The final addition of our six part reaction to K-State’s ability to answer the questions and bottle the goals for OU posed by NewsOK.com.
Goal 3: Get the offense off the ground
Outcome 3: Grounded. (Ish.)
Our final entry in this series is devoted to the man behind the scenes that deserves a little credit for holding Oklahoma to under 20 points on Saturday. First year defensive coordinator Tom Hayes put together a tremendous game plan in limiting Landry Jones’ ability to do damage through the air. His stat line at the end of the night:
There was little expectation for Bob Stoops to invest much energy in running the ball, so both sides knew the game plan before taking the field. And in limiting OU to under 100 yards rushing, passing was the only method the team really had to move down the field. Oklahoma obviously wouldn’t be limited to 75 yards passing, although 298 yards isn’t exactly something to brag about after they averaged 268 yards/game against UTEP and Florida A&M (Landry Jones only had 222 yards against UTEP). This is why I say ‘ish.’
While there was no complete kibosh in the air, K-State did enough to make the air attack average. Given the lack of run game, OU’s offense simply didn’t have it. There was no consistency, and Oklahoma ended the night 4-of-10 on 3rd down conversions. I don’t lay blame on OU’s skill players either – I’d rather give K-State credit. The Sooner receivers caught the well-thrown balls that drifted their way, but those throws were few and far between. They spent many plays looking on as Jones ran away from K-State defenders that absolutely shredded the Oklahoma line. Hayes knew where to attack and when, and the coordinator deserves a game plan for keeping Landry Jones’s vaunted passing attack grounded. Ish.