5. Pressure the quarterback.
Caleb Williams has been sensational this season since supplanting Spencer Rattler as OU’s star quarterback from the Red River Shootout. He’s shown his human side, though, in the past two weeks during OU’s games against Iowa State and Baylor.
The key to slowing down Williams has been pressuring him off the pass rush. In each of the games against the Cyclones and the Bears, Williams was sacked at least three times. While he missed some game time due to injury, Williams only completed a combined 17-of-36 passes in these two games, including three interceptions.
Making OU’s wunderkind quarterback uncomfortable will be crucial for Knowles’ defense on Saturday night. If not, the Washington, D.C. native could exploit the OSU secondary for some of his signature big plays down the field.
4. Take care of the football.
OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders has thrown for nine touchdowns and only one interception in his past five games, helping the Cowboys to absolutely demolish several conference foes.
Sanders has improved in his decision-making this year, showing his ability to scramble, to throw the ball away when necessary, and to avoid a costly turnover.
OSU can’t afford to give OU a short field on Saturday night to give Lincoln Riley’s squad confidence. With field position at a premium against one of the nation’s strongest defenses, it’s imperative that the Cowboys take care of the ball on offense.