Here’s how concerned Oklahoma is about giving up 351 yards
rushing in a win against Air Force: The Sooners are going to
pretend it didn’t happen.
After any other game, defensive coordinator Brent Venables would
go back through the game film and assess how his players performed
and look for areas of concern that need to be addressed.
Not this time.
”We’re not even grading this tape,” Venables said. ”It
doesn’t do us any good, so we’re going right on down the
Indeed, the eighth-ranked Sooners (3-0) will hit the road for
the first time this season to face Cincinnati (1-2) on Saturday
night. Like most other teams in college football, the Bearcats run
an offense that’s nothing like Air Force’s attack that incorporates
the triple option, all kinds of chop-blocking and pretty much any
way imaginable to run the football.
The Falcons came in leading the nation with 423 yards rushing
per game and left with the highest rushing total ever against Bob
Stoops’ Sooners, surpassing by two yards the amount West Virginia
accumulated in a Fiesta Bowl blowout in January 2008.
But if Cincinnati or other future opponents don’t figure to come
after Oklahoma the same way, why waste time revisiting the
”With a team like that and with an offense like that, we’re
never going to see that again,” linebacker Travis Lewis said.
”So, it’s not like teams can watch this film and be like, `Oh, OK,
we’re going to put up 300 yards rushing on Oklahoma.’ It doesn’t
happen like that.
”This is one team where a lot of players have never seen this
kind of offense before and you’ve got a week to prepare for it, and
Lewis, a defensive captain, said he was going to ”take a
mulligan” on the Sooners’ performance against the run and not
dwell on it too long.
”Tough team. Tough game. Got the victory. Move on,” he
Venables blamed Air Force’s success running right up the gut on
unique blocking schemes and not on poor play by the Sooners’
Some of the Falcons’ biggest plays came on the perimeter after
they lined up with a wide receiver between a fullback and tailback
in an I formation. Receiver Jonathan Warzeka had a 39-yard gain on
Air Force’s first play from scrimmage, and quarterback Tim
Jefferson scored on a 38-yard option keeper out of that look.
”If we held them to 30 yards, it doesn’t matter,” Venables
said. ”We already knew that going in. This is just a game that’s
on the schedule, we’ve got to try to find a way to win it and go on
down the road.”
”We won the game,” he added. ”That’s the biggest thing you
take out of it, and that’s about it.”
After ranking fourth in the nation in scoring and going
undefeated through the regular season last year, Cincinnati has
struggled after losing quarterback Tony Pike and receiver Mardy
Gilyard to the NFL draft and receiver Vidal Hazelton to a
season-ending knee injury in Week 1.
The Bearcats are scoring about two touchdowns less per game and
have allowed more sacks than any team in the nation.
The trip still presents a challenge for the Sooners, who have
won 33 straight home games but lost five of their last seven games
away from Owen Field. This game will technically be at a neutral
site at the Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium.
”We’ve just got to come out and play Oklahoma football. In the
past, we haven’t been a good road team, but that’s the past,”
defensive end Jeremy Beal said.
”This is a new team, and I think we’re going to do well on the