On the heels of a slow albeit successful start to the 2012 season, the fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners are expected to have an easier time of it in week two as they entertain FCS foe Florida A&M this Saturday.
Florida A&M, which calls the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision home, is coming off a 17-14 loss at Tennessee State in its season opener.
The competition level spikes considerably for the Rattlers this week, who haven't appeared in the FCS playoffs since 2001 and went 7-4 overall and 5-3 in conference last season.
Oklahoma started slow in last week's season opener at UTEP, but still managed to prevail in a 24-7 final. It was the 12th win in 13 season openers for the Sooners under current head coach Bob Stoops, and this week the team will try to add to its impressive 63-3 record against unranked foes at home, which includes a 31-1 mark against such opponents outside of the Big 12 Conference.
OU is 7-3 all-time against teams from the FCS, 3-0 under Stoops with all the three games being incredibly lopsided as the Sooners own a 170-2 scoring differential in those contests.
Despite the lackluster showing in the season opener, Stoops was pleased with the outcome, "Obviously, we had some inconsistencies, but still I feel positive with my team when we get a win, any time."
This game marks the first meeting between Florida A&M and Oklahoma on the football field.
The Rattlers generated just 272 yards of total offense last week against Tennessee State, committed two turnovers and were penalized nine times for a loss of 70 yards. Conversely, the Tigers produced 401 yards, 263 of which came through the air, but were flagged an unbelievable 20 times for a loss of 178 yards.
FAMU's top performers last week include RB Eddie Rocker (13 carries for 90 yards) and WR Travis Harvey (six receptions for 52 yards and one TD). QB Damien Fleming went just 15-of-30 for 119 yards with a TD and an INT, and all of the team's pass attempts averaged just 4.3 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Rattlers posted four sacks and came up with a pair of turnovers. Linebacker Brandon Hepburn led the way with 10 tackles, which included 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Like all defenses, FAMU's hopes to get off the field quickly against most foes, although ideally it would be due to forcing a three-and-out scenario. Unfortunately, that still may be the case against Oklahoma, but more because the Sooners expect to score almost at will.
Oklahoma's Heisman-hopeful, QB Landry Jones went 21-of-36 for 222 yards and two TDs in last week's win at UTEP, hitting WR Kenny Stills six times for 121 yards and a score. The Sooners' rushing attack had trouble finding its footing early, but wound up posting 205 yards with RB Damien Williams accounting for more than half of those with 104 yards and a TD on only nine carries.
Still, the Sooners averaged just shy of six yards per offensive play. They did have to punt eight times however as they went just 5-of-16 on third-down conversion attempts.
Jones knows his team needs to perform better on a consistent basis if its going to reach its goals this season, "We just weren't in synch. It was one of those things where we would have flashes of greatness, but it wouldn't be all as a team. But we came out with a W and that's what we're shooting for."
The Oklahoma defense did a terrific job against the pass (48 yards) last week, but allowed the Miners to average nearly six yards per rush attempt. The Sooners were rock-solid on third down (3-of-16), and UTEP was held scoreless on its only trip to the red zone.
Defensive back Tony Jefferson registered a team-high 10 tackles, while the OU defense as a whole was credited with five TFL, including a pair of sacks, seven QB hurries and six PBU. Neither team came up with a turnover, although they combined to put the ball on the turf five times.