NORMAN, Okla. – Here's how concerned Oklahoma is about giving up 351 yards rushing in a win against Air Force: The Sooners are going to pretend it didn't happen.
After any other game, defensive coordinator Brent Venables would go back through the game film and assess how his players performed and look for areas of concern that need to be addressed.
Not this time.
"We're not even grading this tape," Venables said. "It doesn't do us any good, so we're going right on down the road."
Indeed, the eighth-ranked Sooners (3-0) will hit the road for the first time this season to face Cincinnati (1-2) on Saturday night. Like most other teams in college football, the Bearcats run an offense that's nothing like Air Force's attack that incorporates the triple option, all kinds of chop-blocking and pretty much any way imaginable to run the football.
The Falcons came in leading the nation with 423 yards rushing per game and left with the highest rushing total ever against Bob Stoops' Sooners, surpassing by two yards the amount West Virginia accumulated in a Fiesta Bowl blowout in January 2008.
But if Cincinnati or other future opponents don't figure to come after Oklahoma the same way, why waste time revisiting the past?
"With a team like that and with an offense like that, we're never going to see that again," linebacker Travis Lewis said. "So, it's not like teams can watch this film and be like, 'Oh, OK, we're going to put up 300 yards rushing on Oklahoma.' It doesn't happen like that.
"This is one team where a lot of players have never seen this kind of offense before and you've got a week to prepare for it, and it's tough."
Lewis, a defensive captain, said he was going to "take a mulligan" on the Sooners' performance against the run and not dwell on it too long.
"Tough team. Tough game. Got the victory. Move on," he said.
Venables blamed Air Force's success running right up the gut on unique blocking schemes and not on poor play by the Sooners' interior linemen.
Some of the Falcons' biggest plays came on the perimeter after they lined up with a wide receiver between a fullback and tailback in an I formation. Receiver Jonathan Warzeka had a 39-yard gain on Air Force's first play from scrimmage, and quarterback Tim Jefferson scored on a 38-yard option keeper out of that look.
"If we held them to 30 yards, it doesn't matter," Venables said. "We already knew that going in. This is just a game that's on the schedule, we've got to try to find a way to win it and go on down the road."
"We won the game," he added. "That's the biggest thing you take out of it, and that's about it."
After ranking fourth in the nation in scoring and going undefeated through the regular season last year, Cincinnati has struggled after losing quarterback Tony Pike and receiver Mardy Gilyard to the NFL draft and receiver Vidal Hazelton to a season-ending knee injury in Week 1.
The Bearcats are scoring about two touchdowns less per game and have allowed more sacks than any team in the nation.
The trip still presents a challenge for the Sooners, who have won 33 straight home games but lost five of their last seven games away from Owen Field. This game will technically be at a neutral site at the Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium.
"We've just got to come out and play Oklahoma football. In the past, we haven't been a good road team, but that's the past," defensive end Jeremy Beal said.
"This is a new team, and I think we're going to do well on the road."