I’ll admit that it was hard to find much to complain about from Saturday’s performance, but that’s what y’all pay me the big bucks for.
Of the 86 yards OU gained for the game, 64 came from one run by Dom Whaley. I hate to keep playing a broken record, but I just don’t think that will cut it against the national elite.
“Running It Up”
Some Twitter chatter yesterday called out Bob Stoops for playing his starters deep into the fourth quarter and going for it on fourth down in Texas territory late in the game.
If you want to argue Stoops is risking needless injury by not pulling the first string with a big lead, I feel you.
I will never concede that a major college coach is under some kind of obligation to empty the bench in a blowout, though. It may come off as running up the score or – my favorite – “classless” to the sports morality police, but it sounds like loser’s justice to me.
Memo to Bob Stoops: Whatever you’re teaching these guys on kickoffs, do the opposite.
Fozzy Whittaker made that 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown look like a walk – fine, a jog – in the park.
Brandon Williams’ Fumble
Sooner fans got a brief glimpse of Oklahoma’s talented freshman runner in the fourth quarter. After Williams put the ball on the turf, it might be the last we see of him for a while.
That’s a Bob Stoops Cardinal Sin at any point in the game, even when you’re up by 40 points.
This will sound picky, but OU’s pass offense didn’t blow me away. The Sooners put up big numbers through the air, but there were more than enough drops and miscommunications between Landry Jones and his receivers to make me wonder how many points OU may have actually left on the board.
That said, so many plays in the passing game like Jones’ over-the-top completion to Jaz Reynolds in the second quarter on third and 25 couldn’t have gone better.
Few have mentioned this, but Ikard did skillfully anchored the offensive line with all-conference center Ben Habern on the sidelines. Although the line struggled to open holes consistently for OU’s runners, its pass protection routinely gave ‘Stache all day to throw.
Ikard may not have had the most dominant day of the Sooners’ hogmollies. All things considered, though, his performance was key.
Known for being aggressive and overpursuing, OU’s defenders never let Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin use that attacking style against them. While tacklers occasionally took poor angles or simply failed to finish tackles, I can’t think of any cases off the top of my head in which someone on the Sooner D was caught out of position or flat-footed.
Three sacks. Six total tackles. A forced fumble returned for a touchdown.
Never thought I’d say this, but Alexander is having an All-American senior year.
The Sooners’ shutdown corner had fallen a little short of expectations prior to the Red River Shootout, but he put together one of the greatest games of his career against the Longhorns.
No one play better summed up this game than Fleming plucking the ball right out of the hands of Texas’ Mike Davis and taking it to the house in the second half.
OU’s Coaching Staff
I touched on this at Crystal Ball Run but it doesn’t take a psychologist trained in badassery to figure out how pleased Bob Stoops was with the head-to-toe pimp-slapping his staff gave their vaunted counterparts in burnt orange.
OU had a clear personnel advantage almost across the board. The game plans drawn up by defensive coordinator Brent Venables and offensive tacticians Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell left nothing to chance. With the way this game went, Harsin and Manny Diaz might as well have given the OU coaches a blueprint of their strategies for this game at the beginning of the week.