The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

December 3, 2013

Sooners focused on winning turnover battle in Stillwater

NORMAN — Points ultimately decide every game’s outcome. It’s the reason they occupy the scoreboard’s top spot.

However, the one stat that isn’t listed there — turnovers — will likely be the determining factor Saturday when No. 17 Oklahoma faces No. 6 Oklahoma State.

“It’s pretty much statistically proven that the team with the most turnovers typically, most likely is going to (lose) the game,” OU defensive end Geneo Grissom said. “Turnovers are going to be huge for us. I feel like we’re due for some more turnovers.”

In some ways, they are. The Sooners have come up with just 14 this season with four coming in the last two games. With the defensive improvement they’ve made this season — yards allowed and points allowed per game have both dropped — the inability to get turnovers is surprising.

There isn’t a team in college football that feasts off them more than Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have come up with 29 in 11 games and are second in the country in turnovers. This one stat perfectly illustrates the importance they’ve had in the season. The Cowboys have lost the turnover stat in one game: a 31-20 loss at lowly West Virginia. All season they’ve been like spinach to Popeye.

OU coach Bob Stoops didn’t waste any time beating home that to his team.

“Third- and fourth-down conversions and turnovers all lead to possession time and yardage on the field, you know, for field position and all that,” he said. “So it directly correlates to points and time of possession. So you need to win those battles.”

The Sooners have actually won two games — TCU and Kansas — while losing the turnover battle. But those wins were against teams that weren’t very good. The Horned Frogs and the Jayhawks turned in their pads this week for a reason.

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