Vitals: Oklahoma vs. Ball State


Monday, September 26th 2011, 11:34 pm
By: News 9


Corey DeMoss, News9.com

Ball State Cardinals (3-1) at No. 1 (coaches)/No. 2 (AP) Oklahoma Sooners (3-0)
6:00 p.m. CST
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium; Norman, Oklahoma

Statistical Leaders:

  Oklahoma Ball State
Passing Landry Jones
88/122, 1022 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs
Keith Wenning
95/130, 871 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INT
Rushing Dominique Whaley
55 carries, 270 yards, 5 TDs
Jahwan Edwards
56 carries, 301 yards, 6 TDs
Receiving Ryan Broyles
34 catches, 367 yards, 5 TDs
Willie Sneed
15 catches, 207 yards, 2 TD

Where to find it:

On TV: FSN Pay-Per-View

On Radio: Sooner Radio Network

Injury Report:

Oklahoma: WR Trey Franks (suspension, out indefinitely); OL Ben Habern (broken arm, out 6-8 weeks)

Ball State: RB Cory Sykes (thumb, out indefinitely); RB David Brown (back, out for season)

What you need to know…

This is the first time these two teams have played each other, and the Sooners will be out to prove themselves after a mediocre showing against Missouri and a move down in the AP poll. However, OU's players have been quick to say they are not looking past Ball State.

The Cardinals have a somewhat surprising 3-1 record under first-year head coach Pete Lembo and are only one win away from matching their total from all of last season. Two of their wins came against Army and Indiana, coached by former OU coordinator Kevin Wilson. Their only loss was to South Florida, the No. 16 team in the nation.

The Sooners – ranked No. 2 in the AP poll and No.1 in the coaches' poll – will be the highest-ranked team Ball State has ever played. It played No. 2 Michigan close in 2006, losing 34-26.

Who you need to watch…

After a mediocre defensive showing against Missouri, the Sooners will be looking for a much better start. The secondary in particular will have to step things up after being exploited by Missouri's spread offense.

That unit now will have to contend with quarterback Keith Wenning, who has been lethally accurate to start the season. He has completed 73 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions through the first four games of the year.

But Wenning is not the Cardinals' only weapon. They run a balanced offense, having called 133 passing plays and 160 rushing plays. The carries have almost been split down the middle between Jahwan Edwards and Barrington Scott, but Edwards has proven to be much more effective.

On offense, the Sooners will have to get over the loss of center Ben Habern, who will miss the majority of the season with a broken arm. The Sooners will rotate linemen, which could mess with the rhythm of the whole unit and affect the quarterback-center exchange.

The timing may be perfect for the Sooners. Against an inferior opponent, they should be able to work out those line issues before traveling to Dallas to face rival Texas next week.