Lincoln Riley: ‘Sky Isn’t Falling’ In Norman Despite Defensive Struggles

Oklahoma’s defense is bad. I’m talking pants a classmate, give a teacher the finger, get sent to the principal’s office kind of BAD. Of all the Big 12 teams, the Sooners rank dead last in opponents’ passing yards per game, and the rushing defense isn’t much better. Overall, undefeated Oklahoma is giving up nearly 25 points per game, but head coach Lincoln Riley thinks they may soon be on their best behavior.

“We’re so close. Like, we’re agonizingly close. And again, the mistakes, the things that have hurt us, the times that people have moved it for the most part have been our errors,” Riley said earlier this week. “It’s not just guys getting beat or guys not doing this or the capability’s not there. So you feel like it’s very correctable.”

The Sooners are currently ranked 4th in the AP Top 25, trailing one-loss Alabama by one spot. Because of the shaky defense, voters question whether Oklahoma can finish the regular season unscathed. That leaky defense has allowed perennial cellar dwellers Tulane and Kansas to stay competitive in what should’ve been blowouts, leaving voters to wonder whether the Sooners are for real.

Riley’s confidence, however, has yet to waver.

“We’re closer than (the media) think, and we’re probably a little bit closer than the fan base, national perception, all that think,” said Riley.

Oklahoma has an opportunity to quiet the doubters with a strong showing against conference opponent Texas Tech Saturday afternoon. The Red Raiders (5-3) average more than 34 points per outing.

“I’ve been around here long enough that if you keep winning, things tend to work themselves out,” added Riley. “We’ve had eight chances. We’ve done it eight times. We have the longest winning streak in the country. The sky is not falling. Don’t write us off just yet.”

The Sooners have a 3:30 p.m. EST kick on Saturday. Detention from the College Football Playoff probably awaits them, if they fall.


Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF



Written by Anthony Farris

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