Oklahoma football: Big 12 title hopes still alive

oklahoma football

On Saturday, Oklahoma football showed the Big 12 and college football how much fight this young team has with a big win over Texas.

It was a different Red River Rivalry than all the others. Not because it went into four overtimes and exceeded everyone’s expectations but the limited fans and no state fair made this game a unique one. None of that mattered because this young Sooner squad went in and proved they are a good team that just need a little more time.

This game was big for the Sooners’ mindset and momentum going forward in conference play. It is obvious every game is a must win for Oklahoma from here on out. This year has proved every game is not guaranteed nor is the outcome. For the Sooners to win out, a couple things still need to be improved.


For Oklahoma, turnovers have been a big problem this year not just offensively but defensively too. On offense, the Sooners have six turnovers in their last four games. Three of those six turnovers came on Saturday in Oklahoma’s win against Texas. One of these turnovers was a game-sealing interception against Kansas State. Another was against Iowa State, which ended the game.

You can’t win games with turnovers like this, but the Sooners beat Texas with three turnovers and benched the starting quarterback for a quarter, but that was a different game. For Oklahoma to improve and claim a sixth straight Big 12 title, it will need to settle down and hold onto the ball because teams like TCU, Oklahoma State and even Texas Tech or West Virginia will make the Sooners pay for their mistakes. After their bye week, Oklahoma goes on the road to TCU and then Texas Tech. There will not be any easy wins with self-inflicted turnovers.

When Alex Grinch came to Oklahoma football as the new defensive coordinator, he had a formula that guaranteed wins. The formula was simple - takeaways equal victory. Those takeaways were hardly seen until the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners picked off Sam Ehlinger twice and forced a fumble.

What is crazy about the two interceptions against Texas is Oklahoma rotated 11 defensive backs on Saturday. Everyone got a chance to make a play and compete. Turnovers swing the momentum of the game and give the highly explosive offense another chance to put points on the board. In 2018, Oklahoma had a total of 11 takeaways all season. Even against Texas, one of the interceptions could’ve been a game sealing one but Oklahoma struggled to finish.


Lastly, the biggest problem for this Sooners team has been finishing games. Against Kansas State and Iowa State, Oklahoma had the lead the entire game until late in the third quarter. With Kansas State, the Sooners were up 28-7 with nearly six minutes left in the third. Against Iowa State, they were all tied up at the beginning of the fourth quarter until Oklahoma forced a fumble with about 10 minutes left. They scored to take the lead. Then against Texas, the Sooners were up 31-17 and had just intercepted the ball in the end zone with a little over five minutes left.

This showed the young Oklahoma team’s experience and also some questionable coaching decisions in the final minutes of these games. All this proves is the Sooners should be 4-0 but have caused too many self-inflicted wounds.

Moving forward, you hope to see the progression of this young Oklahoma football team and fixing the little things.

Next up, TCU.

Photo courtesy of KStateSports.com