ford OU vs. Tulsa – What I’ll Be Watching

Image via Tulsa World

* OU’s rushing attack - We got our first look last week at the three-headed monster that is Keith Ford/Alex Ross/Samaje Perine and I assume I’m not alone in coming away pretty impressed. That said, OU still ran for less than 200 yards on 40 carries, amounting to a somewhat paltry 4.6 yard per carry average against a pretty pedestrian La Tech defense. Tulsa, on other hand, allowed 250+ yards on just 30 carries (a 8.5 per avg) to a Tulane team we can all agree is nowhere near comparable to what OU will be putting on the field early Saturday afternoon.

So while it was admittedly just one game for Tulsa’s defense, I’ll be pretty disappointed come around 2:30 pm Saturday if OU hasn’t at least eclipsed the 200 yard mark on the ground.

* The secondary - La Tech didn’t provide much of a test for OU’s somewhat inexperienced secondary and that was due in part, as it likely will be most of this season, to the pressure created by the front seven. The expectation has always been those guys up front, being as good as many of us believe they can be, would help significantly to cover up most of the potential issues in the back end. And that could very well be the case once again on Saturday, but there is very little doubt Tulsa will provide more of a test through the air. If for no other reason than sheer volume.

Tulsa is going to pass…A LOT. They appear to have a talented quarterback in Dane Evans, who threw the ball 53 times in TU’s season opener. They also have a number of quality receivers, most notably Keevan Lucas. And if we’re operating under the premise that the Golden Hurricanes will be playing from behind — which I don’t think is unfair based on OU being a 20+ point favorite — then they’ll likely be forced to throw the ball even more, therefore providing much more of a test for guys like Julian Wilson, Ahmad Thomas, and Hatari Byrd (to name a few).

* TEs to be more involved - We heard all spring/summer about how the tight ends would be a much more prominent part of this OU offense again like in years past. Then La Tech came & went and it seemed as though very little had actually  changed. Outside of that one close but unsuccessful play to Blake Bell in the back corner of the end zone and/or if you’re considering Dimitri Flowers to be somewhat of a defacto TE, it felt like the TEs were just as minimal a part of the offense as they were in 2013. Maybe you remember them being targeted more than I do, in which case I’d welcome being proved wrong.

Regardless, nobody listed on OU’s roster as a tight end recorded a catch against La Tech. So the hope would be that is not the case for a second consecutive game, and that Josh Heupel/Trevor Knight can get those guys involved a little (or a lot, I’m cool with either) more on Saturday. I’m obviously thinking more long-term here and what the threat of a TE could mean for the offense more so than them needing to play a significant role in order to beat Tulsa.

* Knight’s composure - I’m certainly not breaking any news in stating Knight looked much, much more composed last week than he did in last year’s season opener. However, he did still show that tendency to be inaccurate with some of his throws. Maybe, that’s simply the give-and-take we’re going to get with him as QB1. I suppose only time will tell. But Saturday will only be the third ever road start in his young career. And, yes, I know a trip down I-44 will likely be, as it has been in the past, something of a home game for OU. So it’s not expected to be the most difficult of road atmospheres, but it’s still not the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium.

Maybe Tulsa hits a big play early. Heck, maybe they even jump out to an early lead. I’d expect with a year (of sorts, he did miss about half the season last year) now under his belt, Knight is better prepared to respond than he may have been at this same time last year. Admittedly, I’m probably reaching a bit here for a game @ Tulsa but it could be something to keep an eye on if things don’t go OU’s way early.

* Jordan Evans - Nothing specific necessarily, I’m just anxious to see him actually play after his erroneous (per Stoops via Walt Anderson) ejection last week.

—-

What will you be watching for Saturday morning afternoon?


  • SoonerfanTU

    “I’m certainly not breaking any news in stating Knight looked much, much
    more composed last week than he did in last year’s season opener.
    However, he did still show that tendency to be inaccurate with some of
    his throws.”

    I haven’t gotten to read all of the comments, or many, about the actual game last week. But I’m glad you pointed this out. I thought he was pretty accurate early on (1st half), but I was a little disappointed in the errant throws in the 2nd half. I REALLY hope he improves on this. Obviously he was night and day better than most games last year, but I still think there is room for improvement. No reason to struggle throwing the quick ball out to the RB in the flat.

