NORMAN — A team wants to be playing its best at the end. Whether Oklahoma’s achieving that is debatable. It’s defense is struggling.
On the other hand, look at the Sooners have done offensively in the last four games.
Brennan Clay’s 18-yard touchdown run to secure a 51-48 over Oklahoma State last Saturday was the Sooners’ 24th in the last four games. During that span, they’ve racked up 136 first downs.
“Offensively, we’re on the rise and we’re executing really well right now,” center Gabe Ikard said. “We’re a little banged up up front, but guys are sliding in there and performing really well. We’re putting up a lot of points on the board.”
They’ve amassed 178 over the last four games in wins over Iowa State, Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State.
What caused the Sooners’ offense to take off over the last four games? Several factors have been involved.
It helps that OU’s last four opponents haven’t been defensive juggernauts. OSU is No. 72 in total defense at 409.9 yards per game; Iowa State No. 97 (444.83); West Virginia No. 117 (487.36); Baylor No. 119 (509.73). No one is going to compare any of those teams to the Steel Curtain.
But it also coincides with OU’s offense taking flight over the last four games. Since the loss to top-ranked Notre Dame on Oct. 27, the only thing that’s stopped the Sooners has been themselves. They’ve only punted 11 times in the last four games.
The Sooner receivers have synched in with OU quarterback Landry Jones. He has thrown for at least 400 yards in three of the four games and for at least 500 in the last two. The only game he didn’t was against Baylor. The Sooners rushed for 183 yards that night and four touchdowns.
Getting time to throw hasn’t been a problem either. Jones has been sacked just twice the last four games.