Air Force brings Sooners unique challenge

September, 16, 2010
9/16/10
4:00
PM ET
Travis Lewis has never played against an offense like this. Not in college. Not in high school. Never.

"It's one of those games I kind of wish Coach Stoops hadn't scheduled," Lewis says with a laugh.

But if Oklahoma's ambitious nonconference scheduling will hurt it again this year, it'll have to go through Lewis, a linebacker and the leader of the Sooners defense.

"Georgia Tech kind of does the same thing, but they get in fewer different formations and make it easier on you," Lewis said. "This team gives you so many different formations and motions, it’s really taken this offense to a whole new level."

Through two games, Air Force has almost 200 more rushing yards than any team in the country, with 846 yards in two blowout wins over Northwestern State and fellow Mountain West member BYU. The Falcons have thrown the ball just 25 times.

"Our first and foremost goal is to stop everybody’s run game," Lewis said. "For a team like this that wants to run the ball every freakin' snap, it’s going to be difficult."

The Falcons also have 11 rushing touchdowns, more than any team in college football. Their 6.71 yards per carry is sixth-most, too, and they've carried the ball 126 times in two games, more than any other team in the nation. Like Lewis said, they'll be looking to run the ball every chance they get. To stop it, Oklahoma needs what Lewis called "a fanatic effort." In short, all 11 helmets on the field need to flood to the ball, regardless of position.

"Do not try to do too much, because with an offense like this, you get your eyes in the wrong place for a second, there goes 40 yards right up the gut," he said.

In practice this week, Oklahoma stayed in pads on Wednesday, an unusual move meant to help the Sooners deal with the constant cut blocking they'll face on Saturday.

"We feel like it’s up to us to win every game, and that never changes," Lewis said. "Everybody just needs to do their job. Do what you’re supposed to do and handle your business."

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