Q&A With An Oklahoma Sooner Expert

No one knows more about the Sooners than someone who follows them on a regular basis, so we asked Matt at the SB Nation site Crimson and Cream Machine to answer some questions about this weekend's Oklahoma vs Nebraska game.

 

I took my kids trick-or-treating with the Sooners rolling over Kansas State.  I came back, and it's 35-30.  What happened?

I'm not sure what happened there and I was watching it. OU jumped out 21-0 and then they just took their foot off the gas, so to speak. I have a theory that Bob Stoops has enough respect for Bill Snyder that he had the offense go ultra conservative in order to prevent an absolute blowout of his former mentor but that would have only worked if the defense was able to continue doing what it did through the first fifteen minutes when the score was 21-0. However, when the OU offense went into a shell (for whatever reason) the K-State offense came to life and was unstoppable for about two quarters.

The Sooners woke back up again in the fourth quarter but not before being given a legitimate scare. Landry Jones was 10-for-10 passing in the final quarter and after he led a scoring drive to push the lead to 35-23. Brandon Banks returned the kickoff 98 yards to bring it back to a 35-30 game. Fortunately Jones and company had one more drive left in them and scored again in the fourth for the final 42-30 outcome.

In the preseason, there was quite a bit of debate whether Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy was the best d-lineman in the Big XII, yet we've hardly heard much about McCoy this season. Is this because Mister Suh (as ESPN/ABC has given up trying to pronounce Ndamukong) is dominating the headlines, or is McCoy not playing up to expectations?

McCoy is in no way having a bad season and both are exceptional players. Gerald McCoy lives in the opponent's backfield. He has 12 tackles for loss but has been overshadowed a bit by defensive end Jeremy Beal who has 13.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.

With 5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss, Suh has certainly lived up to his expectations this season but to think that for some reason McCoy hasn't is a bit of a stretch.  

The Sooner offensive line has struggled this season. Is this due to a lack of players, inconsistent line up, or what's happening there? Would you put most of the problems with Oklahoma's offense on this unit?

I think that there are several things that you could pin Oklahoma's offensive woes upon but it all starts with the line. Before the season even started Bob Stoops said that Oklahoma's offense would only be as good as the line allowed them to be and that has certainly been true. That was also before injuries took Jermaine Gresham and Sam Bradford away from this unit as well. The line does a decent job at pass blocking but the two main struggles have been picking up blitzes and run blocking. Then there are the mental errors (false starts) and acts of desperation (holding penalties). Watching Oklahoma's offensive line really is a comedy of errors.

Keep in mind that OU's offense is scoring a respectable 33.1 points per game. Its just when you compare it to last year's pace it just isn't the same and its not what we expected this year either.  

Other than Ryan Broyles, who is the most consistent receiver? Who's the most dangerous?

How about no one for an answer? Ryan Broyles is the most dangerous receiver and there really is no one else! Brandon Caleb has been solid and Adron Tennell has come on as of late but they've both struggled with the drops this season. Dejuan Miller had a breakout game against Kansas State but we'd like to see some more consistency from him. DeMarco Murray also catches passes out of the backfield and occasionally from the slot. The tight end position is pretty much non-existent so basically what we have is a quarterback's second option done by committee.

Would you like to see the Big 12 change scheduling so that Nebraska - Oklahoma play on a yearly basis, or does this ex-rivalry mean much to Sooner fans?

 Like many fans I grew up on the Oklahoma/Nebraska rivalry and would love to see it return to yearly game, and I would want it put back in its rightful Thanksgiving weekend spot. I know there has been some talk about pursuing this but I just don't see how it would work out for the benefit of the conference. And as well all know if it doesn't benefit the conference it most likely isn't going to happen.  

Prediction?

I don't see this being anything like last year's game. With two dominating defenses I think that it will be a close game decided by special teams and turnovers. I favor Oklahoma in that because our freshman quarterback has played in every game this season and started five of them while yours is just making his second start. OU will be able to pressure him more than Baylor did which will put him under fire for the first time this season. Landry Jones has already been up against Texas and Miami defenses and while the Huskers will bring tons of pressure it will be something that Jones has already experienced on multiple occasions.

OU 17 - Nebraska 10

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