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. "We have not figured it out. What you saw against Nebraska is what you saw in the opener.” Just as disheartening is how an offense averaging 30 points an outing continues to flop in close games. In the fourth quarters of one-score losses to BYU, Miami, Texas and Nebraska, these Sooners have managed just two field goals combined. And all seven fourth quarter drives against the Longhorns and Cornhuskers ended with either a Landry Jones interception or a turnover on downs. "We can play really well when it’s going our way,” Wilson said. "But when it gets going a little tough, we’ve not had the composure, the poise, the execution to get it done in close games. "We have shown that we will spit the bit out in a close game.” With three regular-season games still to go, this year is far from done. Matchups with Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State will determine whether the Sooners finish anywhere from second to fifth in the Big 12 South. But if this team doesn’t make rapid improvement, 2005 will no longer be considered OU’s worst season this decade. That distinction will belong to 2009. Text "SOONER” to 65360 for your chance to win autographed OU memorabilia. OU news text updates from NewsOK sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts.