OU film study: Brent Venables, Bill Young could have hands full with Bedlam

by Michael Baldwin Modified: November 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm •  Published: November 21, 2010

Bedlam should be fun for fans. Not so much for defensive coordinators Brent Venables and Bill Young.

Watching film of Oklahoma's 53-24 blowout of Baylor reiterated a season-long trend on both sides of the football.

If the Sooners are to win Saturday to capture the South division they'll probably have to win a shootout.

OU's offense once again showed it will destroy defenses that play soft coverage like Baylor. The Sooners' fast pace offense consistently picked up easy yards on bubble screens, quick slants and short sideline routes to methodically drive down the field.

The Sooners ran 50 plays the first half. Only three gained more than 15 yards — DeMarco Murray's 76-yard TD reception, a Ryan Broyles 28-yard catch and a Trey Franks' 20-yard reception.

OU's precision offense dominated the first half, compiling 17 first downs and 314 yards to lead 34-7 at halftime.

Will Young, OSU's defensive coordinator, copy Texas A&M and Missouri, playing tighter coverage to minimize OU's low-risk options? The risk is possibly giving up big plays like Nebraska used to hand the Cowboys their only loss.

Another variable is the Sooners are going down field more late in the season. Three plays against Baylor stood out.

Kenny Stills caught a 49-yard TD pass and also drew a pass interference penalty on a deep pass in man-to-man coverage. Murray exploited a linebacker to race down the sideline for his 76-yard TD off a short swing pass.

“We really didn't stretch the field at the beginning of the season, but we're doing a good job of that now,” said wide receiver Ryan Broyles. “It gets defenses on edge.”

But that's the flip side. OSU's offense will put Venables' defense on edge.

The Sooners defense played well for three quarters against Baylor but now faces its biggest challenge.

OU has surrendered 51 plays of 20 yards or longer this season, including 28 plays 30 yards or longer. Nearly half have been running plays.

After Baylor's Jay Finley (50 yards) and Jarred Salabi (38) broke long runs, corralling Kendall Hunter and OSU's ground game has to be a priority.

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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