The entire spring and preseason was spent crafting a scheme to create the confusion the Sooners lacked the last time they met the Mountaineers.
It will be on display when the teams play the first game of the Big 12 Conference season at 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field.
The effect some pre-snap smoke and mirrors can have on a quarterback was on display in No. 16 OU’s 34-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. It threw several coverages at Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning and blitzed him from every angle imaginable.
All were things OU wasn’t able to do last season.
“Coach Mike has done a great job of giving us a bigger arsenal and keeping the offense off balance,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “They don’t necessarily know what we’re doing all the time. We’re trying to do a better job of disguising looks and doing different things like that. He’s given us different zones and mans to play with. It does a great job for us and I feel like offenses are somewhat unsure of what we’re about to play.”
That ability will get a better test against West Virginia. What OU did against Louisiana-Monroe was in the season opener. There was no tape for coaches to watch. Now, each at least has the season openers to look examine.
Although, Stoops doubted the Mountaineers went very deep in their offensive playbook during their 24-17 victory over William & Mary. He was coy about how much of the defensive scheme he tossed at Louisiana-Monroe.
The only sure thing is: OU knows what it tried last season at West Virginia didn’t fly.
“When you get run over like that, we don’t want to be stubborn. We had to make some changes to create better angles of attack, better leverage on the football,” Stoops said. “Those are things you want to have and if you can’t do it very well, you better find a way to do it in this league.”
Follow me @john_shinn