    As for what I’ll be looking for against TU, more of the same. Limited/no penalties. Good oline and dline play against inferior competition. I’d like to see us bust a few bigger plays on O. Better tackling on D. I’d like to see us work the 3 and 4 WR looks a little more. I think we’ll need that look against some of our better competition later this year.

    • BB

      “No reason to struggle throwing the quick ball out to the RB in the flat.”

      I really think Knight gets unfairly labeled on this throw. The only time I recall him struggling with this was against ULM last year. But I agree that his accuracy/timing needs to improve with the receivers not named Shepard or Neal.

      • friedgreensooner

        I thought he did a great job, with one exception, of hitting the running backs in stride on the swing pass, As a matter of fact, I was a bit surprised at his skill.

  • Sean Post

    I wouldn’t be shocked if the game plan remains pedestrian like the La Tech game. We may not see much with the TE’s this week. My guess is the playbook will go nuclear against Tennessee. Stoops has a burr under his saddle for SEC teams and will want to send a message. We may see Bell catching passes and throwing passes on trick plays that week.

    • jdub

      I agree. Historically, Stoops tends to be fairly conservative in the first couple of a games & then throw in a little “razzle dazzle” the game or 2 prior to saxet – fake punt; “trick” play; etc. Just to give them a little something else to be aware of & prepare for.

    • paganpink

      I really think you may be right Sean. I believe we’re still vanilla this week. Next week we start to uncork it. And we should have no need to show much, if either the run game or the air game really get going against Tulsa.

  • JJsooner1

    So Jordan, do you think TU’s O-line can hold up under the pass rush OU will bring?

    • Jordan Esco

      I’ll be pretty surprised if they don’t make an effort to get rid of the ball quickly, so in that respect I’d say yes, at times, they’ll be able to hold up.

      Now if they’re using 5 and 7-step drops and asking him to go thru multiple reads, then I’d say very much no, they won’t be able to hold up.

      • JJsooner1

        Good answer. I agree. They’re a step up from LA Tech I believe and they’ll be pumped.

  • soonermusic

    I’ll be looking to see if the offense stays the same, or if we use more pass plays and qb options this week. Last year was such an air raid vs. Tulsa. Don’t know how much of that was picking plays they felt most comfortable with for Bell, but obviously, part of it was what they saw in the Tulsa defense. So, if Tulsa is still playing the same defensively, will we air it out, or stick with similar balance to this past week?

    I’m kinda wondering if they might use Tulsa as an opportunity to fine tune the pass game, which appeared to need it a bit more than the run game at this point. I don’t have a particular preference either way, but I think it will be interesting to see how it develops.

  • Zack

    Received an email today saying college game day is very likely to be in Norman next weekend. That they are still deciding depending on what happens this week. I looked at next weeks schedule and the only other game looks like texas and ucla. The email said they’re leaning toward ou hosting gameday right now.

    • SoonerfanTU

      Georgia at South Carolina would be another option for them, but I’d think SC getting smoked by aTm takes some of the sparkle off that game.

      I think they will be in Norman too.

      • Boom

        How could ESPN pass up two SEC gamedays back to back.

        • boomersooner

          That’s blasphemy right?

          • paganpink

            Well, they’re not coming here to highlight the Sooners. We’re evidently the most overrated team in the last half century or something. But the magnificent Tennessee team- could this be their year? LOL

    • JJsooner1

      Welcome them to God’s country:-)

    • soonerpeace

      Yes and they are headed to UCLA / Oregon RRR weekend most likely. We can see David Pollack eat his words because he has us 11 and he won’t after that. This team in person and up close is incredibly impressive.

  • SoonerPhins

    I will be looking at the RBs. I would like to see OU break 300 on the ground. Maybe even 3 100 yard rushers in the game. I will also be looking to see how the back up QB plays this game with Thomas healthy. I believe OU will win pretty easily.

  • Daddy R

    On the RB’s only getting 4.6 ypc carry vs La Tech:

    To me that’s a product of, and a downside to, playing 3 guys. There used to be something called rhythm for running back’s. The true benefit of playing a guy for 5 series in a row, letting him get all the touches at the RB spot, and as the game progresses, he learns to read the blocking of the particular game (which is different every game), and WHAM, starts to carve em’ up.

