Claremore Daily Progress

September 9, 2012

HORNING: Which Sooners team will show up two weeks from now?

CNHI News Services

NORMAN — It had all the signs. Landry Jones threw another couple of passes right to the other team and this time one of them was picked off.

Kenny Stills, showed signs of the old Kenny Stills, flat dropping a ball that would have been a touchdown.

During one stretch, Oklahoma gave away consecutive drives to turnovers. And that secondary that stood out as a bright spot against UTEP the week before looked like it was back in Waco last season when Florida A&M hit on a 75-yard touchdown.

Hard to remember by the time it was over, but yes, all of that happened Saturday night at Owen Field, where the Sooners eventually looked a lot more like they’re supposed to in a 69-13 victory over Florida A&M.

By the time it was over, OU was closing in on 700 yards of offense and 400 yards rushing. By the time it was over, Blake Bell was engineering touchdown drives rather scoring them out of the “Belldozer.”

More importantly, there was this stretch where not only did OU appear to be the vastly better team — which, of course, they were — but one that really did everything right. Even if Bob Stoops had a hard time forgetting what happened early or a hard time tacking any solace in what happened late.

“It’s always positive when you’re playing that way,” he finally said.

But it was something.

After scoring on their second drive — the first of four Damien Williams’ touchdowns; and if he’s not starting against Kansas State in two weeks, everybody should look forward to an explanation — the Sooners went three straight without getting anything done.

The onslaught finally began, sparked by big punt returns from Justin Brown. Still, what OU really wanted to see didn’t begin to happen until it was already on top 28-10.

The Sooners closed the first half with an 11-play 87-yard drive, opened the second half with an eight-play 67-yard drive; followed with an 89-yard run from Williams and followed that with marches of 74 and 71 yards.

Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.

It didn’t happen from the start, but it finally happened.

Stoops wasn’t ready to bask in any of it with Kansas State, Texas Tech and Texas coming up following an idle week. He’s not sure anything that happened Saturday will make any difference going forward.

“There’s no way of telling that,” he said.

But goals were met.

“The whole week we’d been saying we need to light it up,” center Gabe Ikard said. “We had a little slogan going. We were going to light the scoreboard up. We needed to put points on the board for our defense.”

Of course, there’s another side to it.

Pretend it was Kansas State at Owen Field, as it will be in two weeks.

The Wildcats made a statement by pounding Miami 52-13 Saturday before the Sooners and Rattlers took the field.

What if Kansas State picks off both of Jones’ terrible throws and what if they both had led to touchdowns and what if OU would have found itself down early rather than up, despite having to wait most of the half before really finding its game?

What then?

It’s a hard question to answer.

What’s easy is knowing the Sooners have shown two sides to themselves through two games. They’ve played eight quarters and no more than 3 1/2 good ones and it’s about to get very serious very fast.

Stills dropped a touchdown but came back with more fine plays and now has 16 catches through two games. Williams has been a revelation, but most of his yards have come in the fourth quarter against a cramping bunch of Miners and Saturday against the terribly outmatched Rattlers. Jones has been hot and cold.

The defense has produced, just not against much competition.

Is OU ready?

Go back to what Stoops said.

There’s no way of telling that.

For the Sooner Nation, the waiting may be the hardest part.