10) Well, that was fun now wasn’t it
So … last week I said three things needed to happen for OU to have a chance to beat Baylor:
a) run the ball effectively
b) no mistakes from the QB position
c) make Baylor one-dimensional
The Sooners were embarrassed Thursday night 41-12 in a game I was able to view in complete sobriety. Which was an unfortunate way to watch that bullshit. Oklahoma was bullied, pushed around, and out finessed by a team that couldn’t stop a nose bleed last year. Now they look like OU circa 2008. Or Miami circa 1988.
The Bears came out firing, hammering the OU running game and forcing the non-drop back passing Blake Bell to, well, become a drop back passer. And we all see how that ended up. Oklahoma finished with a pathetic 237 total yards, showing an equal inability to throw or run the ball. Baylor completely dominated the line of scrimmage, doing exactly what OU needed to do by establishing a power running game, then going over the top on a winded defense.
Baylor wasn’t exactly Super Tecmo Bowl great, but they still managed to move the ball effectively, especially on the ground, rushing for 255 yards on 54 carries. Oh, and that quick strike offense? They had the ball 5 more minutes than the ground and pound “attack” of the Sooners.
Baylor may not play for a national title, but they will win the conference and will get a chance to play another really good team in a BCS game.
This is Baylor we are talking about. BAYLOR.
10) Oklahoma State rolls
In what was easily its best performance of the year, Oklahoma State raced out to a 21-0 lead, then ended all doubt before the fourth quarter started in a resounding 52-34 win against reeling Texas Tech in Lubbock Saturday evening. Oklahoma State was outgained by Tech, but that differential is a bit skewed as the Red Raiders were playing catch up all night after the Pokes blitzkrieged Tech in the first quarter. In fact, Tech was forced to throw the ball 71 times while the Cowboys did what they should do the rest of the season – run the ball 55 times for 281 yards while throwing the ball only when they needed to (save a few idiotic pass calls late in the 3rd and early in the 4th).
How did this team lose at West Virginia, Thayer Evans? The same West Virginia that tried its damnedest to turn a sure win into a loss against the hapless TCU Horned Frogs. If not for that epic meltdown in Morgantown, OSU would be an undefeated top 10 team.
The memories of that game, though, are beginning to fade. OSU’s two game run of crap against West Virginia and Kansas State seems like a season ago as the Pokes have now run off three consecutive quality games, and play the porous Kansas Jayhawks this weekend. Oklahoma State does end the season at Texas and hosting both Baylor and Oklahoma. But the way the offense is being run and the defense is playing, there is reason to believe this OSU team could run the table and win another conference championship.
9) Welcome to 2013, Clint Chelf
In what was his best game (which frankly isn’t saying much), Chelf finally looked comfortable throwing the forward pass in what was supposed to be his biggest challenge to date. Chelf was efficient ,well, efficient for Clint Chelf. He completed 18 of 34 passes for two touchdowns. The pass plays were well designed for Chelf, generally playing off the fantastic run game. Play action. Two reads. Easy routes in the middle of the field.
It wasn’t a perfect day – Chelf threw two interceptions. But I blame the play calls, particularly the last pick, as much as I blame Chelf. When you are gashing your opponent on the ground between the tackles, don’t get all cute and throw a couple of pass plays in there. Just run the ball, especially when you don’t have Dan Marino or even Dan Threlkeld throwing the ball. Chelf needs a solid run game, a few quarterback draws, and easy passes to be successful. For the most part, the coaches complied Saturday evening and Chelf responded.
OU and OSU both came away with solid victories over the weekend. Fans of the schools seemed satisfied with the wins. The message boards are currently at a peaceful, eerie calm. With Baylor and Tech on the horizon, expect that not to last.
10) Oklahoma figures out how to beat teams
The Sooners, despite losing yet another incredibly important player for the year to injury, pounded the hell out of the Texas Tech in a 38-30 win in rain-soaked Norman. The Sooners did exactly what they have to do to beat anyone with a pulse these days: stop the run and run the ball effectively. Joe OU fan can’t be upset with a defense led by two true freshman linebackers holding Texas Tech to 72 yards rushing and forcing three turnovers.
In addition to what I will dub as a better than average defensive performance, the Sooners played efficient, balanced offense, amassing 526 total yards against what was supposed an improved Texas Tech defense. The Sooners were successful on offense, averaging 5.5 yards per rush, and 11.3 yards per pass attempt. OU only threw the ball 22 times, but Bell gathered two touchdowns and 249 yards on 14 completions.
This is the way Oklahoma can win most, if not all, of its remaining football games.
9) That was what I thought they were
Blake Bell isn’t Sam Bradford, and frankly I was tired of Josh Heupel trying to act like Bradford was back there throwing the ball to the Texas defense. This team, which has now lost its most versatile offensive player in addition to its two best defenders, cannot beat anyone allowing 300 yards rushing and passing the ball 30-40 times a game. However, what can be done, must be done – Oklahoma has been able to turn from a great pass blocking team to a great run blocking team.
This is not a team where “the pass sets up the run.” This is a team that must assert itself with the ground game to have any effectiveness through the air. I don’t care if they play Oregon or trail Baylor by 40. The Sooners will not be able to move the ball via the forward pass running any offense other than what was run Saturday afternoon. Power running plays. Quarterback reads. Play action pass. That’s how the Sooners can win every game.
Well, that was an ugly weekend. From the cold rain to whatever sport the state teams thought they were playing, let’s recap it all:
10) Oklahoma is BACK BABY!
I guess …
The Sooners fiddle farted around Saturday afternoon, allowing the previously pathetic Jayhawk offense to run through what can only be dubbed as the WTF Defense in a manner Kansas hasn’t accomplished since Mount Mangino rumbled down the sidelines in Lawrence. Kansas had gone 47 straight drives without a touchdown. Mike Stoops was the antidote. After spotting Kansas 13 points over the first 15 minutes of the game, the Sooners finally came out of the locker room from halftime of the TCU game two weeks ago, outscoring Kansas 35-6 in a win that inspired no confidence with any OU fan.
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