I started noticing it against ISU but after the Baylor game it was evident. Oklahoma’s offensive line is an issue.
OU’s Offensive Line
For those that don’t know, Creed Humphrey, was the lone returning starter from the Sooners’ 2018 Joe Moore Award-winning unit. This made for a VERY inexperienced 2019 line. With the addition of RJ Proctor in the beginning of the season, I was confident this wouldn’t be an issue. After week 12 I’m not so sure.
In the ISU game it appeared Hurts was scrambling more than normal. Riley sometimes treats Hurts as an RB so it was hard to tell if it was planned or Hurts was feeling the pressure. After giving up 3 sacks, I believe it was the latter.
As we moved into the Baylor game the gaps in the offensive line were clear. Hurts barely had time to make his reads and was clearly scrambling more than he wanted to. Ultimately he was sacked 4 times.
A Look Ahead
While it’s unfair to blame all of OU’s troubles and Hurts’ decision making on the offensive line, we are starting to see their shortcomings. In the beginning of the season, Hurts would be forced to scramble and pull a rushing TD out of a broken play. Now, against tougher defenses, this is leading to fumbles and INTs. Again, this isn’t all on the line, but their inexperience is not mixing well with Hurts’ recent play.
While these teams boast impressive defensive lines, this is only a taste of whats to come. ISU is 57th and Baylor is 11th in total sacks in the FBS so far this year with 23 and 33 sacks respectively. With that said, Oklahoma is going to be playing higher caliber lines if they make it to the CFP. Depending on how the cards fall, teams like Ohio State, or Clemson would absolutely abuse this line. Ohio State is ranked 2nd nationally in sacks while Clemson in 19th. Compound this with Oklahoma’s offensive line being ranked 42nd in sack rates (According to footballoutsiders.com) and the future doesn’t look bright.
On the bright side the Soooners have a few weeks to get things under control but with a lack of personnel, I’m not sure how they can.
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Oklahoma Sooners fan and content editor at Saturday Tailgate.