NORMAN — To preview Oklahoma’s 2013 Big 12 Conference opener this evening against West Virginia, here is the last of the three pregame blog posts from Ryan Aber and I.
We’ve each made one bold prediction for tonight’s game:
RYAN: The Sooners will hold West Virginia to less than half of the offensive output it got a year ago.
That’s not too outrageous a statement since West Virginia lit up OU for 778 yards last year but the complexion of this game will be much different. OU’s defense is better-equipped to deal with West Virginia’s offense and the Mountaineers don’t have Tavon Austin, Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey to light up the Sooners. West Virginia’s offense won’t struggled like it did last week all year but it’ll take some time for those young players to come around in Dana Holgersen’s Air Raid offense.
JASON: Blake Bell and Keith Ford will see most of the fourth-quarter action at quarterback and running back, respectively.
Oklahoma should have this game wrapped up by halftime. West Virginia was awful in its season-opening home win over William & Mary, and I see no reason why the Mountaineers should be able to hang with the Sooners for more than a quarter.
I’m thinking this game will be all but over by halftime. Coach Bob Stoops will pull his starters by the beginning of the fourth quarter, or at the very least, early in the fourth.
That’s when Bell will get his opportunity to run the OU offense, but I also think Ford, a true freshman, will get the lion’s share of running back touches in the fourth. His toughness and physicality was on full display late against Louisiana-Monroe, and I think it’s telling that he got in the game before Alex Ross did.
Expect Ford to finish tonight’s game with at least eight touches.