Oklahoma football: Time for Bob Stoops to take stock, especially of his offense

COMMENTARY — The last time Oklahoma lost in Waco, Bob Stoops changed his defensive coaching leadership. This time it's his offense, and play-caller Josh Heupel, on the hot seat following a 41-12 loss to Baylor.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 8, 2013

WACO, Texas — The last time Bob Stoops came to Floyd Casey Stadium, he went home whipped, taking stock of his defense.

This time Stoops came to Floyd Casey, he went home whipped, taking stock of his offense.

Good thing Stoops won't have to return to this bound-for-the-wrecking-ball coliseum. He might have to take stock of his entire program.

Which wouldn't be such a bad idea, come to think of it.

Baylor whipped OU 41-12 Thursday night in a verdict that most saw coming, but few in this manner. With the Baylor defense dominating.

The 12, not the 41, was the embarrassment of this blowout loss to what not so long ago was the Big 12's doormat.

Baylor's offense can light you up. But when Baylor's defense shuts you down, there is trouble in Soonerville.

“Defensively, they were all over us all day,” Stoops said.

This was bad. On a night when the OU defense held up for longer than anyone had a right to expect, the offense did not pull its weight.

“It's extremely disappointing that we didn't come out and play better,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. The reasons were many.

“Throwing and catching it,” Heupel said. “Third-down conversions. Being more efficient running the football. The penalties that get us behind the chains.”

The Sooners finished with just 237 total yards. The only touchdown came on a third-quarter drive that was full of innovation (inside screen, fake reverse, a rollout pass) and execution but served only as a reminder of how futile were OU's other 13 possessions.

This was a performance so rotten, it makes you wonder if Heupel's or Blake Bell's or anyone's job is safe.

Stoops said Bell wasn't the problem Thursday night and would remain the OU quarterback. That's probably true, though you wonder if Bell will keep the job going into 2014, when the Sooners will have a veteran team but will need a quality QB to return to championship status.

Bell was not good at all against Baylor, but he wasn't the only suspect.

The Sooners failed to block the Bears at the point of attack. If this OU team can't run on this Baylor team, the Sooners have no chance.

“They give you the box, you've got to block it,” said OU center Gabe Ikard. “There's no excuses for not being able to run the ball.”

The accepted blueprint to beat Baylor is control the ball. OU ran for 98 yards on 34 carries. That won't get it done.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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