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College Football Musings from the Train: Week 7


10) OU/Texas

Total yards – 482 for Texas, 232 for Oklahoma.

First downs – 24 for Texas, 11 for Oklahoma.

Time of Possession – Texas won that battle by 16 minutes.

Third downs converted – Texas 7. Oklahoma 1.

For the better part of 60 minutes, the Sooners were whipped by a bad Texas team last Saturday. The Oklahoma offense was putrid. The defense was porous, especially when you consider how bad Texas’ offense was leading into the game.

And yet, Oklahoma won 31-26.

During the first half, the Sooners managed to run 11 plays and accumulate 29 total yards. They surrendered 278 yards to Texas. They got ONE first down.

And yet, Oklahoma led 17-13.

Nothing about this game made any damned sense. The Sooners were outplayed. They had 2 good drives, and one decent enough drive on this Texas defense. The secondary and particularly the safeties were torched by a bad version of Vince Young. There was no rhyme or reason why Oklahoma won the game. Except that they did.

Alex Ross has proven he is not the answer at running back. But that guy is a monster returning kicks. After Texas surprised 95,000 people by moving down the field with ease in kicking a field goal on their opening drive, Ross did what he does – take the ball in open space and run really effing fast. He took the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.

Zach Sanchez can’t tackle anyone these days. He plays 10 yards off the receiver. But that guy can intercept passes and make plays in the open field. And that is exactly what he did with 11 minutes left in the first half by taking a Tyrone Swoopes pass 43 yards the other way for 6.

Ross and Sanchez were the difference. In a game where the winning team was out gained by 250 yards, Oklahoma relied on huge non-offensive plays to become the first team in 2014 to win a game despite such a disparity in yards gained.


9) The Offense

College Football Musings from the Train: Week 6


10) The Season That Wasn’t

There is going to come a point in time when I stop doing this to myself. When I stop telling myself and anyone who will listen that this is a new season, a different team. That this is a team built to win the national championship.

If that day didn’t manifest Saturday evening, God help us when it arrives.

The Sooners were thoroughly out coached and out played, especially at the most important position on the field in Fort Worth Saturday afternoon, losing to an inferior Horned Frogs squad 37-33. The Sooners, despite winning the time of possession and turnover battle, had little success stopping the TCU offense, and no success establishing or executing an effective offensive gameplan. Tied 24-24 at half, Oklahoma manged a paltry 9 points the final thirty minutes, none of which came on offense the last 25 minutes.

It was an ugly, turnover and penalty filled shitshow. The vaunted Oklahoma defense looked pedestrian for most of the night, particularly the first two drives of the game in which they surrendered 14 points and gave that mongrel idiot offensive coordinator an excuse to throw the ball on every play. But the defense wasn’t just a first half problem – they also proved to suck hairy ballsack the second half, even with TCU inexplicably moving away from the Zach Sanchez side of the field. The OU defense could muster no pressure against an average TCU offensive line. Bring five guys, bring one guy. Didn’t matter. TCU quarterback Trevon Boykin had all day and a few evening hours to throw the ball. I don’t care who you are. When you have all damned day to complete a pas, you are going to do it if you are on an FBS scholarship…unless your name is Trevor.

And that doesn’t even cover the offense.

I should have known better. Great teams have great quarterbacks. They have great defenses. Oklahoma has neither. I will now proceed to drink all the bourbon in Oklahoma City and sober up in time for next weekend’s pillow fight.


9) Heupel and Knight

College Football Musings from the Train: Week 5


10) Oklahoma State and the worst people on the planet not from Louisiana

On a beautiful Thursday night, Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 45-35 in a game that featured five turnovers and 26 penalties. And left me wondering if either of these teams are any good. I mean, I guess OSU is sorta good. The Cowboys, who struggled much of the game running the ball against a porous Red Raider run defense, lit up an overmatched Tech secondary to the tune of 370 yards on only 17 completions, or like 87 yards per completion. Though the Poke faithful can’t be thrilled the Cowboys averaged under 4 yards a carry, it was obvious Tech stacked the box, daring the Pokes to throw over the top. Which they did. All damn night.

College Football Musings from the Train: Week 4


10) Oklahoma defeats the Mountain Dew mainliners

It was a tale of two halves.

The Sooners, after having spent 30 minutes forgetting how to play defense and trying to have Trevor Knight reenact Sam Bradford, responded after halftime with an opportune and solid defense and ran the ball with force, turning away a much improved and talented mountaineer team 45-33 in Morgantown Saturday night. Couches were set ablaze. Remaining tooth was knocked out. Drain cooler moonshine flowed like wine. Oklahoma escaped a night game on the east coast no worse for wear.

Samaje Perine broke the will of the West Virginia defense, running for 242 yards, 7.1 yards per carry, and four scores. Trevor knight mushed through an inconsistent throwing day and ridiculous game planning. The secondary was not good. The pass rush had difficulty making hay until late in the game. And Alex Ross had yet another game changing big play. Dude may not be a 20 carry back, but he is a home run threat when he touches the ball.

As I write this column on my return flight from Vegas, emitting foul body smells and doing everything possible to not yiff on a 737, I maintain that despite the first 28 minutes or so, I never got the feeling OU was going to lose. It didn’t make sense that Stoops would allow Knight to throw the ball in the second half as a certain someone allowed him to do in the first. I also believed that at some point the defense was going to get to Clint Trickett, that he wasn’t going to march them up and down the field all game.

This is a very good OU squad. You aren’t going to hold every team on your schedule to no first half points. You aren’t going be able to play your backups every week. In order for this team to be the team they can be, they will have games were things aren’t perfect – where you have to on the road and grind out a win.

College Football Musings from the Train: Week 3


10) SEC < Big XII

In a strong effort to duplicate the first two weeks of the season, Oklahoma played near flawless football for a little over one half, then let off the pedal on both sides of the ball, cruising to a 34-10 win against Tennessee on Saturday night. The Sooners ran out to a 20-7 halftime lead, increased said lead to 27-7 three minutes into the second quarter, then stopped playing football for the most part the remainder of the contest. In fact, if not for two endzone turnovers, one of which was run back by Julian Wilson for a touchdown, the game takes on quite a different tenor late in the fourth quarter.

Trevor Knight continues to play solid if not spectacular football. Knight was 20 of 33 for two touchdowns (one rushing) and had a couple of timely quarterback draws/read option keepers sprinkled throughout the game. He appears to become more comfortable each game. Though his deep passes aren’t perfect, and he seems at times hellbent on not running the football, this is the guy most rational Sooner fans were hoping for after the Sugar Bowl. He isn’t going to have an Alabama game every week. But he also isn’t going to have a ULM or West Virginia or Landry Jones game either. As the coaches continue to force feed a passing game, he and Sterling Shepard, and emerging Durron Neal and Blake Bell, will be on the same page as the schedule increases in difficulty.

As for the defense, they get their own section of the article.

I said before the game that this Oklahoma team just seems different. Very businesslike. Efficient. Yes, they made a few mistakes Saturday night. And yes, the offense went in a damn shell the last 25  minutes of the game. And yes, the defense game up a few big yardage plays. But this is not the same team that pussy footed through a bad West Virginia in 2013, or got boat raced by Aggie in 2012, or got embarrassed by Oklahoma State in 2011. They may not be superior at any one position (save one really big exception), but they are good at every position.