My Week 13 Game of the Week was #6 Oklahoma @ #9 West Virginia
The Sooner versus Mountaineer shootout was as expected offensively 1,372 yards of combined offense, 7 passing and 7 rushing touchdowns. But it was the mostly non-existent defense that was the difference-maker for the Sooners. A scoop and score by linebacker Caleb Kelly in the second quarter and another by defensive end Kenneth Mann put the Sooners up by 10 allowing them to hold on for the victory. It was a shootout between two Heisman hopefuls and a third loss by West Virginia which may further strain the relationship of Dana Holgorsen with the school and fan base in what was supposed to be a breakout year for the Mountaineers.
KEITH’S PICK RECORD
Season Total: 51-22
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#14 Texas vs #6 Oklahoma
|Texas (9-3, 7-2) The Longhorns defeated the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence 24-17 in a performance that doesn’t engender confidence heading into a rematch with the Sooners. Sam Ehlinger was able to play the entire game going 16/28 for 154 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. In addition to the picks, Ehlinger lost one of Texas’s two fumbles as well. The ‘Horns held Pooka Williams to 103 carries and 1 touchdown on 16 carries and allowed Kansas less than 300 yards, their fourth sub-300 game of the season, but this one on the heels of a 524-yard performance against the Sooners.
Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1) Oklahoma defeated West Virginia 59-56 in the shootout America deserved following another shootout America didn’t know they needed between the Chiefs and the Rams. Kyler Murray went 20/27 for 364 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also chipped in 9 carries for 114 yards and another touchdown but lost a fumble as well. The Sooner defense didn’t even come to the game and only lined up on the field twice to return two fumbles for touchdowns, one by Will Grier in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma allowed the Mountaineers to outgain them 704 yards to 668 yards on the day but ultimately came away with the victory mainly behind the Heisman-level play of Kyler Murray.
|Date & Time:
|Saturday, December 1 @ 11:00 a.m.
|AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
|UT 62-5-45 OU
|Overview & Breakdown:
|Texas has scored less than 30 five times this season and is 5-0 in those games, however, they have scored more than 30 six times and are 3-3 in those games. The Longhorns have had consistency problems this season on both sides of the ball. Sam Ehlinger has had a solid season and despite my ongoing interception jokes his TD/INT ratio is an impressive 23/4. It’s true the Longhorns handed Oklahoma their only loss this season in the Red River Rivalry with their highest offensive point total of the season (solid work OU defense) and with Oklahoma’s third-lowest point total of the season as well. The Sooners have played an impressive ability to out-shootout their opponents since the loss to Texas.
Biggest Question: Can the Longhorns keep up? Texas and Sam Ehlinger will need to turn on the afterburners and never take their foot off the gas in order to hang with the OU offense this game. The Sooners are ranked in the top ten nationally in nine offensive categories, including #1 in scoring offense and total offense. With red zone defense being the only defensive category the ‘Horns are top ten in, their offense will need to work to counteract Kyler Murray’s effectiveness.
Oklahoma’s offense is simply a juggernaut. They score almost at will with the #1 offense in the nation both by NCAA statistics and S&P+. Their defense, however, is another story entirely. The Sooner defense is #84 in S&P+ but they do seem to come up with turnovers or plays at times to give Oklahoma a boost when needed. Their setup smacks of Mike Leach era Texas Tech when outperforming on offense was the only way to win, the difference is Kyler Murray is an incredible talent and a legitimate Heisman contender and he hasn’t failed them yet in making it happen.
Biggest Question: How many points will the Sooners give up and will it matter? Oklahoma has given up over 40 points 4 times and they’re 3-1 in those games (the loss being to Texas). They are also coming off of their worst defensive performance of the season giving up 704 yards and 56 points to West Virginia, but they came away with the win in part because of two defensive touchdowns. It seems that even though their identity is out-Whataburgering their opponents, they keep finding ways to do that.
My Pick: I’ll take the Sooners in this one. I just don’t think the Texas defense has any ability to slow down the Murray Machine and their offense with the banged up Sam Ehlinger won’t be able to keep up.