Three B1G Keys For Ohio State Against Oklahoma
Each Week, Phil Harrison looks at three big keys for each Big Ten team in its upcoming games. What must Ohio State do to win the big one against Oklahoma?
B1G Key No. 1 – Get to Baker Mayfield
Oklahoma’s offensive line is one of the best in the country with all five pieces back. There were some struggles getting all the springs and gears in the right place last year, but once the outfit was put together, the team really started to take off.
Mayfield will pick opposing secondaries apart if given time, and that’s exactly what the OSU defense has to gameplan against. OSU’s D-line is perhaps the most deep and talented in the country, and it has to find a way to win the battle up front and have Mayfield make quick decisions.
From there hopefully there are some mistakes Ohio State can take advantage of.
B1G Key No. 2 – Throw the Ball All Four Quarters
It was an extremely slow burn last week against Indiana, but once the passing game got off the ground in the second half, things got out of hand with J.T. Barrett going for over 300 yards through the air.
There can’t be a ramp up to production against a talented Oklahoma squad however. The passing game has to be on point from the time the team steps off the bus, and all the way through to keep up with an explosive Oklahoma offense.
Too many misfires and the Sooners will key on the run all night long.
B1G Key No. 3 – Weather the Oklahoma O
The Buckeye defense is a solid unit up front, but the Sooner offense will be able to move the ball at times — they’re just too good to throttle all night long.
Ohio State can’t let the scores from Oklahoma get it out of the game plan. The defense has to keep fighting and clawing with a high level of effort in order to get enough key stops to sway the game in the Buckeyes’ favor.
In turn, the Ohio State offense must continue to plug away even if it falls behind by a couple scores.
It did it last week, but the competition level is even greater Saturday than what we saw in Bloomington.
Phil Harrison is the lead Big Ten writer for College Football News. Get his opinion and analysis all year long. Follow him on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFB