Oklahoma is in the middle of its second bye week this season. Through seven games, a lot of things have stood out.
That’s not always a good thing. Here is a look at some of the more intriguing numbers to OU’s season up until now.
Number of carries for freshman running back Samaje Perine. Perine has rushed for 657 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a senior in high school, he rushed 158 times for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. Perine has spoken repeatedly about not being tired or worn down, but he’s only 25 carries away from reaching that mark from last year. He has taken some nasty hits and delivered some of his own. No idea how his body will hold up during the final five games of the regular season.
Number of receiving yards for Sterling Shepard. Shepard has 49 catches for 911 yards, averaging 18.6 yards per catch. Conversely, the rest of the team has 85 catches for 951 yards and is averaging 11.2 yards per catch. Shepard has five touchdowns, exactly half of the team’s total receiving scores. Jay Norvell said last week about when he was coaching the Indianapolis Colts that going to Marvin Harrison wasn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes balance doesn’t mean all that much when you have someone as talented as Shepard.
OU’s longest punt return of the season has gone for 18 yards. Doesn’t even seem possible after all the success OU has had in that department throughout the years. Numbers only drop from there as Shepard is averaging 6.3 yards per return on 10 attempts, and the team is averaging just 4.8 yards per return. OU hasn’t been able to turn the game around via the punt return this season and not sure if vast improvement can be expected in the final five games.
Conversely, Alex Ross has it going on kickoff returns as he is averaging 38 yards per return. Obviously those numbers are influenced by his two returns for touchdowns, 100 yards at West Virginia and a 91-yarder against Texas. But you can take those away, and he’s averaging 26.5 yards per return on his other 10 attempts. This was a question going into the season that has been emphatically answered by the eclectic Ross.
Percent number of kickoffs by Nick Hodgson that have resulted in touchbacks. Not too bad. Of Hodgson’s 49 kicks, 35 have not been returned. And even when they have, it hasn’t resulted in a lot of damage. OU’s opponents are averaging less than 21 yards per return with a season-long of only 30 yards against the Sooners.
Number of sacks allowed by OU’s offensive line. Five sacks in seven games – think a lot of people would accept those numbers. OU, on the other hand, has 19 sacks as a team. This was supposed to be the year for the offensive line with all that experience. It has faltered a couple of times, but it has done a great job of keeping Trevor Knight upright throughout this season.
[8.5]Number of tackles for loss by Eric Striker, easily the best on the team. He also has a team best 4.5 sacks. There have been games where Striker felt like he was the best player on the team, and he has been a huge disruption to opposing offenses. Protection coverages have changed and have limited Striker’s effectiveness last couple of games. Will be interesting to see how OU adapts.
[268.4]Average number of passing yards allowed per game by the OU defense. As protection packages have increased to stop OU’s pass rush, the Sooners are not doing their job effectively on the backend of the defense. Too many big plays have become the norm for OU’s opponents during the last four games.