Oklahoma football: Sooners are hardly playing like one of college football's elite teams

COMMENTARY — Damien Williams' performance gave Sooner fans reason for optimism, but there's plenty left to worry about even after a 69-13 thrashing of Florida A&M.
by Jenni Carlson Published: September 8, 2012

Think of all the great Sooner running backs that have come before him. Adrian Peterson. Billy Sims. Steve Owens. Joe Washington. The list goes on, and yet, none of them had a home debut as good as Williams.

So, there's plenty of reason for Sooner fans to be excited about him.

Ditto for the growing chemistry between Landry Jones and Kenny Stills, who connected 10 times on Saturday night, and the youngsters at receiver, Trey Metoyer and Sterling Shepard. Those two are going to be great for many years to come.

But those bright spots couldn't mask the lingering problems. Adding to OU's woes, an ankle injury to Tony Jefferson sidelined him and exposed just how thin the Sooners are at some positions. The standout safety was replaced by Jesse Paulsen, a name that caused everyone to scramble for their programs.

Jesse who?

He's a former walk-on who earned a scholarship, making for a nice feel-good story, but he missed an assignment that led to Florida A&M's lone touchdown, a 75-yard pass. It made everyone realize that there are some areas where OU just can't afford a long-term injury.

Sooner coach Bob Stoops said Jefferson's injury isn't considered serious, and considering Kansas State is next up on the schedule after an off week, everyone had better hope Jefferson will return.

It'll be all hands on deck to try to slow the Wildcats.

“I got to see some of it today,” Stoops said of K-State's dismantling of Miami, “and they look great.

“I'm glad we have a couple weeks to work on it.”

Maybe that time will cure what ills the Sooners. Maybe they will find the answers that have eluded them thus far. But after games against two inferior teams, they have yet to play like one of the nation's best teams.

There's still time for the Sooners to reach that level.

But the clock is ticking.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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