Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 05, 2018 at 9:13 pm.

Sooners try to clean things up against Oklahoma State

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was upset after the Sooners’ 51-46 win at Texas Tech last week.

It wasn’t the Sooners’ defensive struggles for much of the game, or the two early turnovers that forced them to battle back from a two-touchdown deficit that drew most of Riley’s ire. Instead, it was Oklahoma’s 10 penalties for 113 yards — nearly double the Sooners’ average to that point.

“We absolutely have to do better,” Riley said.

“There were a couple of ’em that were just bad on our part. This game’s going to be intense. Emotions are going to be high, like they should in this game, but we’ve certainly gotta manage it and do a better job and not give a good football team extra yards.”

Emotions figure to be high again this week when the Sooners host Bedlam rival Oklahoma State.

Of those penalties Saturday, six — for 75 yards — came on the offensive side. Two came by CeeDee Lamb on one play, sending the Sooners from the Tech 7 all the way out of field-goal range.

“We definitely killed ourselves a little bit,” quarterback Kyler Murray said.

“I think that’s something we’ve done a little bit all season that’s kind of stopped us. I don’t think a lot of teams can stop us for four quarters. When we make dumb penalties and hurt ourselves, that can hurt the drive.

“There’s a fine line between being physical — you don’t want to tell your team not to be physical, it’s a physical game, but at the same time we made a couple penalties Saturday we can’t do going forward to beat better teams. I think it was a good learning experience for us.”

Riley did say the Big 12 office told him that the first of the two penalties on Lamb — a personal foul — should not have been called. Officials initially ruled Lamb had kicked at the defender. He was penalized a second time for arguing the call.

“At the end of the day, you can’t argue,” linebacker Kenneth Murray said.

“You’ve just got to keep going. Coach Ruff (Ruffin McNeill, the Sooners’ defensive coordinator) preaches us to FIDO — Forget It and Drive On. So that’s what we do, no matter what, if it’s a good play, no matter if it’s a bad play, no matter if I’m getting held, or no matter if I just got punched upside my head.”

Riley said that responsibility was shared not only among the players but the coaches as well.

“You’re going to get some tough ones,” Riley said. “There are some that we did do that we have to do better, that we have to coach better. It’s on all of us.”