Oklahoma Sooners host test game against Baylor defensive front
One of the bright spots of the 2022 season was the emergence of the running game for the Oklahoma Sooners. Going into the season, there were question marks after Kennedy Brooks left for the NFL and Eric Gray was underutilized in 2021.
All of those questions have been answered nine weeks into the season as the Sooners boast the No. 16 rushing offense in the nation, averaging 217.5 yards per game. On Saturday, against an Iowa State team that allowed just 105 yards per game rushing, Oklahoma was able to rack up 186 rushing yards. Eric Gray had his fifth 100-yard day of the season, and the Sooners used that strong rushing offense to help take the pressure off a passing game that wasn’t hitting on all cylinders.
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Gray and the Sooners’ offensive line will be tested this Saturday against a Baylor defense that allows just 3.42 yards per carry and 113.2 yards per game rushing. Led by defensive tackles Siaki Ika, Gabe Halland Jaxon player have a solid interior that will make life incredibly difficult for the Oklahoma Sooners on the court.
“Yeah, I mean, they are. They are really very strong inside, they played very well”, offensive coordinator Jeff Leby said Monday. “You know, I think for us it’s about being really efficient, being really good on the first down, finding a better sense of the best situations on third down and staying on the court to create as many stress as possible for them defensively, but they are incredibly solid inside and play well.
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Last year, the Sooners rushed for just 82 yards on 2.8 yards per carry against the Baylor defense in the loss. They’ll need to be much better than that to help the Sooners offense stay out of long and range situations and keep practices going.
It’s another week where a wide-ranging rushing offense and quick passing game can help keep the Bears’ defensive front a little guessing. Using jet movement to make Baylor’s defense think a bit more can help the Sooners’ offense get a head start.
Texas Tech rushed for 146 yards Saturday against Baylor, and the Bears allowed 217 yards against West Virginia a few weeks ago. It may be difficult to sledge at the start of this one, but as the game progresses, the Oklahoma Sooners and Eric Gray will continue to create great runs on the ground, and the offense of the Sooners will have a chance to score points.
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