NORMAN — No matter how it’s cut, Oklahoma won on Saturday. The 42-34 victory over Baylor is in the record books for good.
However, anyone involved with the Sooners’ defense wasn’t in a good mood early Saturday night. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops led the chorus of frustration.
“We could never get a grasp on the run game,” he said. “Didn’t have a good enough plan. Didn’t tackle good enough. Didn’t execute good enough. We got out-executed pretty badly in the run game and that’s something we need to evaluate as a staff, and certainly, what we were trying to do, it’s a hard preparation.”
The Sooners held Baylor to a very respectable 424 yards. Nevertheless, Baylor rushed for 252 yards on Saturday and all four of their touchdowns were on the ground.
OU head coach Bob Stoops admitted on Saturday the Sooners decided it was more important to take away the Bears’ passing game and was willing to live with the consequences of the Bears running the ball.
There were times when OU played with seven defensive backs and left a 20-yard gap in the middle of the gap between the defensive line and the safeties.
What irked Mike Stoops was the lack of any game-changing plays by his unit.
“You’ve gotta get some turnovers against these guys; that kept them in the game,” he said. “We couldn’t get a deflection ... something. You’ve gotta make a play at some point.”
The victory over the Bears was the first of three straight games against three of the Big 12’s best offenses. Next up is a meeting with West Virginia (5-4, 2-4), which is averaging 40.0 points and 480.2 yards per game.
Turnovers have been the Achilles’ heel of the no-huddle spread offense. The Sooners managed to slow Baylor without getting any. Trying to slow the Mountaineers or Oklahoma State, which OU faces in the home finale on Nov. 24, without an interception or a fumble isn’t advisable.