Two weeks ago, Oklahoma was struggling on the offensive line and showing little consistency amongst a group that had been shuffled and re-organized three times in five games.
Things have changed a little bit, most specifically the re-inclusion of Jonathan Alvarez and Dru Samia into the starting lineup. As a result, Oklahoma’s rushing yards per game have jumped almost 50 yards per game.
No. 14 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1) has jumped from 97th in the nation to 39th in average rushing yards.
“They kind of got their manhood called out after the Texas game, and they responded very well,” Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield said of the offensive line. “That’s what you want after a loss. After somebody challenges you, you want to respond like that, and they’ve done it the best way they possibly could. Hopefully, that can continue moving forward.”
Oklahoma rushed for 637 yards combined against Kansas State and Texas Tech. It hasn’t just been improvement from the young members of the offensive line.
“Our seniors are playing like seniors,” Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “Ty and Nila have probably played their best two games the last two games, which to be good your older players have to play well. Our young guys are getting more experience, are getting more reps. They’re talented guys and they’re experience is starting to catch up with their talent.
“Again, it’s Year 1. Right now we’re probably at the halfway point, looking at the overall deal, and we’re starting to play like we’ve seen it for a while and done these things a few times.”