In this episode, Bobby and Ty recap the Sooners’ dominating win over Texas Tech by looking at the impact players and moments of the game, hand out game balls, preview the Kansas game and discuss which teams are truly in contention for the National Championship.
The Sooners head to Lawrence to face an old foe from ages ago: Les Miles.
Believe it or not, it’s already October. The only thing standing between the Sooners and their long awaited matchup with Texas in the Cotton Bowl? A trip to Lawrence to face Les Miles and Kansas.
Meet the Jayhawks
While Kansas has been the laughing stock of the Big 12 since Mark Mangino’s firing in 2010, they have shown signs of improvement at times this season, such as their stunning road win at Boston College.
However, it’s important to take the good with the bad when evaluating this Jayhawk team. For every impressive point (a Power 5 road win), there is a glaring negative (blown out by TCU, lost to Coastal Carolina). As such, you have no clue what team you will see each Saturday. They’ll either be decent or astonishingly awful; no middle ground.
The X-Factor here is Les Miles, someone we’ll speak of quite often a bit later this week.
Who to Watch For:
Pooka Williams Jr., RB
While Williams has had a lackluster start to 2019, he’s still the same man who put up 252 yards and two touchdowns on the Sooners last season in Norman.
Williams represents the main reason why Kansas shouldn’t be seen as just a bye week. This game is this team’s Super Bowl. Sure, they aren’t good by any means, but Les Miles is going to have this team fired up for this game. They have the capability to make this an annoying game for Oklahoma if the Sooners don’t show up.
Why You Should Be Excited
Look, I don’t know how many of you really remember Les Miles the way I do. From November 2001-October 2003, this man was responsible for two of my toughest years as a Sooner fan.
While both seasons would be considered pretty good by most standards, they had the inescapable annoyance of Oklahoma State, who went on an extremely rare two game Bedlam win streak, with both wins eliminating OU from national title contention. The success starved Poke fans were absolutely insufferable up until October 2003 when Sooners finally took out Les in embarrassing fashion.
The next two Bedlam games OU won in cathartic fashion with seeing Les get his comeuppance making those wins even better. After the 2004 season, Les left for Baton Rouge to continue on the dynasty that Nick Saban started at LSU. From that point on, the Cowboys have only won Bedlam twice – the same count as Miles.
I don’t care that Kansas is, well, Kansas. I’ve seen what the Mad Hatter can do in these scenarios. The seven year old in me who was teased endlessly for two years wants to see Les get obliterated all the same.
Let ‘er rip.
Series History (OU Leads 76-27-6)
Not a lot to note here, other than the fact that somehow this traditional matchup is closer than Bedlam. That’s hilarious.
Most rational fans assumed Oklahoma would probably not come out on top against Kansas in Lawrence. While the Sooners didn’t beat the Jayhawks, the overall play of the Oklahoma offense had to leave you with optimism.
The Sooners were flawed, yes. However, through all the turnovers, missed free throws, ill-advised shots and Kansas runs, you could see a path where OU wins this game. Because despite all the frustrating play tonight, the Sooners felt this close to getting over the hump and taking out KU.
OU is a veteran squad, but you could tell that the two grad transfers, Miles Reynolds and Aaron Calixte, were a little shook at Allen Fieldhouse. Both turned the ball over a bit much and didn’t quite get hot. While I know this was a baptism by fire, hopefully they can work out the kinks.
Jamuni McNeece was desperately needed against the size of this Kansas team. The Sooners couldn’t do much to stop Adoke Azuibuike down low much of the game.
For such a rough offensive performance, you gotta love how OU scrapped on defense.
Both of these teams are just brutal from three. That was tough on the eyes.
Daily reminder that Jamal Bieniemy is going to be an absolute star.
Christian James was pretty suffocated by the Kansas defense, but caught on late pretty decently.
Overall, this was a positive performance for the Sooners and something to build from as conference play rolls on. Grade: B+
Sad about our college football season ending? Me too. But thankfully we have a good basketball team to numb the pain. The Sooners are 11-1, ranked 23rd in the AP and are incredibly fun to watch. This is a team that is red hot entertaining conference play.
Unfortunately, if you are looking for comfort following last Saturday’s Orange Bowl, you probably won’t find it on ESPN 2 tonight at 8 central. In the Big 12 opener Sooners are facing Basketball’s Bama, the Kansas Jayhawks, the team allergic to not winning the Big 12. This team is big, disciplined and in the top five yet again.
Oh, and did I mention the game is in Allen Fieldhouse, one of the most impossible places in win in any sport? Starting off conference play is always hard, but starting it with the hardest game on your schedule is just insanity.
As we know from last season, we’ll see just how good this OU team is through conference play. This is a legit team that can pull off the upset if things fall in place correctly. Here are my big three keys for the Sooners tonight.
1. Stay Composed
Oklahoma has played tough teams in a variety of environments all season, but this is the first one I could call a snake-pit. They have road game experience in a win at Northwestern late last month, but Lawrence is a different animal. If the Sooners can weather the storm early, get good looks despite the score and not let the building beat them, they can hang with this Jayhawk team.
2. Lock Down Dedric Lawson
Among many surprises with this Oklahoma team is their staunch team defense, something missing last season. The Sooners are good on the wings, a skill that will be useful in defending Kansas forward Dedric Lawson. Forcing Lawson into uncomfortable positions and shutting off options will be key to defensive success against the Jayhawks.
3. Don’t Force The Three Ball
This ties into keeping your composure a bit, but relying on threes for this team to survive is just not a good strategy. Forcing them is an even worse one. The Sooners aren’t a particularly effluent three point shooting team, so keeping the shot selection good will be crucial for a win.
When we look back at this season in March, I think this game will end up being pretty impactful. Either it will be a pivotal game in the conference championship hunt or the moment we began to see that this team just wasn’t cut out for the Big 12 gauntlet.
I’m honestly so tired of watching this defense squander all time offenses. It’s absurd. Mike Stoops wasn’t a great defensive coordinator by any means, but it’s evident that the issues at defense run much deeper than coaching. This is a non aggressive, poorly tackling and frankly pathetic defense. The amount of missed tackles and arm tackles were sickening. There is literally nothing good I can say about this defense.
– Great game from Kyler as usual on the air and ground, but man there were some rough passes. Look, I know that statistically he might be one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but these blindly thrown spot passes are going to bite this team when the games get tough. So basically, Friday.
– Trey Sermon needs to be healthy for this team to work. He went down with an ankle injury and while I assume he was held out as a precaution, this team would be devastated if he isn’t good to go. The running back depth is already shot as Kennedy Brooks is the last healthy back left; Jeremiah Hall was the back up tailback tonight and he’s basically a tight end.
– With that being said, great game from Kennedy Brooks. He had himself a day in the spotlight, rushing for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. The offense is significantly better when it is geared towards a “run first” mentality.
– Carson Meier has done a wonderful job filling the Dimitri Flowers role at H-back. He’s been a bit of an unsung hero this season, but he has really made a big impact as a sneaky option for Kyler.
-Kyler deserves the Heisman purely based on the Bo Jackson style campaign. Absolute gold.
-OU hit ten wins tonight and it felt like a damn funeral. We are so spoiled.
MVP: Pooka Williams Jr.
Yep, a visiting player gets MVP for the first time this season. The freshman back had a huge game against the Sooners, torching them for 252 yards and two touchdowns. He is going to be a problem in the Big 12 for years to come.
I entirely blame today’s performance on the steak I made this morning. It accidentally caught fire and well…
Next Game: Black Friday in Morgantown with a Big 12 title spot on the line. The stakes are at their highest.