Once the injuries started, it only got worse.