Oklahoma Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Oklahoma Sooners
Big 12
For one week at least, the center of college football in the state of Oklahoma shifted from Stillwater back to Norman. Oklahoma’s thrilling victory over Oklahoma State in the annual Bedlam game – complete with a 4.5 earthquake that rattled Sooner Nation on the heels of a snow and ice storm earlier in the week – gave the Sooners a big boost into a BCS game against Alabama on January 2 in the Sugar Bowl. The Alabama-Oklahoma showdown promises to be a big one, as two teams that had plenty of promise to start the year but faltered at different times suddenly find themselves in an important bowl.
2013 Record: 10-2, 6-2
Coach: Bob Stoops
Coach Bowl Record: 7-7
Big Wins: 11/23 at Kansas State (41-31), 12/7 at Oklahoma State (33-24)
Bad Losses: 10/12 at Texas (20-36), 11/7 at Baylor (12-41)
Oklahoma’s rushing game has been a solid strength all season. The Sooners ground out 235.8 yards per game to rank 18th among all FBS schools, and they were only a couple yards away from being a top 15 program. Brennan Clay and his 913 yards and six touchdowns were a big reason why the Sooners were so powerful in all but two games this season. Clay has been a big help for Oklahoma in light of the problems faced when RB Damien Williams (553 yards, seven scores) was dismissed from the team at the end of November. The Sooners scored 31.8 points per game this season, which was enough to rank it in the top third of all FBS programs. Teams also have to watch out for defenders. Eight players recorded at least one interception, including Frank Shannon, who was also the team leader in total tackles at 85. Twelve players have at least one sack. The defense spreads out very well and that could cause Alabama some issues, especially if the Crimson Tide leaves one or two players unprotected.
Where rushing and defense have been hallmarks of the Sooners’ successful season, the passing game has left a little to be desired. Let’s say Blake Bell (1,648 yards, 12 touchdowns, five interceptions) has not been a prodigious quarterback along the lines of a Sam Bradford or a Landry Jones. Bell has been effective enough, but the Sooners and their 186.7 passing yards per game are in the bottom quarter of all FBS schools. You shouldn’t find a program like Oklahoma with a weak passing game, but the rushing and defense has helped mask a few issues. The defense has also allowed 30 points or more in four games this season, and the end result was two losses to Texas and Baylor and wins over Kansas State and Texas Tech. All of these teams have bowl bids like Oklahoma, but the Sooners need to have better defense for situations like this.
Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Brennan Clay, RB, 913 yards
Passing: Blake Bell, QB, 1,648
Receiving: Jalen Saunders, WR, 654 yards
Tackles: Frank Shannon, LB, 85
Sacks: Charles Tapper, DE, 5.5
Interceptions: Gabe Lynn, LB, 3; Julian Wilson, S, 3
2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 242.3 (15, 2)
Passing Offense: 186.1 (100, 9)
Total Offense: 428.4 (51, 5)
Scoring Offense: 31.7 (50, 6)
Rushing Defense: 132.7 (24, 3)
Pass Defense: 197.8 (14, 1)
Total Defense: 330.5 (13, 1)
Scoring Defense: 21.1 (21, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.4 (37, 4)
Sacks: 2.27 (47, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.27 (26, 3)
Recent Bowl Appearances:
2012    Cotton Bowl               Texas A&M (13-41)
2011    Insight Bowl               Iowa (31-14)
2010    Fiesta Bowl                 Connecticut (48-20)
2009    Sun Bowl                    Stanford (31-27)
2008    BCS Championship    Florida (14-24)
2007    Fiesta Bowl                 West Virginia (28-48)
*all team stats through 11/30