The Norman Transcript

OU Football

October 22, 2013

Much ado about tempo

NORMAN — To be or not to be an uptempo, high-flying offense?

That is the question.

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to risk the slings and arrows of an unrested defense and the wrath of Mike Stoops, or to take arms against it, by slowing yourself down and by opposing, perhaps, stray from the offense you intended to be.

That was fun.

Silly, too.

Also, accurate.

Because not only should we find out Saturday if Oklahoma can still beat a top 10 team — possibly one in name only, as its tempting to believe Texas Tech to be — but also what Bob Stoops really thinks of his offense and maybe his whole team.

Does he want to engage in a battle of wills with the Red Raiders, who are averaging almost 89 offensive snaps per game, 10 more than their opponents, and who snapped it 100 and 101 times against Kansas and Iowa State, ringing up 518 and 666 yards of total offense along the way?

Or does he want to counterpunch, hold the ball himself, and, as well as the Sooners can, play a little keep away from the Red Raiders, who can’t do much damage without the ball?

Josh Heupel will call the plays and the offensive staff will come up with a game plan, but you can bet they’ll be following the head coach’s lead.

“We’re not looking for anything in particular,” Stoops said Monday. “We want to be effective in running and throwing the football, and I think the obvious part is we need to be a little more effective throwing the football.”

The question was about identity. Note the lack of a particular word in the answer: “tempo.” Also note, he kept every option — including the option — open.

Stoops also was asked if Tech’s tendency to play really fast and get off as many snaps as it possibly can might not affect his defense so much as his offense, which likes to play fast itself, but might choose not to Saturday, all in the name of not getting into a shootout with a team that thrives on such games.

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