NORMAN — Who could have guessed in August this team could become Oklahoma’s worst of the decade? Other than Andre Ware, no one. But after Saturday’s 10-3 loss at Nebraska, that’s where this team appears headed.
Bob Stoops’ previously worst team this decade was the 2005 Sooners, who dropped a shocking home opener to TCU before being routed by UCLA and Texas. But for all its early struggles, that team improved over the course of the year, which is all you really can ask of any team in any sport. Despite also starting a redshirt freshman quarterback in Rhett Bomar, those Sooners reeled off six wins in seven games, including a 31-24 victory in Lincoln against a Nebraska team no worse than the one OU faced Saturday night. Those Sooners also ended the season with a 17-14 victory over No. 5 Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. And if it weren’t for a bad call by officials in a loss at Texas Tech, those Sooners would have closed with seven straight wins. So what’s most disappointing about the 2009 Sooners is they seem to be the same team that lost 14-13 in the opener to Brigham Young. Injuries have played a part. But OU’s stagnation goes way beyond injuries. Place-kicking remains a glaring Achilles’ heel. The running game still can’t get rolling against defenses with a pulse. The wide receivers run imprecise routes and labor to get open. And just like they did in the opener, the offensive line is still committing nonsensical, drive-killing, 15-yard penalties. "If we keep making the same mistakes over and over, either we’re doing the wrong things or doing it with the wrong people,” said frustrated offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.