OU Football: What we learned about Oklahoma’s 49-41 win over Baylor (Up next: Bye week)

September 25, 2017

What we learned following Oklahoma’s win at Iowa State

This defense may not be quite as good as many thought

Oklahoma allowed 41 points to Baylor, which is more than the combined output of 37 points to UTEP (7 points), Ohio State (16) and Tulane (14). Mike Stoops said some old wounds were opened via the 463-yard passing performance by Baylor quarterback Zach Smith. While the potential is there for OU’s best defense since Mike Stoops’ return in 2012, there must be better play. A big concern is the health of the secondary, especially the status of starting cornerback Jordan Thomas.

Trey Sermon isn’t Samaje Perine, but signs are there

Samaje Perine’s breakout came in the fourth game of his career when he ran for 242 yards and four touchdowns at West Virginia. In Trey Sermon’s fourth game, the true freshman carried the Sooners to a win with a 148-yard, two-touchdown performance, with all yardage coming in the fourth quarter. While it’s too early to compare Sermon to the school’s all-time rushing leader, Sermon’s physical running style is similar to Perine especially with the way he can wear down defenses late in the game.

Lincoln Riley continues to grow as a head coach

Lincoln Riley is now one of only three Oklahoma head coaches to start their careers with a 4-0 record. But, like any young coach, he’s learning his new job. “I didn’t do a very good job in the second quarter. I got a little impatient,” Riley said. “Didn’t put our guys in a great position defensively, and it took me too long to catch up. So I’ve got to do better. We ran it well in the second half.”

Game balls

Abdul Adams: The sophomore running back etched his name into Oklahoma’s record book for all time with his 99-yard touchdown run.

Trey Sermon: The freshman carried a dozen times and averaged 12.3 yards per carry – all in the fourth quarter.

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: On a night where pressuring the quarterback was not prevalent, Okoronkwo came up with OU’s biggest defensive play with a sack and forced fumble to secure the win.

Dimitri Flowers: The senior H-back continues to find the end zone when given the opportunity. He had two touches and two touchdowns against Baylor.

Still pondering these things …

How bad is Jordan Thomas’ injury?

The cornerback didn’t have his best game against Baylor, but still brings experience to the position. A long-term injury could set back the young secondary.

How much can Amani Bledsoe help this team?

The defensive lineman will be eligible against Iowa State for the first time after a one-year suspension. How much could he play to help defensive line depth?

How much will the off week benefit the Sooners?

Given the injury issues – especially on defense (Will Johnson, Robert Barnes, Jordan Thomas, Curtis Bolton) – it could be get-well week for Oklahoma.

By the numbers

6: Consecutive games without an interception by the Sooners.

14: Consecutive wins by Oklahoma, which is the nation’s longest active streak.

41: Most points allowed by OU in past 10 games.

Final word

The Sooners will get a week off before facing Iowa State on Oct. 7. The time for the Norman game is expected to be released on Monday. The Cyclones open Big 12 play with Thursday’s home game against Texas.