There is only ONE Oklahoma

Monday, October 01, 2007

Who saw that coming?

an OU/CU Game Review

Sometimes a team has a game where nothing goes right. Then there are those games that take it to the next level and everything completely goes wrong. OU’s game against CU was just such a game. The Sooners were obviously flat, especially on offense, from the outset.

I thought the playcalling on offense was suspect and a little in a rut, if you will. There was too much running on first and second down then throw on third and long. The run off tackle was decent, but not between the tackles. So it looks to me like you don’t keep calling that inside run. Perhaps more rollout passes and some misdirection or reverse. I’m not sure why we got conservative all of a sudden.

Bradford didn’t do all that bad, though he didn’t have a great game. He had trouble seeing that blitz the Buffs kept using and getting checked to the right play. It’s asking a lot of a freshman QB to make those very consistently. He never threw to Kelly and nobody seems to know why. In his defense, he had some passes right on target that were dropped. Sam played well enough for OU to win.

Patrick had some really nice runs. None of the other guys shook things up that much. Kudos to Pleasant, I think it was, who caught the FB pass and absolutely fought for a first down. Would that the entire offense had fought that hard in the game.

TE’s and WR’s had dropsies pretty bad. The TE passing game was there at times, but the guys didn’t consistently catch. It was really weird how low-energy their performance was.

The defense didn’t play that badly till they got wore out. Part of that is on the offense, but with our rotation, legs should have been more fresh. Perhaps they had an issue going on between the ears like the offense, whatever that issue was.

We got good pressure on blitzes and the front four gave chase pretty good. There was really good tackling, lots of gang tackling. The guys kept stripping the ball more than usual, even early in the game.

CU’s misdirection runs are what killed us. We did not have backside containment on that at all. It was over pursuit that reminded me of 2005.

The DL got good pressure in the passing game and played pretty well against the run till later in the game. Davis got heavy action in relief of Williams. He seemed to have a good game, coming back to tackle on short passes, shedding a block to tip a key pass. I’m not sure if he was the culprit that was out of position on those misdirection plays. Some of that is on the DE, but I never could figure out it was on any one player consistently.

Lofton and Reynolds were all over the place and hitting like a truck. They are excellent tacklers and great in the open field. Lofton dropped a potential INT and CU scored on the next play. There were a lot of little things like that, but they become huge when you look at the final score.

The DB’s were playing okay early, especially Wolfe. Kudos to him for 2 INT’s and great return skills. But as the game wore on we had some real coverage issues. It looked like Walker got burned on a late CU TD. However, as I often say, the coverage schemes are complicated enough that I’m not sure who was struggling. I will say I’ve never been completely sold on Coach BJW as a DB coach. I’m not seeing much to change my mind. Some fans are displeased with Venables as a DC. I think the D has gotten better and plays well for Brent. However, BJW seems to be a better DE coach than DB coach.

The DB’s do tackle really well and are great in run support. Lendy also dropped a potential INT, but is a solid tackler. You gotta give the guy credit there. Harris made a diving play to bat down a pass that was *this close* to being an INT. That’s the story of the game; a bunch of really close stuff that never seemed to click.

Punt/Kick coverage was a little rough, though the CU Kick return guy is a stud. I thought CU was getting by with a little blocking in the back on some of that, but nothing major.

Smith had a little more success returning punts until he had the late muffed punt. That killed us; that’s when I felt certain we’d lose. Iglesias had a bad idea on the one kick return that wound up being a touchback. When in doubt just take a knee. He did have a nice return later for about 25 or 30.

I’m not sure what conclusive evidence the replay refs saw to reverse JI’s late catch, but they put the ball on a plane, flew it to the west coast and gave it to Oregon. You could debate the thing, but not conclusively enough to overturn the call on the field. That was a backbreaker, but the Sooners should not have put themselves in that position to begin with.

Look back at it you people and you will see a lot of nearly and almost. You’ll also see a lot of sloppy and stuff so out of character that it’s creepy. The second half especially was so strange. We’re up 24-7 and everything keeps happening almost like we were destined to lose.

Whatever voodoo was in the air can certainly be shaken off. If this team takes the lessons to heart and pulls back together we’ve got a chance to win the conference. We still control our own destiny. Win out and you’re in the CCG. With a little help, we could even be in the title hunt, though that’s a stretch. The Horns lost too so next week should be interesting. Here’s to hoping we return to early season form. Boomer Sooner!

I have always said that the polls should not come out till at least week five of the season. Most teams have now played five games so here is my top 25:

1. LSU
2. USC
3. California
4. Ohio State
5. Wisconsin
6. South Florida
7. Boston College
8. Kentucky
9. S. Carolina
10. Florida (tie)
10. Oklahoma (tie)
12. Georgia
13. Oregon
14 West Virginia
15. Virginia Tech
16. Texas
17. Missouri
18. Arizona State
19. Hawaii
20. Cincinnati
21. Rutgers
22. Clemson
23. Purdue
24. Kansas State
25. Nebraska

No comments: