Once again, it’s almost “football time in Oklahoma.” We are just a day away from the start of the Oklahoma Sooners vs. the West Virginia Mountaineers. This is now a must-win game for the Sooners coming off of two straight losses.
The Mountaineers come in with a top-10 rushing attack. They lean on their very good offensive line. The Sooners are going to have to make Garrett Greene and that passing attack beat them.
Defensively, the Mountaineers aren’t great at anything, but they also aren’t bad at anything either. They’re simply a solid unit. Due to run fits, their biggest weakness, if you want to call it that, is their run defense, so the running backs are going to have to take advantage of that.
West Virginia Radio Color Analyst Dwight Wallace came on my podcast, Eat. Sleep. Bedlam, to talk about how the Mountaineers went from picked last in the preseason to tied for third in the conference.
“Kind of a work in progress,” Wallace said. “Starting to see some of that come to fruition. I don’t think Coach (Neal) Brown was too happy with that preseason pick, but nevertheless, that’s what it was. So, it’s been a point of motivation, I think.”
You can tell it’s something they’ve been using all season as motivation. “14” has become a battle cry. A reminder of what the media thought of them.
Wallace also spoke about the kind of scheme Oklahoma will see defensively. “We are about like everybody,” Wallace said. “We are going to be in a three-man or four-man down front. Normally you’ll see us with six in the box generally. We do play some two-deep high safety. Just depends on the passing game we’re facing and the running game.”
I’d expect West Virginia to do a lot of six or seven-man boxes against the Sooners’ rushing attack. I’d also expect a lot of two high safeties to take away Oklahoma’s vertical passing game. This is going to be a game where the offense has to be very efficient with the short and intermediate areas. Then when a big one presents itself, don’t miss it.
Something Oklahoma has struggled with the last two weeks.