At least offensively, Oklahoma’s path to victory on Saturday is reasonably straightforward. The obvious things are executing situationally, dominating the line of scrimmage, and not turning the ball over.
Oklahoma has the talent advantage. That should be enough as long as they execute.
However, things aren’t that simple because Oklahoma isn’t just trying to scrape by. This is an opportunity for them to continue to refine themselves as an offensive unit so that they are firing on all cylinders in preparation for the Big 12 portion of their schedule.
With that in mind, let’s look at the three offensive keys to a Sooners victory in which Oklahoma fans and the offensive unit can walk away feeling like they accomplished something.
Up Next: 3 Keys on Offense vs. Tulsa
1. Let the kids play
It’s pretty simple: Let the kids play.
Oklahoma has plenty of talent to ensure they win this game. However, this game can be used to continue developing their young players into meaningful depth for this season and the years to come.
Let Jayden Gibson, Jaquaize Pettaway, and Nic Anderson loose. Let Gavin Sawchuk and Jovantae Barnes carry the ball 7-10 times. Win the game and be crisp, but integrate the young skill position talent.
2. Dime Time
The QB leading the position coined the phrase “Dime Time.” Dillon Gabriel has a line of merchandise named after the phrase. Jeff Lebby has tweeted about it.
Can the team regain the balance of challenging teams to stop them vertically while still managing the physicality needed for a dominant run game?
Jalil Farooq scored a touchdown against SMU after he took a slant 21 yards for a score. Through two games, Andrel Anthony looks like Gabriel’s favorite receiver.
Oklahoma has four receivers in Anthony, Farooq, Drake Stoops, and Gavin Freeman, who seem to be in the immediate circle of trust for players Lebby and Gabriel look to when it’s time to make a play.
Getting the corps receiving targets and others involved on Saturday could open things up offensively before the talent and intensity ratchet up with Big 12 play starting next week.
Up Next: Dominate where it matters most
Offensive Line needs to dominate
It sounds so blunt, but Oklahoma’s offensive line needs to dominate Saturday.
After the performance they had against SMU, this week was probably not a fun week for them. They can dominate teams, and this feels like it needs to be the week they start learning how to be consistent as a unit and stringing together performances of greatness.
This offense can turn into a machine that runs so smoothly if the guys up front do what they are capable of.
Tulsa has some guys along the defensive line who are productive players, like Ben Kopenski and Owen Ostroski. Up the middle, Jayden Simon is a load for the interior. Still, Oklahoma has the size and talent to make things easier for their offense Saturday afternoon.