OU haunted by mobile quarterbacks

Sooners never could adapt to scrambling signal callers

During the past three weeks, Oklahoma has struggled and failed to contain mobile quarterbacks, each of which had their own set of skills.

The first, Trevone Boykin of TCU, has his agility – capable of putting a defense on its heels with every snap.

TexasTyrone Swoopes mastered the roll-out against the Sooners and showed his straight-line speed on occasion.

The patience of Jake Waters in the run game, exploited the Oklahoma secondary in the passing game. The threat of his running ability created space for his receivers.

“All these mobile quarterbacks put stress on your defense across the board,” Mike Stoop said. “. . . You've just gotta go on past experiences. You don't want to chase ghosts, but you've gotta have a plan to handle the quarterback and spread formations.”

The Sooners pass rush was neutralized during the past three weeks – but still managed a handful of sacks. Oklahoma struggled to surround Boykin, at times not rushing more than three in an effort to contain the shifty quarterback.

Swoopes gashed Oklahoma early before eventually being slowed, and Waters first hurt Oklahoma with the threat of his legs, then with his actual legs – putting immense pressure on a secondary that cracked more than once during last Saturday’s loss.

The message every week never changed, though.

“It definitely helped,” middle linebacker Jordan Evans said after playing TCU about playing Texas. “Boykin was more of a mobile quarterback, but we know that Swoopes is a definite mobile quarterback as well. Just getting that first taste of what a mobile quarterback can do definitely prepared us, and we know what to expect from Swoopes coming up this week.”

It didn’t.

“He puts a lot of pressure on us,” linebacker Dominique Alexander said. “He’s a great player, a great athlete. You always gotta be aware of the draw. He has an arm. He can throw it all the way down the field if you let him. We’ve got to get to the quarterback so he doesn’t have all day to get it to his receivers.”

Guess who?

Trevone Boykin . . . but it could have been any of the three.

“We have to be aware of not only him and the running backs but also his ability to pass and scramble,” Bob Stoops said about Jake Waters. “Things that we’re going to put in to practice this week, work on and get better to stop him.” The problem is that Oklahoma (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) didn’t have much success against any running quarterback during the stretch. The ghosts have haunted the Sooners, and that curse isn’t going away any time soon.

Sam B. Richardson leads Iowa State in passing and rushing. Bryce Petty doesn’t run a lot, but he is tied for second on the team in rushing touchdowns.

The Sooners will get a pass the final three weeks of the season with Texas Tech, Kansas and Oklahoma State on the schedule.

When Oklahoma finally gets there, it’ll be a welcomed end.


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