Przybylo: Just one more thing

OU is 5-1 and ranked No. 11, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding the Sooners.

Before we turn the page to the top-15 showdown against Kansas State for Oklahoma, let’s take one more look at the week that was.

Let’s look at just one more thing.

OU is a team without an identity

Not sure there’s any other way to say it. One week you think you know exactly who the Sooners are. The next week it’s complete chaos and everything you thought you knew has been flipped upside down.

The good news about that is the Sooners are 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12, ranked No. 11 in both polls. And despite some shaky play in the last three games, OU controls its destiny regarding both the conference championship and most likely a berth in the four-team college football playoff.

But if you watched OU in the first half against Texas, you start echoing Jim Mora from all those years ago when coaching the Indianapolis Colts and talking about playoffs. Let’s not go punching that ticket just yet.

Not going to sit here and say what OU’s identity should be and not saying you can’t and shouldn’t adapt and adjust for the opponent, but right now it’s tough to get a grip on the 2014 Sooners.

OU’s offense looked most efficient in the second half by going up tempo. It was a drive where OU went 63 yards in five plays and quarterback Trevor Knight was 4-of-4 for 60 yards and a 24-yard touchdown to Sterling Shepard.

But that hasn’t always been the case and that drive was the highlight of a day the OU offense would probably like to forget, especially its third downs.

“I mean when you go 1-for-11 on third downs you are not going to have a very efficient offense during the day,” co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We were going third-and-long early. We were not running it very efficiently on first and second downs. We were more efficient during the second half, but obviously want to be more efficient all the time. We did not play the way we are capable of or want to.”

Capability was the word of the day following the win against the Longhorns. The offense didn’t play up to the way it needs to nor did the defense.

It’s the third consecutive game that phrase has been used, but head coach Bob Stoops doesn’t see the cause for concern.

“I feel like we are improving as a team,” Stoops said. “Do I like everything that happened today? No. We have a lot to work on. That’s obvious. It feels good when you win and didn’t play very well and you know you have things to correct.”

Is the offense a power run team? Is it a spread offense group? Is it using the zone read? Whatever it has been in the last six quarters is not what it will need to be going forward.

The defense, conversely, has a different problem. Mike Stoops’ troops are able to right the ship in the final 30 minutes, but the first half of the last three games have been worrisome.

“We have some young guys playing and not being able to execute on third down is not good,” Mike Stoops said. “We just couldn’t come up with a play. It’s the little things and execution that we are not doing as well as we need to be, as we should be.”

Said two weeks ago this three-game stretch was going to define the Sooners. OU is 1-1 with one more crucial showdown on the horizon, and you can’t pinpoint a definition heading into this week.

Perhaps after the Wildcats things will start to come into focus. For now, the crystal ball is about as hazy as it possibly can be.


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