LA Tech OU vs. LA Tech 1st Half Bullet Notes

Image via Soonersports.com

Hope everyone enjoyed the game last night. I’m on a business trip up in Michigan and I THOUGHT I was going to be able to watch the game online through Soonersports.tv but unfortunately it was not working for me. I did however get up early this morning and get a chance to watch the first half. Unfortunately, the connection isn’t good enough for me to really rewind and look at some of the details so you’ll have forgive me for any errors or lack of depth. These are some first half thoughts based on my initial viewing. I’ll try to look at the second half later this afternoon.

– What a change just in terms of offensive style. Two years ago we seemed to be in 10 personnel almost exclusively. Now? I dont think I recall one time when we were in 10 personnel…even on obvious passing downs. The move to bigger sets with multiple hybrid players is complete. Now it’s just about those players continuing to get comfortable.

– Related to that note above, I think it’s good that they kept Bell in for most of the first half. He did some nice things but it’s clear he needs some time in live game situations to get used to get his feet positioned correctly and using his hands to make his blocks. He had a great straight line block in space in the first quarter but regularly seemed to chip too early or not use his hands and feet effectively to make other blocks. It’s just something that will take some time so I expect to see him look better and better as the season goes on.

– Bell did look really natural when he jumped for that one handed grab in the back of the endzone. He didnt come up with it but got a PI call and against just looked natural. Wasn’t able to go back and look at release but I’ll be interested to see that.

– Love seeing all the offensive line run action on pass plays. Makes it very hard for the LBs and safeties to key on the lineman.

– The big sets really allows us to get WRs isolated one on one without safety help. It also simplifies the game for Trevor. This is stuff that JY was calling for last year.

– Perine is something. He’s got great one cut and upfield ability. He’s a load. And there is absolutely nothing to hit on his body. He’s so big and compact. He’s thick everywhere. He’s only going to get better.

– Ford, Perine and to some degree Alex Ross really bring a presence we haven’t had in a while. They are able to take advantage of small creases. I used to get so frustrated when people blamed the OL for all of our running woes forgetting that an OL is rarely going to block everything cleanly. You have to have backs that are going to explode through a hole and not go down on an arm tackle. There was one play where the backside defender took a clean shot at Perine at the LOS and he bounced off him. Perine kept moving his feet and turned a play that would normally have been a gain of zero to a gain of 5+ yards.

– KJ Young has great body control and ability to pluck the ball out of the air. Look forward to seeing him continue to develop.

– The defensive line played physical and smart. There was an excellent screen read in the second quarter where every player on the LOS read the screen and covered every possible screen LA Tech could have thrown at them.

– Striker.

– Obo is twitchy. Very similar to Striker in that he can not only get off the ball but he’s got nice bend. He had a great inside move that forced a pick. He just needs more time on the field.

– Obo is going to need some time so that he can really become a complete pass rusher and defender. There was a play where he just didnt get deep enough in his drop and another player where he didn’t appear to know what he was supposed to do. But again once he gets more reps he’ll be difficult to deal with.

– As we suspected, Torrea Peterson was played at DE. This is funny because it’s something a lot of OU fans were calling for last year when OU was having such a tough time stopping the run.

– Sanchez’s pick was excellent. He gave ground, turned and ran with the defender and then immediately turned his head when he saw the receiver look for the ball. It was textbook. He’s got to wrap up on tackles though. I like his ability and willingness to come downhill but he’s not big enough to assume that a player is going to go down immediately off one strike from him. He’s got to get those arms around the ball carrier.

– This defense is fast and they rally to the ball well.

– Jordan Thomas is bigger than I thought.

– The defensive line was able to hold the point of attack so well that I don’t recall seeing a safety even have to come down hill and make a play. It’s going to be very interesting to see them against better competition.

– Charles Walker just needs time but he has a great physical presence. He’s able to use his hands almost effortlessly to keep OL from getting inside on him. He just needs some time to go from almost making the play to actually making the play.

– Overall I liked what I saw on both sides of the ball. It’s a good start and you can see the pieces are there. They just need polishing.


  • Zack

    Nice evaluation. I didn’t notice peterson but I’m glad you pointed that out. Sanchez pick was very nice but you’re right at 175 there’s no such thing as a kill shot. His physicallity was surprising though. And I thought Stanvon made a nice big tackle in the second half. I think his PT will increase as the season goes on.
    And the running backs did not let us down I think ross if he develops a little bit of patience will be a very special player.

