Sometimes, all you can do is take a deep breath, take the win and move on. Saturday is one of those times.
I spent all last week trying to convince myself that the Army triple option threat wouldn’t be an issue, that the OU run defense had improved. Even if the Sooners struggled, I thought OU’s explosive offense would come through in a slog of a game.
Deep down, I kinda thought this could happen. But not like this.
There have been plenty of reasons to call for Mike Stoops’ head over the years, however this game is on the “Mount Rushmore” of worst performances (For the record, mine is ’14 Baylor, the Rose Bowl, ’16 Texas Tech and yesterday’s debacle). It was evident that Stoops didn’t even put in any sort of scheme to counter the triple option.
Like, at all.
The Sooners looked completely unable to stop Army. The proof is in the pudding: the Black Knights dominated time of possession by a whopping 45-15 minute margin. The Oklahoma defense couldn’t get off the field. Kenneth Murray set a school record for tackles because he literally couldn’t leave the field.
The offense, at least what little bit we saw of it, looked pretty okay. Kyler Murray, aside from just an atrocious interception, looked good as both a runner and a passer, accounting for all four Oklahoma touchdowns. Trey Sermon had an effective game on the ground as well, rushing for 119 yard on 18 carries.
The issues came late when it was clear that OU started to panic, playing with this strange blend of desperation and conservatism. The goal line stand, as well as settling for the disastrous final field goal both lead to this game going into overtime when it had no business being there.
Once the game hit overtime, it was clear the OU offense was too good to let the Sooners lose to Army. The second that the game clock was shut off, the Black Knights lost their biggest weapon. Finally, the disaster was over and the Sooners survived.
MVP: The Troops
Seriously, though, shout out to Army. The Black Knights played with as much grit, discipline and preparation as any team I’ve ever seen on Owen Field. They were fully worthy of the standing ovation that they received after the game. Aside from the high level of play, the game was a patriotic spectacle that made it damn near impossible not to appreciate everything the armed services do for our country. Once the obnoxious sting of the Sooners poor play goes away, I think I’ll appreciate this one more.
LVP: Mike Stoops
I already said all I need to say about this guy. His inability to prepare the defense to stop the triple option damn near lost us the game.
Up Next: Baylor in Norman. Time to buckle up; it’s time for conference play.