Oklahoma Football: Red River Rivalry Week

oklahoma football

It’s a new week for the Oklahoma football team.

It is also the first Red River Rivalry game for the freshmen on the Sooner squad. It is a game where rankings do not matter, nor does either teams’ record. The Sooners are currently not ranked for the first time since 2014, and Texas sits at No. 22. Both Oklahoma and Texas are coming off of major losses and looking to bounce back.

Oklahoma Keys To Winning

If Oklahoma wants to snap its losing streak, it will need everyone to be firing on all cylinders. Every player knows what this game means and how important it is to win not just for them but for the season and hopes for another Big 12 title. The Sooners have had a lot of key players out who have more experience than the guys playing right now, but there has been talk of defensive end Ronnie Perkins returning, though it has not been confirmed.

On that, let’s start with the defense.

For Oklahoma’s defense to be a game changer on Saturday, it will need to pressure Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger like it did last year. In the 2019 Red River Rivalry, Oklahoma recorded nine sacks against the Longhorns. Granted, it had first round pick Kenneth Murray, who was all over the field that day but did not record all nine sacks.

This was a difference maker in the game slowing down Texas’ offense and will be even more crucial this year because the Longhorn defense has actually gotten worse since last year. The Sooners through these last two games have a total of two sacks and hardly any quarterback pressure. This has not been the defenses only problem. OU’s secondary is just as important if not more important in this game and for the rest of the season.

The Sooners’ secondary needs to make plays and keep the coverage as tight as possible. Oklahoma is not big in the secondary, but when it is flying around and aggressive, you would think they are all some honey badgers. If the Sooners slow down Texas’ offense you can expect a very possible win for Oklahoma football.

Now the offense.

Spencer Rattler threw for nearly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman quarterback with many true freshman and sophomores around him. Rattler is not the problem for this Sooners’ offense. The Oklahoma offense had many scoring opportunities that would’ve created quite the separation in the game but failed to be successful.

The Sooners cannot afford to not capitalize on these plays Saturday or Texas will make them pay. For the past four years, Oklahoma had a leader and/or playmaker on the offensive end it can all rally around. With many young guys in, they don’t have that this year so someone will need to step up.

If the offensive line can give Rattler time on Saturday, the Sooners’ offense will score and possibly a lot. Texas gave up 56 points to Texas Tech and another 33 to TCU. For this young Sooner offense, if Rattler gets protection and the young guys make some plays, Oklahoma will score a lot of points Saturday.

Oklahoma football has played horribly the past two weeks, but it is not a horrible team. The Sooners are so close to that breakthrough, but will that breakthrough happen this Saturday? Or will the Sooners have their first three game losing streak since 1998?

Photo courtesy of Iowa State Athletics Communications