Don’t Tell Oklahoma You Have to Run the Ball

Last week, I wrote about Tennessee’s split stats of running vs passing and made a case for throwing the ball more. Dooley didn’t listen – the Vols ran 38 times and only threw 25 passes against Georgia, and lost while tallying negative yardage on the ground.

Before playing Texas last week in one of college football’s annual treasures (it doesn’t get any better than the Red River Rivalry), the Oklahoma Sooners had passed and run the ball equally during their first four games (4-0) over Tulsa, Florida State, Missouri, and Ball State. That’s a similar split to Tennessee’s first four games.

OU RB Billy Simms ran for 1,896 yards in a season back in the 1970s. He wouldn't have had as much fun in today's Sooner offense.

But, did you notice what OU did to the Longhorns on Saturday?

Yes, they completely demolished Texas, 55-17.

But the Sooners did it while running the ball only 19 times for a measly 86 yards.

That is simply stunning for a team that averaged about 40 rushes per game during their first four games.

Of course, what is normally the case for Oklahoma, the defense did the dirty work and cashed in big time. The Sooners scored on a 55-yard INT return, and fumble returns for 19-yard and 56-yard TDs. Those three TDs by the defense set a school record, and the eight sacks and seventeen tackles for loss tied school records as well.

But offensively, the Sooners disemboweled Bevo primarily via an aerial attack: 52 passes for 367 yards.

Who said you have to run the ball to win in the big time?

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2 responses to “Don’t Tell Oklahoma You Have to Run the Ball”

  1. orangebobber says :

    People get hung up on the run stats. If you have the receivers, use them to set up the run. However we are a little short handed without j. Hunter. We dont have good blocking for the run and that will definitely tell on you without some speed at back. Our backs are slow. My hope is that he will use Dervin Young some. He is short but has the speed . This thing that small backs cant play in the SEC is hogwash. Tell David Palmer that. Remember him for Alabama. Old guys like TK remember him well.. Small compact backs are hard to hit solid. The are so low running to the ground.

    • NorCalVol says :

      The Loss of Hunter (it must be capitalized to convey its significance) is huge for sure and takes away the truly big play weapon. Look for Rivera to be used even more this week as a target – which I think will suit Simms game better than bombs to Hunter. And, a TE target can be used effectively against a team like LSU who’s weak spot defensively is their LB corps Their front line and secondary are scary good.

      Devrin Young is the potential weapon, no doubt. I agree 100%.

      In terms of small backs, you can make up what you don’t have in size with what you bring in speed, quickness, toughness, meanness, and vision. A great line just makes it easier. But a tough back, even a small one, can be very effective with an ineffective OL.

      David Palmer – one of the greatest to ever play at ‘Bama. “The Deuce” finished third in the Heisman voting. Alabama’s first ever 1,000-yard receiver. Also one of if not the first ‘wildcat’ QB. He could do pretty much anything. Played in the NFL for a few years with the Vikings.

      Hey TK, maybe Palmer’s got another year of eligibility on a transfer…

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