The Sooners bounced back in a big way this weekend versus West Virginia. It was a tough game since the Sooners had to not only play their scheduled opponent but also have to play a biased team of referees. Luckily, we have a coach and a quarterback who can overcome these obstacles and still manage to dominate a game. Looking ahead, we have an opponent that the Sooners have never beaten before. Can that change this weekend?
I don't throw out, "The referees are against us lightly," but the Big XII all but outright said, "We want you to lose since you're leaving the conference," with the refereeing this past Saturday. The referees didn't try to hide the fact that they had a bias toward the Mountaineers this weekend. Allegedly, Texas ran into the same issue against TCU this weekend, and across social media platforms, Oklahoma and Texas fans were coming together to call out the Big XII for their blatant attempts to sabotage both teams. It's bad when you have Oklahoma and Texas fans agreeing on something. Like, the NCAA needs to investigate this bad. I believe the Sooners could have put up 70 on the Mountaineers if they had some calls go their way.
On a more positive note, despite having to also play the referees, Dillon Gabriel had a career game with 423 passing yards, 5 passing touchdowns, 50 rushing yards, and 3 rushing touchdowns. Gabriel's 8 total touchdowns are the most scored by an Oklahoma quarterback. At the beginning of this season, I questioned whether or not Gabriel could effectively lead this Oklahoma team. He has been inconsistent at times, but overall, he has been a great quarterback during this transition period who I believe we may see go in one of the later rounds of the NFL draft in 2024.
This upcoming weekend we will travel to Provo, Utah, to take on the 5-5 Brigham Young Cougars. This matchup is the third matchup between the Cougars and the Sooners, and Oklahoma will be looking to get their first win of the series. The last time the Sooners saw BYU was back in 2009 in Arlington, Texas where they lost a close game, 13-14. The only other time the two teams have seen one another was back in 1994. Gary Gibbs and the Sooners would lose that game 31-6. BYU is the only team in the FBS Oklahoma has seen more than once that they have not beat at least once.
Beyond this weekend's game against BYU, the Sooners still have a shot at making it to the Big XII Title Game, and though I hate the Longhorns, I hope to God it's Texas versus Oklahoma just to shove it to this conference and move on. In order for us to make it to the Big XII Championship, Texas or Oklahoma State needs to lose one of its final two games. Oklahoma State fumbled the bag this weekend against UCF. I'm not sure what kind of fire was lit underneath UCF's butts, but they absolutely dominated the Cowboys and had their best offensive and defensive game of the year (except for against Kent State). The path to the final Big XII Title Game is there, but we are at the mercy of the football Gods. If I were a betting man (which I am, but for the sake of this article, roll with me), the Big XII would be sure Oklahoma State didn't lose to either Houston or BYU.
According to the most recent source to put out Bowl Projections (24/7 Sports), the Sooners are projected to participate in the Texas Bowl against Texas A&M. I've seen a few other sources having the Sooners play UNC in the Pop-Tart Bowl in Orlando, Florida or against Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. Selfishly, I hope the Sooners play UNC or Tennessee because UNC is my home team, and Tennesse is my SEC team, until next season, that is.
With at least three more games left this season, the Sooners have a fun schedule that all Sooners fans should look forward to. Venables has this team clicking at just the right time and it looks like the team has learned a thing or two from the losses against Kansas and Oklahoma State.