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Archive for September 9th, 2017

Top 10 battle in Columbus tonight! #5 Oklahoma Sooners at #2 Ohio State Buckeyes

No. 5/6 Oklahoma plays its first road game under rookie head coach Lincoln Riley when it takes on No. 2/2 Ohio State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. CT at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. The game will be televised nationally by ABC with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor are the broadcast crew.

ESPN College GameDay will air from Columbus on Saturday, marking the 31st time the show will have been on hand for a game involving Oklahoma. Only Ohio State (40 times), Alabama (39), Florida (37) and Florida State (33) have been featured more often than OU. The Sooners are 21-9 in such games, including 10-2 in true road game matchups (last was a 58-23 win at Oklahoma State in 2015).

OU is coming off a 56-7 home win over UTEP in which the Sooners racked up 676 yards of offense while holding the Miners to 176 (lowest opponent total in 22 games). OU’s quarterbacks combined to go 32-for-36 for 496 yards and four touchdowns, posting a school-record 241.3 pass efficiency rating (minimum of 30 attempts). Mayfield played only the first half, going 19-for-20 for 329 yards and three TDs.

The Sooners are looking to register their 12th consecutive true road win, which would tie as the third longest streak in school history.

The last time Oklahoma lost was 51 weeks ago — to Ohio State. The Sooners have won 11 games since then, good for the nation’s longest current streak, and OU’s longest since winning 11 straight over the 2010 and ’11 seasons. The last time it won 12 consecutive games was in 2004 (started 12-0 before losing in Orange Bowl).

The Sooners have won 11 consecutive true road games (the fourth longest streak in school history) and are outscoring opponents 559-289 (51-26 average) in those contests. OU is averaging 570.8 yards per game during the streak while allowing 410.0 an outing. In the running game, OU is outgaining opponents 3,171 yards to 1,403 (288.3-127.5 average). QB Baker Mayfield is 9-0 as a Sooner in true road games. In those contests, he’s completed 191-of-272 passes (70.2 percent) for 2,618 yards with 32 touchdowns against just five interceptions (6.4 ratio) for an efficiency rating of 186.2. Additionally, he’s run 82 times for 309 yards (3.8 avg.) and seven scores.

Saturday’s game will feature the top two programs in the Associated Press’ all-time top 25 that was revealed in August 2016. Ohio State was slotted No. 1 and Oklahoma No. 2. According to the AP, its formula for determining its all-time ranking counted poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (one point) to acknowledge elite programs, and gave a bonus for AP championships (10 points). Ohio State, which has five national titles, accumulated 1,112 points while Oklahoma, which has won seven national championships, racked up 1,055 points. Joining the Sooners and Buckeyes in the top 10 were Notre Dame (1,042 points), Alabama (933), Southern California (974), Nebraska (901), Michigan (894), Texas (822), Florida State (714) and Florida (674).

Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley celebrated a birthday this week. Riley turned 34 on Tuesday, Sept. 5. He is the youngest FBS head coach.

 

A LOOK AT THE BUCKEYES

Head coach Urban Meyer is in his sixth year at Ohio State. He is 62-6 at OSU, having won at least 11 games in each of his five seasons there and posting a 34-2 home record. Meyer led the Buckeyes to a national championship in 2014. The title was the third of his career (won with Florida in 2006 and 2008 [beat Oklahoma]).

OSU returned 15 starters from its 2016 team that went 11-2 and finished the year as a College Football Playoff semifinalist. The Buckeyes returned eight starters on offense and seven on defense.

The Buckeyes won a tough contest at Indiana last Thursday to open the season, 49-21. Indiana outgained OSU 286-216 in the first half and led 14-13, before the Buckeyes outgained the Hoosiers 380-151 and outscored them 36-7 after halftime.

Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett was 20-of-35 passing for 304 yards and three touchdowns against Indiana. He also ran for 61 yards on 13 attempts and a touchdown. Barrett set his 24th school record against the Hoosiers with 365 total offensive yards, which gave him a school-best 9,211 yards. In 37 career games, Barrett has thrown for 72 touchdowns (against 21 interceptions) and run for 32.

In his collegiate debut in a 49-21 road win over Indiana on Thursday, Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins ran for 181 yards on 29 carries. Dobbins became the second true freshman OSU running back to start in his collegiate debut, and his 181 yards set a first-game freshman school rushing record and ranked as the sixth most nationally in week one.

Last season, #14 Oklahoma lost to #3 Ohio State, 45-24. Since the start of the 2009 season, the Sooners are 14-2 against teams they lost to the previous season. The only occasions of losses they sustained to an opponent in consecutive seasons came to Baylor in 2013 and 2014, and Clemson in 2014 and 2015.

Saturday’s contest will mark Oklahoma’s second game at Ohio State. Forty years ago (Sept. 24, 1977), No. 3 OU knocked off No. 4 OSU in Columbus, 29-28, as Uwe von Schamann booted a 41-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. The game-winner is known to Sooners fans as “The Kick.” OU was coached by Barry Switzer and the Buckeyes were coached by Woody Hayes.

 

SERIES VS. THE BUCKEYES

The Sooners are 1-2 all-time against Ohio State, winning 29-28 in Columbus in 1977, and losing 24-14 in Norman in 1983 and 45-24 in Norman last year. Both programs were ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll in all three games (OU’s average rank has been 6.3 and OSU’s has been 4.3).

2016  A Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium record crowd of 87,979 saw the 14th-ranked Sooners fall to No. 3 Ohio State last season, 45-24. Trailing late in the first quarter, the Sooners cut the deficit to 14-7 when sophomore Joe Mixon went 97 yards for a kickoff return touchdown, but OU never get any closer. Mixon had 225 all-purpose yards with 132 on kickoff returns, 78 rushing and 15 receiving. Baker Mayfield threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, one to A.D. Miller and one to Mark Andrews, but he also threw a pair of interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown by Jerome Baker. Noah Brown caught four touchdown passes for the Buckeyes, while Mike Weber ran for 123 yards.

 

INFORMATION COMPILED FROM OKLAHOMA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA NOTES


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