Image via zimbio.com
Hello Brainiac Brethren! Man, am I ever glad football is back. I wanted to apologize for not being around for the in game thread. I had done the PPV since I’m up here in Chicago, and I didn’t get it to load until halfway through the second quarter. Needless to say I was ticked, but not about how our Sooners played. On the hoof, I’m very glad to see our O-line and backs able to churn out yards at will, especially in short yardage situations. If it was 3rd and five or less, it seemed like we just handed it to the three headed monster we have back there in Ford, Perine and Ross. It’s scary to think of what might have been if Mixon stays in that rotation. Still, you can give each one of these guys between 10 and 20 carries per game, and if your ground game is working, we could legitimately see three main backs get 20 a piece and run for 60 plays a game. When you’re going with tempo, and you’re able to grind out yardage, your backs will get in a good rhythm and the ability to wear opponents down and get those tough yards late in the game is definitely going to be there.
As for last night, I don’t think I’ve seen us have as clean a performance up front in some time. Daryl Williams got whistled for a hold, but it was iffy. We didn’t have any motion or false start penalties and when you consider the success we had while keeping it as vanilla as we did, it’s exciting to see what we’ll be able to get done this year. Really the game plan was a lot of zone read, some off tackle, and a power play here and there in the run game, along with some outs and dig routes over the middle. We didn’t see any bootleg and not much to the tight end either.
Since we haven’t used the tight end much, I’d expect we hold that back for some tougher opponents. Because with a very legitimate run game, the play action is going to be there. I like the fact that we didn’t see much, if any, 10 personnel packages, and especially for a developing qb with very young receivers, you want to unclutter that secondary as much as you can. With the fullback and tight ends in the game, it forced La Tech to keep their big packages in there and play a lot of single coverage out there on the edges. As Trevor gets more comfortable with these receivers in game situations, the screens to the outside and the routes we’ve seen in recent years will pop for big plays simply because there are less defenders to make miss.
As for the first game assessment, this was a very solid performance. No fumbled snaps, only a fluke fumble on a pass by Trevor where the ball slipped from his hand and a pick where the DE dropped in a zone blitz and made a heck of a play. Still, it wasn’t ball security issues like you’d expect with three young backs or bad reads like what we’ve seen before. I’m going to temper my enthusiasm and there will be plenty to break down in trench warfare.
We’ve got a big, fast, physical offense this year, and one that will be able to give the defense time to rest and adjust on the sidelines. Early on there’s reason for optimism, and after watching Alabama and Florida State struggle with two of our in conference foes, the Big 12 is going to be tougher this year than a lot of the pundits thought. That game in Morgantown just got a little tougher, and we go on the road to TCU as well. Fortunately, we have Baylor and Okie Lite at home, so if we can come out and play well while limiting turnovers, this could be a team that gets better and better as the year wears on.
Enjoy your holiday weekend! Me and the Man Cub will be breaking down the film here later tonight and tomorrow.