    • Ed Cotter

      Man, Ross’s KO return was nice. He just saw the hole and flew through it. Seemed like he outran his blockers after that though. LOL

  • Krys Allen

    1. Jordan Phillips is a beast, you could see the difference as soon as he came out, quarterback had more time to throw, and overall just not as much back field disruption with him out. One play in particular he ahead his blocker almost instantly and met the RB at the handoff.
    2. Sanchez had definitely taken a step forward but tackling still needs work.
    3. Trevor overall looked great but there were some easy throws that didn’t look good, and a few that his receivers bailed him out on. I think it could be first game jitters combined with new route runners.
    4. Disappointed in lack of tightend plays, could just be holding back some things at this point.
    5. It was just great to see our guys come out of the gate, it seems the last few years we have been slow to start even against inferior opponents.

    • Ed Cotter

      I think you nailed it about holding things back. Seemed very vanilla for the most part. Don’t want to give things away too much, plus they will keep adding things over the coming weeks. By TCU we should see this offense and defense on full display. Gonna be fun.
      The RBs are stout. Loved the ferocity they ran with last night.

  • Kuzi

    Great recap of the first half.
    I think Knight looked sharp, especially when the starters were in and the game was still in doubt. He had a few bad plays, but if you go back to ULM last year… much better.
    The D is going to be really good.
    Look forward to seeing them against stiffer competition. I’m a little worried about depth at WR, but hopefully some of those young guys will step up. I hesitate to judge someone after their first ever college game. I like to give them at least a couple of games to get more comfortable.

  • Kuzi

    Any injuries?

    • Daddy R

      I didn’t notice Bell in after his endzone dive… was he held out for precaution at that point? Or did I miss him playing again?

  • j l

    I think perine just went from #2 to 1C. Him and ford will be the primary backs before too long, they were clearly better than ross IMO. Ross is solid too, so that tells you how good ford and perine are.

  • TheFuerte

    My buddy was able to get us great seats, so I thought id share some observations from right behind the bench.
    1) Charles Walker’s shadow is afraid of him. Dude is scary.
    2) Semaje’s muscles have muscles.
    3) a bunch of last year’s guys were in attendance including Saunders and Lynn.
    4) Mike was still coaching his guys up late. Parker got lit up on the sidelines by mike for several minutes after a blown assignment.
    5) Striker is as relaxed as hell. caught him dancing on occasion.
    6) Mayfield = the dude bro
    7) dgb is a huge Neal fan. was in his ear all night trying to get him in gear
    8) David Smith seems to know his fate. looked apathetic on the sideline.
    9) Hansen looks like 2000 Heupel with his shaggy hair. A sign?
    10) the Florida fan who for some reason came to the game, was a dingleberry.

    • TheFuerte

      Let me qualify that: the drunk, annoying, SEC pumping, Florida fan, sitting behind me was, and probably still is, a dingleberry.

      • blaster1371

        dingleberry is a recessed gene..he will be that way for life. If he happens to find a woman desperate enough to lay with him then his kids have a 50-50 chance to be like him…and our children will get to experience what we do.

        • ToatsMcGoats

          You guys are cracking me up!

  • soonermusic

    First impressions:

    Unlike in some previous years, today, the receivers/backs looked totally sure handed on all the little backfield passes early in the game, just great.

    Ford seemed better than his stats. He seemed to have a bit of bottled lightning in him. Not to mention the great pickup on the blitz, and the way he hung on to the ball while getting de-cleated on the reception at the beginning of q 3.

    Ross wasn’t as sharp up the middle, but he looked great on the swing passes, and terrific on the kick return as well, he will be a weapon back there.

    Perine is a legit “move the pile” guy, he’s gonna be fun to watch.

    KJYoung is definitely the real deal. We are in really good shape in the slot.

    I’m thinking that everyone who said Striker was in trouble if he didn’t learn to bull rush, may have to reconsider a bit.

    Love the 4th down, let’s go for it confidence, that bodes well.

    • Super K

      good notes! Anyone else notice that Ross runs a little bent at the waist?

      • Daddy R

        His stance (Ross) in the backfield looks like he’s uncomfortable to me, which could cause slower first step and also slow his time getting to the hole….. possibly why he didnt look sharp up the middle?

        • thedeez

          He didn’t run like that in high school, looks like he’s trying to compensate for his normally upright style.

          • pitbull17

            It tells me that he’s not completely comfortable yet, he’s an upright runner and always has been. It’s going to be hard for him to change his running style and look comfortable doing it. When he got in space on KR last night he was way more upright if I remember correctly.