    This gets brought up sometimes (not nearly enough) to coaches as a concern towards the committee approach and occasionally you’ll hear a coach counter the concern with a statement like, “whichever player gets the hot hand, will play more than the others.”

    Well, RB’s have a much better chance to get “hot” if you let them have 10-15 carries without having to come out for another back. There is very little chance for a rhythm to develop, for any of the RB’s playing, if they only get two or three touches, and then have to come out for half a quarter. Seems like it would take much longer for any rhythm to develop in the running game, with so many backs switching.

    I would go so far as to say, if we would have given any 1, of our 3 backs that played, a majority of the snaps, he would have went over 150 yds, with over 5+ ypc. Be it Ross, Ford, or Perine…

    • Kody K.

      I was just explaining this same thing to my son the other day. His high school football team is using running back by committee. I agree they need to give a back a chance to “get it going”.

      • Daddy R

        I really do think its a fad to some degree. And there is certainly more talent across the board now, which would make a committee seem logical, I just think its importance (and effectiveness) is overblown.

    • JJsooner1

      There were a good number of plays where LA Tech had 8 and 9 in the box. I think they knew they had to sell out on stopping the run because their DB’s were just not very good.

      • Boom

        Good point as they new we weren’t going to show much and tried to speed the game along.

    • Zack

      Great points but I will say I see it both ways. Having 3 equal guys playing keeps them all fresh. Plus as the coach you can say while you’re out there make plays. Also offense want to be good at all aspects. Having a downhill rushing attack can be game planned against. To have guys that do different things allows the offense to be more open.

      • Daddy R

        Oh I totally agree. I prefer a split like….Main back gets 20-25 carries…2nd and 3rd back like 10 apiece or so. I’m not against having different options with speed backs and such, or giving guy a breather to keep them fresh. I just think having 3 studs play equally is less effective if they are rotating every 3-4 plays…rather than featuring 1-2 main guys, and letting the others give a “change up.”

        And as for coach saying “make plays.” well, learning the feel of the blocking throughout the game can sure help in that area!

        But I digress… BOOMER SOONER!

        • Zack

          I agree there’s definitely flaws to the rush by committee. For example finch never really saw carriers but was the most electric back we had the last 4 years.
          I do hope one of these guys can emerge as the alpha dog I just don’t know if it will happen in this era. I really do like all three ford is probably the best right now but ross actually reminds me the most of AD and not just because of the number 28.

          • Daddy R

            FINCH!!!! lol, crazy skills. Ross’ body type and speed remind me of AD, but his running style reminds me of a former sooner that another poster mentioned the other day, Allen Patrick. And Patrick was a good, solid back; he just didnt have the Ball carrier vision of an AD or Demarco. I think Ford and Perine have that vision. I would love to see Ford and Perine with 20 carries each per game. Ross as speed change up.

          • Zack

            Patrick is a good comparison for now since he was basically a poor mans AD. But if ross figures it all out he can be somewhere between the 2 and that is saying a lot because patrick was pretty good just had a huge hurdle in front of him.
            I just wonder what the back field will look like next year with 5 guys who expect to be the guy at running back. Plus I think they may take one more back.

          • Daddy R

            Agree completely.

  • Scott

    We kept it simple versus La Tech. I hope to see a lot of sacks and want to see our secondary tested. Hope to see some big plays from WRs other than Shepard and hope to see TEs and Knight running a little and get him out of pocket

  • Stats

    I’m still looking for a Shutout!
    OU Stat of the Day:
    3 of Stoops’ 14 shutouts have come against Tulsa: ’01, ’02, & ’09

    • bjwalker82

      There have only been 14 shutouts in the Stoops era!?

      (Says the greedy OU fan in me)

      • Stats

        And get this, by my calculations Barry had 16 shutouts and Bud had 47!

  • Guest

    Trevor Knight’s got to get better with his reads on the speed option and zone read. That or Bob Stoops needs to stop running them all together. He pitches well before the man reading him has committed. Maybe that’s a function of “don’t get hurt against La. Tech”, but there were so many “option” looks we ran last year that were obviously not options…I just don’t buy it’s a coaching decision.

    Knight’s swing passes and throws to the flats and short routes look better. He’s still inconsistent on the intermediate stuff…that or his receivers just aren’t in the right place. Honestly, I’m not sure on that one yet. Given the hands issues and the youth, I could buy that it’s a receiver issue. His deep stuff needs slight improvement.

