OSU-OU: Sooner Scouting Report

I've watched two days of tape and here is what I have concluded – Oklahoma is a very good football team. The Cowboys will need their best effort, minimum mistakes, and a loud, supportive crowd to pull this one off. It is definitely doable.

Offense
This is the same core of the offense that beat OSU 52-9 last season, plus they've added freshman tailback Adrian Peterson, who has more than lived up to his hype. Peterson has 1,023 yards on the season, and remember he didn't play a lot early. He is big, strong and fast. He runs more upright and is capable of delivering a blow that allows him to break most tackles.

Teams d0 the best job of stopping him when they get multiple defenders around him to gang tackle. It is important to note that he loves the cutback and OU's offensive line and wide receivers often give him that option, as do opposing defenses. You must stay at home on the backside and not rush your defenders to playside because he will find the open avenue.

The offensive line returns and is very good. They are still more of a finesse line than a group that will drive block defenders. They rarely miss on the first level (defensive line), but they do struggle some getting to the second level (linebackers and safeties). They are very good at pass blocking.

The receiver, minus the tight ends, are all major threats. This is the best receiver corps in the Big 12. They can block, run routes, catch, and make yards after the catch.

The worst part of it is that Heisman Trophy winner Jason White is great at finding the receivers right after they get separation and he is accruate, leading them so they can get the maximum number of yards after the catch.

Defense
With Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvorcek gone the Sooners are weaker inside on the defensive line. Lynn McGruder is solid, but the strength of this defense is the triangle of defensive ends Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson along with middle linebacker Lance Mitchell. All three move really well, especially Cody and Mitchell. All three tackle well and Mitchell is always around the ball. Cody and Jackson, who have been lining up some at linebacker, still get to the line at the snap. They are still looking to cause havoc in the backfield. They can be blocked but the blockers better be moving full speed.

Mitchell is so valuable because his speed allows him to make plays other linebackers can't and he keeps potential big plays down to moderate gains.

The Sooners bring a safety down almost every play and you can count on that for OSU as they will be loading the box to try and takeaway Vernand Morency. They can be passed on and receivers getting open in the seam of the defense seems to be the most common occurence. In the running game, I would suggest the middle and mixing it up with outside plays. The key is blocking the Sooner defense's triangle. If Cody, Jackson and Mitchell can't get there then you likely have yourself a big play.

Special Teams
No Antonio Perkins on punt returns although Darent Williams won't be there for OSU either. They are average in the punt game and kickoff returns. Kicker Trey DiCarlo has hit just 6-of-11 field goals. That could be a huge plus if he struggles on Saturday.

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