          • Daddy R

            Indeed he was on that return. AD was/is an upright runner too (and of course he can do whatever, cuz he’s AD, but) why try and change Ross? Does he have ball security issues?

          • pitbull17

            I don’t remember that being a problem for him in HS, but the brain trust may be able to answer as to whether or not it’s been said he was having problems in practice before this year. He may just be trying to change it on his own to lower his pad level and make him tougher to bring down.

          • thedeez

            It’s probably the pad level.

          • EasTex

            We have a BINGO!
            Pad level is what Coach Gundy and Coach Stoops stress to the RBs(along with assignments and ball security).

      • Boom

        Yes. I know Ross was trying to impress but his vision isn’t where Ford’s is at this point. Ross was bent over while Ford was low and made decisive cuts. Ford has better burst when going through the holes.
        Perine – There is no where to hit Perine as he’s low and compact as they come. Did well but will learned alot about trying to bounce outside in college. Made some late cuts which slowed his momentum. I’m picking them apart but we are very fortunate, all good backs.
        A couple of WR’s struggled. Mead and Smallwood need a lot of game reps. Again, I’m a fan of these guys but thought they didn’t play up to their talents.
        Two throws to our TE’s. Bummer.

        • Drew

          I’m hoping the TE thing is just Heup holding out on TE passes for the big games.

          • Fear The Magic

            Thats exactly what I believe is happenening. We’ll be springing them on Tenn if needed or Texas

  • thedeez

    Charles Walker just needs to learn where to be, because there’s nothing stopping him from being where he wants to be.
    Jordan Phillips.
    Devante Bond looked a lot like Samaje Perine, lots of beef stuffed in that uniform.
    Jordan Evans will be great.
    May take a couple games but the secondary will be very solid.
    Both lines are DEEP.
    O-line approached total domination.
    As long as Trevor stays focused, there’s nothing that can stop him.
    All three running backs looked fantastic.
    Sterling’s hands are ball magnets.
    We’re winning a natty.

    • http://www.creditbrite.com Clint Lenard

      I thought Bond looked smaller than he did in JC.

      • Daddy R

        In Juco, probably biggest guy there…at OU, not so much.

        • http://www.creditbrite.com Clint Lenard

          Well…duh. My point is that he isn’t built like he was in Juco. I’m sure it’s due to sport-specific training vs. GPP.

          • Boom

            Bond is thick, 240 is no slouch. He and Obo will get better a I look forward to see how Mike is going to use them.

  • Big Higg

    Perine. Beast.

    Ford. All purpose.

    • Boom

      Agree, but Ford showed a burst the others don’t have. Like all of the combos of RB’s.

      • Zack

        I think ross has the same kind of burst maybe not as much power to go with it.

      • blaster1371

        Ford had some really nice runs where he keyed off the block that was about to be thrown- excellent and correct anticipation. Perine does that well too. Ross is so ready to run over someone that a few times he got upfield before the blocks were setting up. Murray also did that early in his OU career. ItThat might be chalked up,to,excitement and little of anything else. Overall, impressed with the RB crew.

        • Daddy R

          Playing devil’s advocate….could be ball carrier vision. I’m not sure Ross has as much talent at BCV as the other two appear to have. He is swift and quick (and powerful) for sure, but I’m not convinced he’s going to find those holes often enough for him to shine in backfield like Perine and Ford.

          • blaster1371

            You said what I was thinking better than I could. That’s a very solid assessment. Perine and Ford are running and watching where and when to cut through an opening hole while Ross, at this point, seems to just hit high gear and plow upfield. The other two seem much more natural at it than Ross. His style strikes me to be similar to,Allen Patrick who I believe became an RB at OU after switching from safety.

          • Daddy R

            Exactly! Allen Patrick!.. and he was good! but not an absolute stud, which is what we’re all hoping for I think.

  • Daddy R

    Ford and Perine could be 200 + yrd game guys if they got same reps AD did..

  • Boom

    One thing I did learn, our defense was playing a lot of guys last night and I didn’t have all of the players numbers down. I need to do a little memory work as we must have played 30 different guys on D.

    • Zack

      Same here. I didn’t know what number everyone was plus some guys changed numbers just this week.

  • EasTex

    Good eval, K.

    After watching the “No Huddle” this morning on Fox I am still grinning about Jordan Phillips. He is not only a huge NG, he is determined, fast and quick. Some of the stunts he put on the Center were as if he knew the snap count and even when the Center got to him as he was going by he could do nothing about it.
    Really like our O and D lines…a lot.

