As Oklahoma heads into its bye week, Sooners Illustrated takes a close look at the roster. The fans, the coaching staff and the players have all been disappointed by the non-conference season and Oklahoma’s resounding failure to perform.
The season, which came with hopes of making the College Football Playoff for the second-straight season, has been reduced to a hopeful Big 12 Championship.
While Oklahoma is off, Sooners Illustrated will take a look at each major position group to figure out what needs to change and what actually will change as OU turns its sights on the Big 12 Championship.
What needs to change?
For one, Austin Kendall needs to keep his mouth shut.
More importantly, Baker Mayfield needs to be much better in every facet of his decision-making. Mayfield has made bad choices in two of Oklahoma’s three games. To no one’s surprise, those two games were both losses, and they both came against stout defenses. Against strong defenses, Mayfield can’t mask his poor decision-making with his athleticism.
Mayfield has been inaccurate as well, making his best quality as a pure passer moot. Oklahoma won’t make a change at quarterback. The Sooners will ride with Mayfield.
What will change?
It’s scary to think that maybe nothing will change. In Mayfield’s two toughest games last season, he struggled mightily. Against Texas and Clemson, which were the two toughest defenses that Mayfield faced all year, Oklahoma’s offense was downright obsolete.
Clemson’s defense was talented. Texas’ defense was athletic. No other defense that Mayfield saw last year was even close. Tennessee had some athletes, but the Volunteers have proven to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Mayfield has struggled against any talented defense that he has faced. Ohio State had one. Houston had an athletic defense that gave Mayfield trouble.
Texas and TCU both have similar defense, and both teams come in the next two weeks. Things will have to change fast for Mayfield, who might still be the same quarterback that made bad decisions at Texas Tech. He has to prove that he isn’t now.