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Deep dive: OSU vs. Oklahoma

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Oklahoma v Oklahoma State
November 21, 2020

11/21/2020 Oklahoma v Oklahoma State football. Photo by Joshua R. Gateley

Deep dive goes beyond the stat sheet and takes a look at the film to evaluate how OSU won/lost the game.

This was the game. The one that would prove if Oklahoma State was going to fulfill the 2011-esque expectations that were levied upon it to begin the season. There was much excitement coming into the game, but OSU fell flat as Oklahoma rolled to a decisive 41-13 victory on Saturday.

OU’s horizontal passing game

To me, this was at the core of OU ripping through OSU’s defense. The Cowboys have stymied opposing offenses this season, in large part due to their ability to stick in man-to-man coverage. But OU found the antidote. So often, the Sooners ran receivers underneath, ran mesh concepts — they created traffic and got OSU’s defenders physically separated from their assignments. The results were fruitful for the Sooneers.

Credit to Lincoln Riley

On that last point, all credit goes to Lincoln Riley and this OU coaching staff for finding a way to pierce through what has been a daunting defense for OSU. Riley is a genius offensive mind and may just be the best play caller college football. His schemes and concepts combined with the talent on the field is an arduous task for anyone.

Spencer Rattler’s arm talent

Hats off to Riley — not only for his ability to scheme — but his track record with stellar quarterbacks. After Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts, Spencer Ratter looks to be next in line. The redshirt freshman’s arm strength coupled with his accuracy and ball placement allowed him to make some timely throws, which buried that Cowboys.

The Sooners’ lethal pass rush

The OSU offense looked bad, no question, but so much of that came down to the pass rush OU generated. The Sooners tallied four sacks, but the pressure on Spencer Sanders and Shane Illingworth went beyond that number. With a banged up offensive line, neither Cowboy quarterback ever had a chance.

It all stems from the O-line

Those O-line woes had a resounding effect. With right tackle Teven Jenkins, who’s one of the best linemen in the country, going out with injury, this O-line was porous at times. The run game was buoyed down, which got OSU into undesirable down and distance situations and allowed OU’s pass rush to get even more violent. When you tie it all together, it wasn’t a pretty result on offense, but it all started in the trenches.