What the Oklahoma Sooners defense set out to do before the game, they accomplished: completely shut-down Baylor’s QB Nick Florence. Instead of throwing his normal 300+ yards per game, he was shutout to 172 on Saturday night.
While the Sooners accomplished shutting down the No. 1 offense in the country, the rush defense allowed an astounding 252 yards. The Sooners players and coaches are fully aware of what they need to do to in order to keep the momentum going for the last stretch of the season, which was evident in their post game press conference. They were happy about the win, and how they were able to stop the pass, but knew the way they defended the rush was unacceptable. The biggest issue was no turnovers and lack of wrapping up on the tackle.
Baylor running back, Lache Seastrunk had a phenomenal game Saturday, with 3 touchdowns and 91 yards. Seastrunk was the Bears leading rusher, followed by QB Florence, who had a rushing TD and 83 yards to go with his 172 he had through the air. The Sooners’ defense main focus Saturday night was to stop the air attack, they did by spreading the defense out, using more defensive backs to shut down Florence’s weapons. While this was effective, the Sooners left holes in the rush defense. Florence had nowhere to throw the ball, what’s the next best thing? Put it on the ground go with it. And it worked.
Mike Stoops has only been back in Norman for 9 games, but the improvement on defense has been shining through. The way the players react to bad play; taking accountability for mistakes, is a vast change from this time last season. The motivation for the them to improve is there and from the outside, it looks like that’s what they are wanting.
With West Virginia, TCU and Oklahoma State left on the schedule, all with different styles of offense, the Sooners will need to continue to adjust each week. They have a shot to finish out strong, as long as the wheels don’t fall off.