Oklahoma's Offense Battling Through Lack of Possessions – Sooner Maven

The past two weeks haven’t gone according to plan for the Oklahoma offense.
They’re scoring outputs have been below par, but the offense also hasn’t gotten the ball very often.
Against Tulane, the Sooners had 12 offensive possessions that didn’t end in a kneel down, and that number ballooned to 13 against Western Carolina.
In their last two games, Oklahoma has had 17 offensive possessions combined in such scenarios, drastically cutting down their opportunities to score.
Lincoln Riley pointed out on Tuesday that even the best offenses can struggle through games early and still play at a high level.
“I showed guys clips the other day of offenses that were historically good around here,” Riley said during his weekly press conference. “I showed them the Tennessee game in 2015. I think our first 11 possessions we either turned the ball over or punt.
“Alright? If that had happened the other night we would not have scored one point. What did that offense become? I showed people the Army game. We had eight possessions in that game. We had 21 points. That’s one of the greatest offenses that’s ever played college football. OK? We’ve had a couple unique games in a row.”
For all of their struggles, the Oklahoma offense has often been good early in games. On three of their first four possessions this season, the Sooners have taken their opening drive down the field for a touchdown. In the only game they didn’t score on the opening possession, against Tulane when the first drive ended in an interception, quarterback Spencer Rattler responded and led the offense to seven straight possessions with a score.
Offensive tackle Tyrese Robinson said that OU needs to focus on bringing the same level of energy to every drive as they bring to the opening possession each game.
“I feel like going into every game, our first drive is always … we start off good,” Robinson said during a Zoom press conference on Wednesday. “And I just feel like if we have the mentality like this is our last drive and we just have to execute like that every single time instead of just worrying about, we have another drive so we can take off this drive. It shouldn't be like that.”
Rattler also acknowledged the trend of starting fast and finishing strong, and he said the offense can take the momentum from there game-winning drive against West Virginia and translate that to every drive this Saturday against Kansas State.
“Every time we start out a game hot on the first drive and finish the game hot with the last drive,” Rattler said on Wednesday. “That’s what we’ve been doing this year. We have to do that every drive, or try to do it every drive. That’s that consistent mindset that we have something on the line every drive.
“If we have that mindset, we can be really good.”
The lack of possessions can still be incredibly frustrating. Riley cited the smaller number of opportunities as a while as a reason why talented playmakers like Marvin Mims and Austin Stogner probably haven’t gotten as many touches as they should through four games.
“When you have eight or nine possessions a game, ain't nobody gonna touch the ball very much,” Riley said. “I mean it's just it is what it is. There's limited opportunities, and again, we have to be better at making the most of those.”
Robinson said it isn’t a real struggle to battle against pressing when handed so few possessions, as it all boils back down to how each player refocuses themselves before drive.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to your mentality and how you approach everything,” he said. “I just feel like we have to do that as a unit on the O-line and every other position on the offense.”
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Deputy Editor, SI Sooners


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