BEVO BEAT

Texas vs. Oklahoma: A Q&A with a Sooners beat writer

Posted October 13th, 2017

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We’re interviewing the beat writer of Texas’ opponent each week this season. This week, it’s Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) of The Oklahoman offering her insight on the Oklahoma Sooners.

1. Following last week’s shocking loss to Iowa State, what’s the mood in Norman?

I think there’s more a feel of disappointment than anger, or maybe people are still too stunned to feel anything. These players are perfectionists and they get incredibly disappointed when they can’t live up to expectations.

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2. Tom Herman described Baker Mayfield as a Heisman Trophy front-runner this week. Has Mayfield lived up to that billing?

Mayfield’s stats certainly suggest that he’s on track to be a Heisman finalist. But I think a lack of home run plays recently — and Dede Westbrook isn’t walking back through that door — make it a little easy to forget about him when Saquon Barkley and Bryce Love are doing what they’re doing.

3. Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon are now in the NFL. Have the Sooners developed a competent running game without them?

They’ve developed it, but I don’t know it’ll look that way this weekend with Abdul Adams’ status up in the air. Adams and freshman Trey Sermon had a good rotation and played well off each other, but beyond those two, the talent level and the depth really drops off. Rodney Anderson hasn’t been the back that we expected to see and Marcelias Sutton isn’t versatile enough to stay on the field.

4. Oklahoma has surrendered 79 points over its past two games. What problem is defensive coordinator Mike Stoops most vigorously trying to fix this week?

If I had to guess, he’s really emphasizing tackling this week, which is ironic because it’s the exact same thing he was preaching to his team ahead of this game last year. Schematically, OU looks sound but the lack of effort and atrocious tackling hurt the most against Iowa State.

5. Name one Oklahoma player that Texas fans aren’t talking about — but should be.

That has to be Dimitri Flowers. As a fullback, Flowers doesn’t get talked about much, but when the wheels start falling off for OU, he has a great ability to steady the team. OU uses him like a tight end but he can also carry the ball if the running back rotation takes another hit.

6. Finally, you are no longer a Red River Showdown rookie. What fried food are you looking forward to eating this year?

I did my research this year, and while I’m definitely going to start with the fried butter, I’m most looking forward to the Fat Smooth — Belgium cream puffs dipped in beignet mix, deep-fried, coated in powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate and caramel. YUM.

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