10) The meltdown
It is October 18th, 2014 and I have no idea whether the University of Oklahoma is any good at football. I thought they were pretty good….one month ago. Now two losses and a ridiculous win later, I have my doubts whether this team is any better than the 2013 or even 2009 squads.
Saturday afternoon, at home mind you, Oklahoma out gained Kansas state by 200, won the time possession by five minutes, and committed only three penalties, yet lost 31-30 on what can accurately be described as a colossal meltdown of global proportions. The offense committed monumental mistakes. The defense was hideous the first 40 minutes. Special teams … a shitshow. It was a total loss by what I thought was a pretty good team entering October.
The Sooners were pwned in the first half until a final drive to end the first 30 minutes, which ended in a shanked field goal and pretty sums up the 2nd half. Despite rushing for nearly 200 yards and passing for over 300, the offense was unable to overcome a pick six and an insanely idiotic reverse pass INT in the end zone, as well as a terrible defense, losing 31-30 to Kansas state on homecoming no less.
At some point OU fan must succumb to the realization that Mike Stoops has done a terrible job with this defense. This is the most talented OU defense in a least a decade, and they can’t stop anyone. They made Texas look good and Kansas State’s QB look like the second coming of Johnny Manziel. They can rush the passer (when allowed). They do an average job against the run. But they are horrible … HORRIBLE … defending the pass. There is no one at the back of this defense that can cover anyone with a pulse, save Zach Sanchez. Ahmad Thomas can’t be the best Stoops can put out there. I can’t be convinced he’s the best free safety on this team. It just isn’t possible.
This team is schizophrenic. I don’t know what to expect drive to drive, much less game to game.
Of course, if the offense could just stop doing stupid shit …
9) Trevor Knight and the play calls
You see that photo above? That was me and my friends being idiot college kids at OU/Texas seven years ago. I was but a wee freshman, and this was my first trip to the Red River Rivalry free from the watchful eye of attending with my parents. Notice how we’re all posing for this drunken picture in a shower at the Sheraton hotel, with our solo cups and silly hand signs and crimson attire. I can pretty much guarantee Soulja Boy or Eli Young was playing in the background from an iPod playlist or mixed CD that someone made special for this very occasion.
Things have changed a lot since then. Nowadays, my idea of a big night usually means take-out from P.F. Changs and an OnDemand movie. No one warned me about the rapid rate you age in the years between 23 and 25. While I hung tough my first post-grad year and again experienced the OU/Texas I had come to love, two years after I felt out-of-place and adrift on McKinney Street, and last year I cut my losses and
cried into my chili watched the game with friends in my backyard.
I thought it’d be both fun and depressing to do a little retrospective analysis and map out what my OU/Texas weekend looked like in college vs. what is probably going to go down this weekend. Here goes.
Friday, 10:00 am
Then: Roll over in bed and fumble around for a glass of water and some Advil. Damnit, why did I drink that extra LIT last night at Suger’s?
Now: Spreadsheet. I’m spreadsheeting. Hehe, spreadsheet–wonder if Cosmopolitan has created a position called “The Spreadsheet” yet.
Friday, 10:07 am
Then: Spring out of bed and get dressed. God, I feel wonderful! If I hurry up and eat lunch, I’ll have enough time to run 3-4 miles, shower, and pack before we leave for Dallas!
Now: Nothing interesting on Cosmo’s website. Wonder if it’s someone’s birthday today? Mosey to the breakroom in hopes of finding a cookie cake.
Then: Pick up friends then head to Classic’s. Southbound roadtrips should always start with a Sprittle or an Eskimo Frosty.
Now: Spreadsheets. Maybe I should make a grocery list on a spreadsheet. Bread, rotisserie chicken, humus, apples…
Friday, 2:00 pm
Then: ROCK ME MAMA LIKE A WAGON WHEEL–OMG look, a car full of Lambdas!
Now: Face wash. I need to add face wash to my grocery list.
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
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.
10) Oklahoma hammers out manned Tulsa
You remember that time when the University of Tulsa hired Todd Graham and Steve Kragthrope as head coaches, and then won 10 games, and went to bowl games, and competed for conference championships, and made the alumni base proud on a weekly basis?
Because the current state of this program is exactly the opposite of the aforementioned program.
Oklahoma dominated Tulsa on a rainy Saturday afternoon, slipping and sliding their way to a 52-7 victory. The game was effectively over at half as the Sooners, buoyed by a 395 to 95 advantage in total yards, Oklahoma raced to an immediate 21-0 first quarter lead and a 31-0 advantage by the end of the first half. Though I felt the Sooners threw the ball entirely too often in the first half considering the talent at running back and opponent, it was obvious Oklahoma continues to work on a vertical passing game that was all but non-existent until the Alabama game in 2013. OU could have run the ball 80% of the time and won this game going away – the physical mismatch between Oklahoma’s offensive line and Tulsa’s defensive line was comical.
Josh Heupel did a nice job of mixing the inside runs with outside runs, and horizontal passes with vertical passes, especially in that first half when it mattered. Trevor Knight looked better as a passer from week one to week two. The running backs continue to be an asset, breaking off both tough and long runs, especially Alex Ross’s brilliant 82 yard touchdown.
As for the defense, Tulsa was held completely in check the first two quarters. quarterback pressures, no running lanes, good outside coverage. Unfortunately, the second team and assorted backups surrendered 230 total yards and provided little to no pressure on Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans from the front four.
But the bottom line – when it has mattered the last two weeks, Oklahoma’s offense and defense have been sharp and dominant. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of last year.
9) Tulsa’s cute little game day experience
My wife and I met while she was attending the University of Tulsa. We both have degrees from TU. We have many college friends who live in Tulsa. As such, we were invited to and attended a tailgate just west of the stadium.
To reiterate, I went to Tulsa for 3 years. I went multiple football games, including the 2002 OU Tulsa game. So why I didn’t remember how damned small that stadium feels escapes me. 29,000 people attended the game Saturday, including yours truly. It felt like a high school game both inside and outside the stadium. Yes, Tulsa has crafted a nice little tailgate row on the north side and an alumni area in the field west of H.A. Chapman Stadium / Skelly Field. But even with OU in town, its sparse. Hundreds of thousands of people descend upon Norman for big games. It’s a little city. TU is little.
And walking into the stadium (which needs a serious overhaul of its concessions, pissers, and walk ways – ex. put in some closed circuit televisions under the stands, this isn’t 1956) is a throw back to the wing T. It’s quiet. It’s wide open. The press box and suites are very nice, but everything else smacks of Jenks/Union.
p.s. - I was anywhere from 4 to 10 drinks in when I wrote these notes about the stadium and game day atmosphere, so it’s probably a pretty nice venue with frolicking and fun had by all #2drunk2care.
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