1. The Bucks will frustrate the Sooners by dictating the pace of the game.
It’s no secret that the Bucks like to run the ball. In fact, the Bucks were 18th in the country in rushing attempts per game last season. Running the ball and playing great defense has been a long stated rule of success that the Bucks stand by consistently.
Indiana threw the ball 68 times against the Buckeyes last weekend. However, Indiana also ran the ball 27 times for only 17 yards. That’s just over a half a yard per carry. The defense also snagged two interceptions.
This week, a lot of the same is to be expected. With the Sooners missing impact running backs Perine and Mixon, they will lean on Mayfield in the passing game quite a bit. Oklahoma did not have a single running back with double digit carries last week.
In last season’s matchup with the Bucks, Mayfield threw the ball 32 times. That total could double without Perine and Mixon to shoulder significant carries.
Mayfield went 19/20 for 329 yards and three touchdowns in their opener. Of course, this should be taken with a grain of salt because their opponent was UTEP. Since their lead was so large for the greater part of the game, his passing volume didn’t come anywhere near its ceiling.
The Bucks will take advantage of the Sooners throwing the ball by running the clock during their own possessions. This will allow them to dictate the pace of the game which will throw the Sooners out of rhythm.
Also, keeping Mayfield off the field will give the Buckeyes a clear advantage. The Sooners’ ranked 50th in rushing yards allowed per game last season which bodes well for the Bucks’ plan of attack.
The Sooners will struggle against the pure physicality that Ohio State will bring on Saturday night. Hard-nosed football and good defense is something the Sooners are unaccustomed to in the Big 12. Look for the Bucks to use their superior run game with Weber and Dobbins to run all over the Sooners’ defensive front.