Oklahoma's Line Doing Fine

By Adam Caparell - October 09, 2007

With eight starters back from last year's team, Bob Stoops is more than familiar with Missouri and the offensive prowess of the Tigers. But it being a new year, the Oklahoma coach isn't putting too much stock into his team's big win over Missouri last October. Rather, he's putting a good portion of his stock into his defensive line heading into Saturday's matchup with the Tigers. And for good reason.

"You know, I don't like to compare this year to last year. Last year was a long time ago," Stoops said. "They are a different team, we are a different team, and in the end I don't recall a time last year where I didn't think that they were excellent. You see a lot of the same guys that are there and doing well."

After finishing last season as one of the best teams in the Big 12 offensively, the 5 -0 Tigers have picked up right where they left off. The eighth best offensive team in the country at the end of '06, No. 11 Missouri heads into its showdown with No. 6 Oklahoma rolling on offense, averaging over 550 yards per game and featuring one of the most balanced units in the country. .

"They are excellent. They spread the field and space you," Stoops said. "They have really talented guys across the board and aren't afraid to give the ball to any of them. You just have to be disciplined with your space and make sure that they don't get too much of it. We are going to have to change up our coverages."

But despite his stance that last year is nothing but a memory, Stoops has a formula to work off of after his team's impressive win on the road last October. Oklahoma intercepted Missouri QB Chase Daniel three times in their 26-10 victory and only allowed 76 yards rushing - 75 of which came from Daniel. More than anything, they got in Daniel's face and rarely let him set his feet to throw. The pocket was less a refuge that day and more of a hazard.

And with Oklahoma's line playing so well this season, there figures to be more of the same for Daniel Saturday. The Sooners are averaging almost four sacks per game and only allowing 66 yards per game on the ground. They're coming off yet another excellent outing last week in the win over Texas in the Red River Rivalry where Longhorns QB Colt McCoy was sacked four times and had a long day behind center, despite what his final stat line (19-of-26 for 324 yards) would tell you.

"Absolutely, they have been really solid," Stoops said. "They have been able to get a lot of pressure. Even on that fourth down play, Gerald McCoy was able to get in there and get in his face. So those guys are doing a nice job, we had four sacks and he had to scramble."

Daniel, like nearly all of the Sooners opponents before him this season, can expect to do plenty of scrambling Saturday. It's what Oklahoma's defense does best. And it certainly helps the Sooners that Missouri is giving up 5.0 sacks per game so far this season .

Posted by Adam Caparell at 05:04 PM on October 09, 2007
Comments (2)


From reviewing the stats in Mizzou's last six games they have only allowed 6 total sacks in the first 5 games. Also, MU and OK were fairly even in offensive production last year. 360 for MU and 358 for OU. The difference in the game was turnovers 3 for MU and 0 for OU. This should be a good contest. OU has the edge at home, but I feel the talent is pretty even. A few key plays will determine the outcome of this game.

Correction to my previous post in last years contest MU had 3 passes intercepted and 1 fumble. OU lost 2 fumbles and had 0 interceptions.

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