Przybylo: Just one more thing

The Sooners are 5-2 and out of the hunt for the national championship. What happened?

Before we turn the page to the second bye week for Oklahoma, let’s take one more look at the week that was.

Let’s look at just one more thing.

OU’s inconsistency most disturbing trait

It simply doesn’t compute. The expectations were so high for the Sooners in August and rightfully so. Nothing changed in September. If anything, OU was separating itself from the rest of the group to position itself as one of the elite teams in the nation.

Three weeks ago in “Just one more thing” wrote how the three-game stretch for the Sooners was going to define the season. That a Nov. 8 showdown against Baylor wasn’t going to mean jack squat if OU didn’t handle its business in October.

OU went 1-2 in that stretch. Dreams of a national championship? Gone. Dreams of a Big 12 championship? On life support.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third consecutive game, well, it’s no longer an anomaly.

No idea why it hasn’t clicked for the Sooners, but it hasn’t. And if it ever does, it will seemingly be too late for the 2014 version of Stoops’ Troops to meet the lofty expectations.

“It’s just little things,” tight end Blake Bell said. “Maybe a guy making a block, maybe a guy catching it. It could be anything from any 11 guys. It just comes down to finishing. You can’t blame it on one guy. Not one guy lost us that game. It was little bits and pieces of everything.”

The first sign was at West Virginia as the defense came back to earth after a crazy-good three-game start. But the Sooners got the win, and it was chalked up to just being a tough conference game.

Now, though, it’s almost a certainty that OU is going to have either missed assignments, give up a huge play or run out of timeouts in a crucial situation.

“Well, they are all different,” head coach Bob Stoops said about the timeout issues. “We burned on, I know, with the offense to avoid delay of game. We made good use of that one. The other one we had to make sure we were exact on third down defensively. When you’re going through a game, those things happen.”

But they’re not supposed to happen as often as it has for OU this season, especially in the month of October.

The last three weeks have seen Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops and Josh Heupel talk about execution, talk about break downs in execution. Maybe one game that can be an issue, but the Sooners haven’t been able to put together a complete game since conference play has started.

Now it’s a gut-check situation for OU. Nobody would have predicted the Sooners to be out the race for any sort of championship before November. Bob Stoops will understandably defend his team until the end and tried to rationalize it Saturday afternoon.

“I know it can happen when you’re the one that has to be on the field,” Bob Stoops said. “Am I surprised? No. I know we can always be beat. It’s easy to think that way when you’re not the one that has to do it. Nothing surprises me.”

If it was the offense one week, then it was the defense the other. Things get shored up in those areas, then a special teams breakdown. It has been absolutely puzzling to watch OU, and the last five games of the regular season can either see the Sooners come together or break apart at the seams.

The players were saying all the right things after the home loss to the Wildcats, but the real test is going to come when they’re back on the field. Have they checked out or will they keep fighting?

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories