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How Playing ‘Loose’ Can Help Oklahoma’s Offense Bounce Back Against Kansas

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s offense has plenty of pressure on it this week.

One week after failing to put a single point on the board in the Cotton Bowl, the Sooners welcome in a Kansas Jayhawks offense that has had the same success as Texas on the scoreboard.

Both the No. 19-ranked Jayhawks and the No. 22-ranked Longhorns average 38.8 points per game, the 19th-best mark in the country.

And while it’s likely Kansas’ starting quarterback Jalon Daniels will miss the game Saturday, backup Jason Bean had plenty of success against OU last year.

Bean threw for 246 yards and ran for 59 more yards a year ago against a Sooner defense that was playing a lot better than the recent version of the 2022 defense.

Jeff Lebby’soffense is expected to get starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel back this week, a complete change of circumstance from what the OU quarterback picture looked like last week. But the offense has sputtered even with the talented lefty at the helm.

Gabriel missed key throws at pivotal moments in the loss to Kansas State, and was even more erratic in Fort Worth before he was knocked out of the game.

With the confidence for OU’s defense appearing to reach a new low, the Sooner offense needs to settle in early and score with the Jayhawks this Saturday.

The Sooners are no strangers to slow starts, however. Oklahoma has fallen behind first in every game except the season opener this year, and it’s important that the offense isn’t pressing from the start or the issues could once again compound on Saturday.

“I think that the biggest thing for our offense right now actually is to play loose,” tight end Brayden Willis said after practice on Monday. “Just play loose and relaxed a little bit, and just go out and make plays.”


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