Sellout’s rapid reaction to Oklahoma’s 59-20 victory over West Virginia

November 11, 2023

NORMAN  — OU got its Bedlam bounceback.

After a disappointing loss last week in Stillwater — not to mention a disappointing loss the week before that in Lawrence — the Sooners returned to Norman and turned in one of their better performances of the season.

OU 59, West Virginia 20.

The Sellout Crowd crew weighs in on the Sooners’ victory.

Perfect? No. But OU offense shines

Jenni Carlson: The OU offense wasn’t perfect, but if you’re looking for the Sooners to score touchdowns on every possession, you might want to re-evaluate what’s realistic.

The Sooners scored on nine of 11 possessions with Dillon Gabriel at quarterback, including eight touchdowns — the most ever for a Sooner QB. They scored six of their first seven possessions, too. Four of those first six scores were touchdown drives of 65 yards or more. And the last two of those drives were quick, 86 yards in five plays and 75 yards in four plays.

That’s efficient offense no matter how you slice it. 

The final stats were big, too. Over 600 yards of total offense. More than 200 yards rushing and 400 yards passing.

Perhaps the best thing about the OU offense was the fact it didn’t let up. Even after the Sooners got out to a 31-7 lead in the first half, Jeff Lebby and Co. kept the pedal down. That’s the kind of aggressiveness you want to see.

Answers return after two weeks of questions

Guerin Emig: The Sooners losing back-to-back weeks prompted more questions than they had answers for. 

Had OU lost its offensive identity as coordinator Jeff Lebby lost his way?

Were poise and discipline going to be problems for the offense, defense and coaching staff the rest of this season?

Was this season headed for a fall as drastic as last? 

West Virginia, coming in 4-2 in the Big 12 and winners over BYU and UCF the past two weeks while OU was losing at Kansas and Oklahoma State, seemed to be a tough draw for a team seeking answers. 

The Sooners had plenty of answers Saturday night. 

Turns out they hadn’t lost their offensive identity – Dillon Gabriel and his receivers making plays in the passing game with some complementary moments from a hot running back, Gavin Sawchuk in Saturday’s case – and Lebby had not lost his way. 

Loss of poise cost McKade Mettauer back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and an ejection early in the fourth quarter, but all told the Sooners played cleaner on a night the offense didn’t turn the ball over. 

And while we’ll see where the season goes from here, a lopsided victory over a conference opponent that had been surging should temper worries about a collapse. 

Sooners have their LB combo in Stutsman and Lewis

Eli Lederman: There are plenty of reasons we hadn’t seen it before Saturday. However, after Saturday, there’s no doubting that OU’s best linebacker tandem is Danny Stutsman and Kip Lewis.

Questions swirled around the Sooners’ linebackers entering the Week 11 visit from West Virginia. 

Would Stutsman return from injury? Could Lewis get another start? Where might Jaren Kanak and Kobie McKinzie fit into the picture? Could Stutsman and Lewis play together?

The answer to that last question proved to be a resounding yes. Lewis remained in the starting lineup in the WILL linebacker spot Stutsman occupied for the first eight games of the season. And Stutsman, back from a one-game absence, stepped into the MIKE linebacker role previously held by Jaren Kanak.

It was a seamless fit.

Venables was right this week when he said OU isn’t good enough to play mistake-heavy football and still games. They’re also not good enough not to have their best 11 players on the field.

No doubt about it: Stutsman and Lewis are two of those guys now and they belong on the field together. 

The Sooner offense stayed on the attack

Todd Lisenbee: The great Billy Tubbs would’ve been proud of the game plan from Jeff Lebby and the performance of the Oklahoma offense. The Sooners have a sports car of an offense, but too often try to take a shortcut and find themselves off course. Tonight, the Sooners stayed on the freeway and cruised to victory. Attack mode suits this offense well, and it was surely a site for sore eyes for Sooner fans tonight. Billy would’ve thought they should’ve scored more, but he would’ve been all smiles.

Sooners Blow Away Those Bedlam Blues

Ed Murray: OU surrendered a touchdown on the opening drive for the second straight week. That’s where the similarities to last week ended. With Stutsman back, West Virginia didn’t tally another first down until the score was 31-7 Sooners. And once the Mountaineers finally mounted another drive, it was shades of the Texas game. The Sooners’ defense stuffed the visitors four times inside the OU 3.

On offense, the aggressive play calling and execution were there all night. Dillon Gabriel missed a couple of open receivers in the endzone early but once again looked like the player that generated midseason Heisman talk . 

The big pass plays were back with two 60-plus connections and several more in the 20-plus range. Gavin Sawchuk again topped 100 yards on the ground.

A couple of old issues remain; two muffed punts, one fumbled away, multiple penalties on a drive leading to an opponent’s score, and another unsportsmanlike call. But at least this unsportsmanlike was for spiking the ball and not on the OU bench.

And oh yes, that Drake Stoops guy is pretty special.

About the Author: Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson is a columnist with the Sellout Crowd network. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniCarlson_OK. Email [email protected].
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