    Jordan talked about OU only averaging 4.6 ypc against a subpar La.Tech defense. Well, that’s not quite a fair reflection. Here’s the running stats from the La. Tech gameSamaje Perine13775.9114Keith Ford9515.7222Alex Ross11363.328Trevor Knight4174.3014Sterling Shepard122.002Daniel Brooks122.002

    Of the three workhorse backs…anyone stand out as not quite like the others? Alex Ross clearly has breakaway speed unlike any of the other 3 (see his kick return for evidence), but I didn’t see a guy who’s going to average 4+ ypc against the Big 12. In fairness, they ran him in a lot of simple stuff that La.He’s only got two more games to get to that point. It doesn’t help him that Ford really shined in pass protection. My RB depth chart right now is 1. Ford, 2. Perine, 3. Ross (subject to wild change)

    I really want to see better hands from the WR’s not named Sterling Shepard. Jeff Mead, Jordan Smallwood, you’re up. Because Dallis Todd is on deck, and he seems hungry to get a shot.

    Got no complaints about the 1st team defense, just want to see how they do against a squad that’s going to throw a lot more.

    I do want to see more consistency from Charles Walker and the 2nd team DL, but that’s nitpicking.

    • Oscar

      double post

  • Boomer4life

    What I will be watching is an…………. Ass whoopin!

    • Sooner Ray

      And an ass whoopin is what you should see!

  • Nate Heupel

    Trevor Knight’s got to get better with his reads on the speed option and zone read. That or Bob Stoops needs to stop running them all together. He pitches well before the man reading him has committed. Maybe that’s a function of “don’t get hurt against La. Tech”, but there were so many “option” looks we ran last year that were obviously not options…I just don’t buy it’s a coaching decision.

    Knight’s swing passes and throws to the flats and short routes look better. He’s still inconsistent on the intermediate stuff…that or his receivers just aren’t in the right place. Honestly, I’m not sure on that one yet. Given the hands issues and the youth, I could buy that it’s a receiver issue. His deep stuff needs slight improvement.

    Jordan talked about OU only averaging 4.6 ypc against a subpar La.Tech defense. Well, that’s not quite a fair reflection. Perine averaged 5.9 ypc. Ford averaged 5.7. Ross averaged 3.3. Anyone stand out as not quite like the others? Alex Ross clearly has breakaway speed unlike any of the other 3 (see his kick return for evidence), but I didn’t see a guy who’s going to average 4+ ypc against the Big 12. In fairness, they ran him in a lot of simple stuff that La. Tech ate up, but he’s got to be able to makeHe’s only got two more games to get to that point. It doesn’t help him that Ford really shined in pass protection. My RB depth chart right now is 1. Ford, 2. Perine, 3. Ross (subject to wild change)

    I really want to see better hands from the WR’s not named Sterling Shepard. Jeff Mead, Jordan Smallwood, you’re up. Because Dallis Todd is on deck, and he seems hungry to get a shot.

    Got no complaints about the 1st team defense, just want to see how they do against a squad that’s going to throw a lot more.

    I do want to see more consistency from Charles Walker and the 2nd team DL, but that’s nitpicking.

    For those who think Gastelum isn’t a liability, watch the play at 3:59 in the 1st Q. He absolutely got smoked by a just decent back. Bad throw by the QB bailed him out. If it’s Baylor running that play, they scored 6. I need to see us spend some time in the 2nd half developing a back up for Evans.

    • Daddy R

      Nice assessment there sir!

    • tforce

      Agree with ALL of your observations.

      The chief among them is that they’ve GOT to start auditioning LB’s for 2nd team MLB. It may be the case that different players fill in for Alexander (who looks A LOT bigger and better) and Evans vs different teams.

      OU will need depth there for later in the season for a few reasons: to spell the starters especially vs teams that play with tempo, to prevent injuries (tired players are more likely to be injured, anecdotal), and to ready backups in the case of injury.

    • tforce

      RE: RB’s
      Saw that with Ross vs Ford/Perine. Without the stat sheet, it was evident that the latter two really attack defenders like no OU back since AD. Ross caught the ball well and may have a role as a 3rd down back also as his speed in the screen game would be devastating.