  • blaster1371

    Walker did everything right on the play where he got the tackle on the defensive left side. Fired off the ball, Punched the OT straight up, shucked him and made the tackle. The talent on both lines is so deep that OU can run different sets and see little to no drop off.

    The talent level of the opponent still leaves some questions in my head but I like the attitude and enthusiasm OU played with along with the smoothness of play calling from the sidelines and very few penalties.

  • Chris White

    I feel crazy nit picking at this game because the team looked great, but if I were too, open field tackling still needs work and our taller receivers need work. We could have used that height once in awhile but it os safe to say, once again, Cale Gundy has us stacked at running back. Ford is the closest to Peterson in terms of strength and speed, Perine is our Earl Campbell, saw him after the game and the dudes legs are as big as our Dlineman. He probably wears a size 32 but needs a 42 to fit his legs. I don’t see a lot of positives from everyone about Alex Ross but I was actually really impressed. He’s our fastest and a really dynamic player. Also our Dline was so good, I forgot to ever look for Ahmad Thomas, Steven Parker or any DB. Extremely impressed and hoping they keep that chip

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

      People want Ford to be the guy so they’ll refuse to believe their lying eyes. I thought Ross looked great and was probably one or two more carries away from housing one…….

      • Daddy R

        “lying eyes?”

        I agreed Ross is good, but you can’t really tell me you think he read his blocks like Ford and Perine did last night. Ross ran into the backs of his blockers, and showed little patience letting runs set up. Granted, its just ONE game, and the first game at that. Those of us nit-picking are just examining what “we” saw. I couldn’t care less who is “the Guy,” so long as he is our BEST back. If I’m rooting for anyone its Perine, who is just beastly and super-fun to watch, but if Ross is best, I’m cool with that, just didnt seem that way to me after this first game. Time will tell…

  • hOUligan

    Nice notes, K, and fellow posters. Lot to digest. Really watched the oline play over and over and heading to JY’s thread to get more insight but noticed the ‘run action’ on pass plays, too. Watching the OGs, thought it was a run play setting up several times.
    Lot to like about how Bell played, mostly without the ball. Guy is 6-6 260 and looked small with his hand down next to Thompson and Williams. Still learning how to set up his blocks and whiffed a couple of times but had key blocks on Ford’s TD runs.

  • Fear The Magic

    Not a knock at all on Ndule because he’s a more than solid player but when C Walker finally “gets it” Tapper, Phillips and Walker will be Epic.

  • Will Narramore

    Wasnt able to watch the game, how did Julian Wilson look at corner and how much dropping in coverage did Striker do?

    • ToatsMcGoats

      Huff99 has it up on YouTube now.

  • Stephen

    I was at the game, here’s a few of my thoughts and things I saw:
    1) Samaje Perine looks and plays like Maurice Jones-Drew.
    2) Julian Wilson was hit and miss at corner, particularly on some inside routes. He was playing a little deep but as the game went on the coaches had him play up close.
    3) Targeting is going to be an issue this year, as it ambiguous and the opinion of the referee. For instance, there was an argument about the Jordan Lewis call which lead to him being disqualified and I can that call being valid. On the other hand, Ford was going down the field on a deep route where he was absolutely wiped out as he caught the ball. On this play the safety lead with is helmet and struck Ford in the head, there was no flag or discussion by the refs.
    4) Front 7 on defense looked solid and composed. The second string guys need some work. La. Tech continually ran at Charles Walker where he was beat a few plays in a row.
    5) RB is deep, Ford right now is probably the best based on his ability to cut and agility. Ross tried to use his size between the tackles a little to much, he could of cut the outside a couple times instead of lingering in the pile.
    6) No one receiver stood out to me besides Shep. Mead/Quick both played however weren’t that much of an impact. Mead had a shot at a decent deep ball but it didn’t appear that he hustled to make the catch near the sideline. He had a few more targets but they were mostly thrown behind him.
    7) A lot of guys of the starters sat with Shannon while on the sideline.
    8) O-line was solid for the most part, however there were a few balls knocked down at the line. That was more on Knight than the line

    • Sooner Ray

      That’s pretty much what I saw. My biggest gripe of the whole game was the targeting call. They need to define exactly what it is and apply it based on rule rather than opinion. To me, a guy carrying the ball moving towards a defender can’t possibly be targeted. It’s football dammit!

