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Friday, November 25, 2011
Changes coming for Sooners vs. ISU

By Jake Trotter
SoonerNation

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners are no longer in the national championship picture. But they can still win the Big 12 and go to a BCS bowl. To get there, though, they must win their final two games, including Iowa State.

Here are five key storylines to follow for Oklahoma-Iowa State:

1. Coming to play

Thanksgiving weekend. 11 a.m. start. The week after a loss. The before the biggest game of the season. Against a non-name opponent. Will the Sooners get up for this game? If not, Iowa State is capable of giving them all they want.

Tony Jefferson
Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson could be moved to free safety this week against Iowa State.
2. Secondary violation

How will the defensive backfield bounce back from such a poor performance? For one, expect personnel adjustments, possibly Tony Jefferson replacing Javon Harris at back safety. Iowa State is not known for its vertical passing game, but after watching OU's film of Baylor, the Cyclones will probably feel good about taking shots downfield.

3. Brandon Williams' time?

Bob Stoops declared this week that the freshman running back will become a bigger part of the offense. Williams has flashed plenty of potential, but hasn't gotten enough opportunities to make much of an impact. With Ryan Broyles and Dominique Whaley out and Jaz Reynolds banged up, the Sooners need playmaking offensively. Williams could help.

4. Containing Barnett

The Sooners did a lousy job of keeping Robert Griffin III in the pocket during the second half last week. Barnett is no Griffin, but he can make plays with his feet. OU must do a better job of keeping the quarterback from scrambling and making plays.

5. A helping Hanna

Against Baylor, the Sooners finally got tight end James Hanna involved in the passing game. Hanna caught a career-high four passes for 90 yards in the loss. Hanna is not Jermaine Gresham, but he can be a reliable weapon for quarterback Landry Jones. The Sooners would be wise to keep getting him the ball.

Jake Trotter covers University of Oklahoma football for SoonerNation. He can be reached at trotterjake@gmail.com. and look for answers every Friday.

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