3 Defensive Keys to an Oklahoma Sooners victory vs. the Kansas Jayhawks




 

Sitting 7-0 with four victories against conference opponents, Oklahoma is closing in on another trip to Dallas and AT&T Stadium. But November brings the biggest tests: games against Baylor, Iowa State and a surging top-10 Oklahoma State team.

This week the Sooners will have an opportunity to continue sharpening themselves against a rebuilding Kansas team led by Lance Leipold.

The Kansas Jayhawks are not a threat, and Oklahoma, with the overwhelming advantage in talent, should cruise. Oklahoma's offense has once again become the most talked-about unit on the team thanks to 107 points in two games.

The catalyst there? Caleb Williams and the offensive line.

The flip side is the defense has not looked like its early season self, and, to be honest, injuries are a huge part of it. However, this team has decent depth and needs to use this game to feel good about itself.

In order for the Sooners to ride out of Kansas proud of their defensive showing, here's what needs to happen:

Don't play with your food

These Jayhawks are cooked, and Oklahoma has everything in the world to play for this season. A seventh straight conference title is in front of it, and so is a chance to play in the College Football Playoff, and, hopefully, national title No. 8.

This defense is still very talented, and, despite the injury issues, it should be able to squeeze Kansas early. The defensive line still has All-Americans and future NFL draft picks, despite missing a few guys.

Come out fast and do not give Kansas any life. Produce some scoreless stops and give this red hot offense the ball to bury Kansas quickly.

Up Next: More Keys to Victory

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers

The name of the game for this defense is splash plays. Tackles for loss, forced fumbles and interceptions. There haven't many to write home about the last few weeks.

A Kansas team with a turnover margin of just plus-1 is very likely to see that go down when facing a ball-hungry Oklahoma team. Turnovers are a cure for a lot of defenses who find themselves in a funk. Watch how the team responds if they can force a couple on Saturday.

Continue to play Latrell McCutchin

Latrell McCutchin is playing really good football right now, and it's become very noticeable. He finished tops in coverage grade against TCU per PFF, forced a fumble and was seldom out of position. With all the young corners, the busts and big plays in coverage can be a thing, but you have to throw corners into the fire and watch them come out of it polished.

Until DJ Graham and Woodi Washington return, the Sooners will need McCutchin to continue showing up.

With what looks to be a one-sided affair on paper, the worst thing the Sooners defense can do Saturday is not show up and play hard. If they show up and look like they care they should be able to string together a very solid performance and move on to Texas Tech.

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7 Bold Predictions for the Oklahoma Sooners matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks

 
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