    • Ed Cotter

      Gastelum is the back up for Evans and he is only going to get better with experience. One bad play doesn’t not constitute a liability. But then again, the coaches seem to like him, so I’m good with that. Also, KJ Young showed some pretty good hands in the LA. Tech game. Mead and Smallwood, not so much.

      • ratman

        Against good teams he is a liability. How many other teams in the top 10 have a walk on playing middle linebacker???

        • Boom

          Is that his fault? Geez, he’s busting his butt and a walk on to boot. Maybe he’s not the most gifted but if he’s making the correct calls, that is the main thing coaches focus on.

          • Zack

            I take a guy with heart any day over a guy with all the skills but no real dedication.

          • Sooner Ray

            Yes!

          • Nate Heupel

            We’re Oklahoma. It shouldn’t be an either/or situation. That’s my problem.

          • Zack

            I agree but sometimes it’s hard to find a guy with all the talent we expect as sooner fans, to also have heart. I think it was our 2011 team that had all that passion on defense early in the season but that passion was definitely not a sign of heart, they eventually got eaten alive after playing very well vs fsu.

        • Oscar

          We won a National Title with a walk-on linebacker.

        • Ed Cotter

          Once again I will take the coaches faith in him to get the job done. Kid has worked hard and will earn is playing time behind Evans.

      • Nate Heupel

        Great call on KJ Young. He’s showed why Norvell was so big on him last year.

        It’s not the one bad play with Gastelum…it’s WHY the one bad play happened. All the things that made that play a potential disaster aren’t fixable. He’s not going to get faster or more athletic during the season. Even if he knows where he’s supposed to be, he has to get there before the other guy does. He didn’t bust the play. Far from it, he was exactly where he was supposed to be, he just couldn’t get to his spot fast enough. That’s one thing against 4.6 backs from La. Tech. It’s another against Shock Linwood and Tyreek Hill.

        Remember Gayron Allen in 2004? Coaches bragged on him incessantly. ALWAYS where he was supposed to be. The problem is that he was supposed to be a MLB, and he was nowhere near the right size for the job. USC’s OL and RB’s ate him alive.

        How about Brandon Crow in 2008? We had no backup plan for MLB Ryan Reynolds when he went down against UT, and the short middle was the sole focus of the Longhorn offense from then on…to great effect, I might add.

        Gastelum isn’t a bad player by any means. But against better Big 12 offenses, he is a liability. Keep in mind that he’s not the true 2nd team LILB. He’s the 3rd team guy at that spot, and the 1st team guy is on the sideline in his uniform of “silent protest.”

    • http://thefootballbrainiacs.com JrsySooner

      On that almost TD play go back and look at their first drive, its an almost TD play as well….although we cant see the QB it looks as if the corner is burned and if the pass isn’t blocked or the QB flushed its a TD now that’s nitpicking…..but remember this is a team sport

      I disagree with this, it depends on where the ball is on the field—> My RB depth chart right now is 1. Ford, 2. Perine, 3. Ross (subject to wild change)

      Right now I have it Ford, Ross, Perine..typically we get the ball in the 20-30 yd line so starting Ross, a speedstr will be the norm but Ford is the feature back
      After re-looking the game I am eating my words this team looks solid, a bit tight….but can go 2 deep in every position except QB and Kicker, oh by the way two of the most important positions on any team… this is my lone concern…..the depth at receiver isn’t a concern, they are just holding back…look for Meade to explode and Bell to get his first TD You got Neal, Sheppard, Mead, Bell, McNamara, Young this team is solid, focused and deep….
      I think OU unleashes a little early this year as far as the play book but just something to keep Tenn. guessing, if you don’t think everyone isn’t looking ahead you never played football the mission is to keep Tenn. guessing and at the same time beating Tulsa I hoping for 45-10 OU over Tulsa and let the SEC beat down hopes begin
      Deploying in 9 days, who loves ya baby!