      • blaster1371

        I think the fact the QB was sliding is what got that called. In my opinion I could see where someone could view as a legitimate hit but I winced when the play happened figuring it would draw a flag. He clearly led with his head but the fact the guy was sliding made it head to head contact. If our guy had tackled facing up like he should have its a no call all the way.

        • Boom

          QB saw Evans and THEN hit the deck but it was too late. To me, it’s BS as Evans was already in full stride targeting the chest of QB. QB flinched, not slid and Evans got booted.

          • Sooner Ray

            Absolutely correct. If they want to call that targeting then they missed at least two against us that were worse. I just want them to get it right and be fair about it.

          • blaster1371

            Oh i agree, the hit on Ford was straight up targeting and the hit on SHep on the punt return was late or at the very least unnecessary roughness.

          • Boom

            When tackling, you lead with your head, just not head to head. The QB was running to gain more yards and all of a sudden he sees a red flash and he ducked. Evans was already committed. Weak call at best.

          • Sooner Ray

            That is exactly why I had a problem with the call. When a defender commits to the tackle and aims for the chest, it’s not his fault if the ball carrier drops his profile at the last second causing their heads to line up. That rule was meant to punish someone for hitting someone in the head who never sees it coming.

          • blaster1371

            I see your point, but he was leading with the helmet. When A QB slides he is considered vulnerable and is in the act of stopping the play as if he was running out of bounds. Evans hits with the shoulder or is face up its a no call.

          • Sooner Ray

            My gripe isn’t about leading with the helmet if that’s the rule. My main problem is why didn’t they call the same thing against their guys who hit us in the head with the head?

        • Mark Wayne

          If he hadn’t of lowered his head he wouldn’t have been ejected. Agree that the Sokol ducking caused the headshot. I think Jordan would have gotten enough of the shoulder to make it a clean lick otherwise. One that Sokol might not have been been able to get up from.

    • SoonerinLondon

      I have to agree with pretty much all of this. After meeting the ref who did the review on the targeting, I think it was correct, but also think it will be difficult to keep consistent this year. (Haven’t seen the replays on the Ford play, but it looked like a potential target, at the game.
      The Mead play you are talking about really looked lazy to me. The pass was over his head but I expected he would lay out for something like that Am I being too critical on that play?

      • blaster1371

        About Mead not laying out for the deep pass; looked like Norvell and the other WRs were telling him the same thing when he got on the sideline.

      • Sooner Ray

        I would like to talk to that ref because he was wrong IMO. If you look at the replay, the QB lowered his profile at the last second causing the head to head. Our defender had already committed himself to the chest area and had no opportunity to change,

        • Perry Dickey

          This is exactly what I was screaming in Little Rock. However, he didn’t here me either. In any situation, work, life or relationship, I hate hate hate hate to be penalized for something of which I had no control. It would have been a physical impossibility for him to not hit the turd in the head! That is how subjective the refs have it. They can eject someone for not being able to see into the future. yikes, stupid stupid call

      • ToatsMcGoats

        If I’m Meade, I’m doing everything that I can to get on the field more. If I have a chance to make a spectacular catch, I’m going to try to. Woods has had one memorable catch, yet he’s in the discussion every time we talk about WR’s. It works…

    • blaster1371

      I think the way Shannon is getting treated is pretty crappy. Other than the Title IX Board I can’t place blame on any of the staff, but it just seems like he is being kept arms distance…and yet allowed to practice and suit up, which seems kind of cruel.

  • Stephen

    Also, Devonte Bond snuck in at DE? Did anyone else who went or saw the game happen to catch that?

  • jmac45

    Peterson played Nose in 2nd quarter.

  • 22dupree

    Samaje Perine – with the low center of gravity and size, not to mention the number – reminds me of Jamal Anderson. Smooth, direct, strong and not someone a DB wants to see coming with a head full of steam.

  • anron4581

    Is it me, or did it seem that Perine went down a little too easily at times? I realize they weren’t going full bore, but I was looking for a mean runner and really didn’t see it from Perine. Great back none the less, will do great things for sure.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    Sanchez has some incredibly sick ups. He had to jump to the lights to get that pick, and he did it. Looked like he had an invisible step stool up there…

  • Ed Cotter

    Wow, seems like people are kind of down about Ross as an RB. Tough crowd. Yeah, just keep him at KOR. I’ll take those 80 yarders every time.

  • Ed Cotter

    I loved how hard the WRs were blocking up field. Always a great sign of guys playing for the team more than themselves.