WACO, Texas —
The Bears then ran five plays, traveled 38 yards and entered the half up 24-5.
Unwind the sequence.
Had Stoops had any real confidence in his offense, he could have gone for it on fourth-and-5 at the 41 and maybe put seven points on the board rather than watch Baylor go 93 yards the other way. Had that not happened, Bell’s probably not trying to be a hero at the very end and getting picked off… to say nothing of the fact OU only managed five points when it should have had 14, yet continued a season-long trend of terrible red-zone efficiency.
“We were horrible in third-and-shorts, fourth-and-shorts … goal line,” Stoops said.
At once, the Sooners seem to not have the horses, pinning their hopes on a middle-of-the-road conference quarterback, an offensive line that is good, but not great and a triumvirate of running backs that add up to serviceable rather than electric with the possible exception of Finch, who set the world on fire as a freshman but has spent his last three Sooner seasons surviving on crumbs doled out by play-caller Josh Heupel.
Simultaneously, OU appears to not know what it wants to do with the talent it does claim, caught between a vision of itself that has worked terrifically as long as it’s claimed a Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback and a reality that’s not nearly so promising.
The systemic failure, laid bare against a legitimate top-10 team like the Bears, is top to bottom and bottom to top, beginning with recruiting, which has not yeided an All-American type playmaker with the possible exception of Jalen Saunders, to game-planning and play-calling that not only prevents the Sooners from becoming greater than the sum of their parts, but appears to make them less.