    • leatherneck1061

      Good write up. You are absolutely on the money about Gastelum….he got smoked bad on that play and was lucky the qb just happened to under throw it. As for Ross, his best performance may well be as a punt/kick returner where he can really use his speed since he doesn’t seem quite as good as the others when it comes to running through a line of bodies.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUvqXK4DEM DCinAZ

    I’m not disappointed with 4.6 per carry running into a stacked box of 7-9 players. I’ll take that all day under those circumstances with brand new backs. There’s only so much an Oline can do against a stacked box like that and La-Tech schemed correctly given that Knight had only had one great performance and we had new WR’s all over the field. They sold out to stop the run all day and dared Knight to do it again with new WR’s. If there’s fault to be found with 4.6 yds per carry, I’d lay that at the feet of Knight for not playing well enough to back them out of the box with his arm. I think Knight was playing too fast and pressing too hard and he didn’t have to do that which brings me to my point of what I’ll be looking for.

    I’m looking for Knight to calm down, trust his line, go through his reads, and deliver the ball on target. It’s up to him to open up the run game. I think there were also some dropped balls from new kids who were nervous in their first game as a Sooner and they didn’t have the concentration they should have so I’m looking for the young WR’s to calm down and execute as well.

  • Ed Cotter

    Gonna be a very good test for our secondary, but if the DL gets penetration, all bets are off. Also, can’t wait to see the OU ground game vs. Tulsa. Would expect to see Ross, Ford and Perine get plenty of carries in this one.

  • Cush Creekmont

    After watching the TU game last week, I don’t see how they can stop OU running even with 8 in the box. They got smoked by Tulane. If they go 8 all the time or 9 to stop OU, some long passes should come about.

    I want to see quick reaction by the DBs and LBs on TUs short passes. Evans threw behind several receivers last game, but Lucas is very good at catching poor passes. TU’s other main receiver is tall (6-4), so I want to see the DBs “climb” to get the jump-balls.

    And I want to see NO rain since I’ll be there!

  • Davey

    The late pass to Ford just about got him killed. Speed things up a bit and Knight is a hoss. Running backs are rough stuff. Defensive backs need experience more than anything. We are a work in progress and that is what I am looking for, progress from game 1 to game 2. We will be in some tough games this year and I am very glad to see how many players are getting serious playing time this early… Experience and depth. Obviously, we need a healthy QB. TAKE NO CHANCES, it is Tulsa.

  • JJsooner1

    I tend to be a bit more patient than I should sometimes, but hey, it was a first game. Overall I gave the Offense a B- and the defense a A-. Its all about progression and progress is what this team will do. There was no shortage of coach fodder and I trust the staff to use all of it. Way too many new pieces to cause me concern except MLB. This is just the beginning and coach will work to develop a quality backup. Gastelum will learn and get better. Keep in mind this the first game. Things will smooth out. TK will relax and timing will improve with game speed experience. Gotta love this team.

    • Sooner Ray

      Game 2 almost always looks better than game 1. If it doesn’t, you may have a problem.

  • soonermusic

    Ford: I think Ford is gonna start to separate himself from the others as the main back. If you had asked me before the season, I would have picked Ross based upon the reports coming out of practice about his speed. But Ford has that “electric” little burst as he goes through the line. He also came off of one of those spin moves and not only didn’t seem to lose forward momentum, but seemed to be going faster. A bit early to tell, but I think that’s what’s gonna happen.

    Ross: He is definitely fast and is gonna be great on the swing plays, returns etc. It looked to me like he shifted into some amazing extra gear at the very end of his long run back. They had a truly great angle on him, but all of a sudden, he was making up ground like crazy and might have been able to get by them if the field had just been a bit wider…:-)

    Trevor: He’s definitely gonna need to figure out that window thing so the D can’t be tipping passes out of the backfield. I think the issue with passes to the new wr’s is more about the route running than the hands or the passes. If they slow half a step when they don’t usually, or if they cut the route off a bit short, all of a sudden the pass is a bit behind or ahead. I think they’re gonna get a lot better fast on that, it looked to me like a lot of first game nerves were at play.

    • Sooner Ray

      I agree. Ross is a one cut and go type back which is good in the return game and on the edges. He will be very beneficial for designed plays. Ford and Perine are both punch you in the mouth backs and Ford even offers a little extra in that he can be an extra receiver on the field. I think they all can provide protection.
      Trevor just needs to trust the big guys up front and maybe go through his reads a little faster, which will come as he gets more comfortable, and give his young receivers a chance. The new guys will also become more comfortable with time and the game will slow down a bit for them.

