“Bottom line, guys just couldn't tackle tonight,” Sooner defensive lineman David King said. “We've done a poorer and poorer job tackling as the season's progressed. Either we've gotta fix it or we're gonna start getting beat.”
Mike Stoops said, “We need to play better defense if we want to go the places we want to go.”
The defense wasn't alone in culpability for this lackluster performance. The offense had its struggles, too.
The Baylor defense stinks, but the OU offense failed to dominate. It was methodical but not explosive. It managed only three plays of more than 20 yards. It committed two turnovers, a fumble and an interception.
All was not gloom and doom, of course.
The Sooners, for example, played with an extremely thin offensive line, stretched even thinner by an injury that sidelined anchor Gabe Ikard. Yet, they allowed just one sack and opened some gaping holes for Damien Williams and Co.
Still, Saturday was not the kind of easy victory that could've catapulted the Sooners into these final weeks of the season. Games at West Virginia, against Oklahoma State and at TCU remain. OU will be favored in all of them, but you know those games be tough. Morgantown and Fort Worth will be rocking, and Bedlam will be Bedlam.
But with Alabama going down and Kansas State continuing to roll, OU is on a collision course with a BCS bowl.
The Wildcats will likely ascend to the top spot in the nation when the new rankings come out Sunday, and with only two games remaining against Baylor and Texas, K-State seems destined to play in the national championship game. That opens the door for OU to represent the Big 12 in the BCS, likely in the Fiesta Bowl.
“You never know what's going to happen at the end of the year,” Sooner safety Javon Harris said. “We just have to continue to get better.”
Not sure the Sooners did that Saturday, and yet, the road back to the BCS continues to open wide.
The opportunity is there, but the Sooners have to seize it.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.