  • Jackson1006

    Anyone else reminded of Justin Fargas when they see Alex Ross? Big guy, straight line speed, strong but maybe not quite as dominant as one would expect from measurables. Plenty of time in his career though. We are blessed to be arguing about which RB is more awesome than the other, that’s for sure.

    Knight has a livelier arm than any QB we have had in some time (maybe ever). He has unexpected touch on his deep throws and is very accurate throwing to a stationary point which makes his inconsistency on short throws and crossing routes all the more frustrating. As some of you have said, he is going to get one of our receivers hurt if he doesn’t improve.

    • captfoss

      You have to go back to 2006 to find a QB that Knight has a better arm than. His arm is certainly not better than Bradford or Jones… and while Knight has a quicker release than Bell, I think Bell ultimately has/had the stronger arm (Go watch his 70 yard TD pass to Saunders from last season).

      I think Trevor throws the ball too hard a lot of the time (See “too high throw to Young over the middle” from the La Tech game… Absolutely no need to put that on a rope). Don’t confuse “doesn’t understand how/when to take some off the ball” with “has the liveliest arm ever”.

      • Jackson1006

        We’ll have to agree to disagree here. I will stand by my livelier arm (maybe ever) comment and you can stand by your Bell’s arm better than Knights. A QBs real arm strength shows when he has to throw off his back foot or on the move. A little different than taking the mustard off short throws which may be true but is not necessarily related. When Knight goes to the combine his Senior year, I guess we’ll see what the experts think. Go Sooners!

      • soonermusic

        I’m with you on that one, Capt. Whatever else you want to say about him, and it’s all been said (I suppose forever that will be the preface), Jones had seriously live arm talent.

    • SoonerKevin

      Antonio Fargas is his dad( Huggie Bear from Starsky & Hutch). I hope you are old enough to remember that show.

  • Jon Nakata

    Those RBs are really young. 1st year Starters… I think the lower numbers last week are more about settling in than ability or opportunity.

  • Sooner Ray

    I will be looking for rain. It’s in the forecast and if this were a tough game it would play in our favor given our running game and it could hurt Tulsa’s passing game. On one hand it is beneficial to play in bad weather just for the practice in case it happens down the road but I feel for the tailgaters and people in attendance.

    • JJsooner1

      I know right? Bought a poncho today:-)

    • Rees Bear

      Just posted something very similar- should have looked first- oh well. Let it rain!

  • JT

    I’m looking for stadium maintenance to scrape Hurricane players off the turf after every scoring drive.

  • rphdenton

    I’m looking for (hoping) a better display of the passing game to receivers other than shepherd…..a little te noise to bell and McNamara would be nice

  • Boomer4life

    Watching Perine drag 4-5 defenders down the feild!

  • Daryl

    1. I want to see a RB really seperate himself as RB1.
    2. Jordan Evans
    3. Agree with another poster more WR step up besides Shep. KJ, Neal, Woods or Bennett

  • mgcsooner

    I think they will open the playbook a little more, probably showing things that are still part of the basic O and maybe a few things that aren’t–just to give Tenn some looks they may not even plan to use. Key objectives are again ball control, sustained drives and balanced offense. In doing so, I’d think we’ll see some more of Mead, lots of KJ and Neal, hopefully BB as you say. Once we have a comfortable lead, maybe less of Shep focussing more on getting other receivers into the game. Run game will be more bruising stuff from Ford and SP. Whoever is hot between Ross & Ford get the majority of handoffs. Very little TK running.

    OU wins by 28!

    • SoonerinLondon

      Agree.
      We badly need someone to throw to, who is not wearing number 3.
      We also need TK to improve his accuracy. He was pretty average last week…better than last year, but nowhere near the Sugar Bowl accuracy. With the passes we throw, he should never be under 60%.

  • Adonijah Aijalon

    Perine averaged 5.9 ypc, Ford averaged 5.7, and Ross only averaged 3.3. I noticed that Ross’ vision isn’t as good as the other backs. That could be due to him not taking a live snap in two years.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    I just wanna see the 2nd D step up and not let them score in the 3rd-4th quarter when we’re up by half a hundred.

  • Rees Bear

    Watching how the weather affects the play-calling from both sides and how well the execution is in those conditions- supposedly a pretty good chance of rain all day. I think OU is better equipped to handle the rain but we’ll see.

    Thought?