Open Post | Tuesday, November 2nd

Quick Postgame Thoughts | OU vs Texas Tech
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 30, 2021

The Sooners hosted Texas Tech and Interim Head Coach Sonny Cumbie and they dispatched them with ease by a final score of 52-21.

Oklahoma moves to 9-0 on the season with the victory.

Some quick thoughts on a relatively stress-free day for Sooner fans.

***Caleb Williams was spectacular. He went 23 for 30 for 402 yards which was good for 13.4 yards per completion with 6 touchdowns to 5 different receivers.

***Williams is the weapon that no other team in the conference has and we have not even seen him used to his full capabilities to this point. Just wait till Riley incorporates a true QB run game. Scary.

***Speaking of the run game…it wasn’t there early, by choice as OU’s play selection was pass heavy…and I didn’t hate that. Take what they give you easily when you can.

***The numbers in the run game didn’t look as ugly as they probably should have, but it was by no means a strength on the day.

***Have to give a shout to the WR room, they really had a nice day. Mims and Mario both went over 100 on the day and I think the offense missed Mario’s skill set more than I had even realized.

***The defense forced/got three turnovers (2 tipped picks and 1 fumble recovery) and the shift to more quarters coverage appeared to have a positive effect, although there were still some Tech WRs running with too much space for my liking.

***Key Lawrence looked much better than the previous Bowman experiment at CB, and hopefully, he will continue to grow into the position.

***Spoke to K briefly about Bowman and why he didn’t get many snaps and he attributes it to him prepping more at CB this week than at NB and with the shift schematically, they probably wanted to ease him back in to NB/safety, but that is something we will check on over the next few days.

***The defensive line didn’t generate the type of pressure I was hoping for from the interior, most of the pressure came from the edges and the linebackers, so that has to be worked on.

***Overall the defense held Tech to their lowest point total of the season, which is something we have not been able to say much throughout the last month. Y’all are gonna be upset by that last score by Tech, but I mentioned that it was likely at the close of the 3rd quarter. Garbage time scores don’t bother me as it is basically a means to an end to get the game finished.

***How about Spencer Rattler? Feel good for him and what a catch by Darby on that bomb!

***Initial feeling was that the linebackers played pretty well. Felt like Stutsman is a spark for them whenever he gets in, just his energy…it’s contagious.

***Thought Marcus Major ran hard in the 4th, would have liked to see Gray get more carries earlier in the game as Kennedy Brooks looked just a bit out of synch.

Bottom Line:

***Thought this was OU’s most complete game of the year in regard to intensity, focus, and energy. They put some things on the tape that they can work off of going forward.

***The OL, at first glance, was not great by any means. When they had their best efforts of the season (Texas and TCU) they were running more zone schemes and less counter…obviously something Bedenbaugh and Riley will look at over the bye week.

***The DL…I really have no answers as to where Winfrey has gone. Thomas played a helluva game and I do feel like Redmond’s presence was felt on OU’s side, but that interior DL needs to pick it up a notch before Baylor tries to shorten the game with fewer possessions against them.

***As I said above, spectacular day for Caleb Williams, the kid is fun to watch and he is getting better and better.

Enjoy this one, we will have a lot of time to go over it in more detail over the next two weeks!

Looking Back | Preseason AP Top 25
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 31, 2021

Ahead of the first College Football Playoff Rankings, which are due out on Tuesday, thought it would be fun to look back at the 2021 Preseason AP Top 25.

Currently, 13 (more than half) of those listed in the preseason top 25 are unranked at this point of the season.

There are some real ‘Wow’s’ in the group who are currently unranked like Clemson, Florida and Iowa State along with some teams who you may have suspected were overrated entering the season like North Carolina, USC and Miami also dropping out.

The worst loss in the group of now unrankeds in my opinion was Washingtons loss to FCS Montana. Most predictably bad team in the group of unrankeds is Indiana, but who saw 2-6 coming for them at this point?

Who saw Michigan State, Wake Forest and UTSA being undefeated 9 weeks into the season? If you claim you saw it, I expect to see some receipts 😉

Have a look!

College football preseason Top 25 rankings

1. Alabama – Current Ranking (3) 7-1 (Lost to A&M on the road) – Down 2
2. Oklahoma – Current Ranking (4) 9-0  – Down 2
3. Clemson – Unranked – 5-3 (Lost to UGA, @NCState, @Pitt)
4. Ohio State – Current Ranking (6) 7-1 (Lost to Oregon at home) – Down 2
5. Georgia – Current Ranking (1) 8-0 – Up 5
6. Texas A&M – Current Ranking (13) 6-2 (Lost to Arkansas neutral site and Miss State at home) – Down 7
7. Iowa State – Unranked – 5-3 (Lost at Home to Iowa, @Baylor, @WVU)
8. Cincinnati – Current Ranking (2) 8-0 – Up 6
9. Notre Dame – Current Ranking (8) 7-1 (Lost to Cincinnati at home) – Down 1
10. North Carolina – Unranked – 4-4 (@VT, GT, FSU, @ND)
11. Oregon – Current Ranking (7) 7-1 (Lost to Stanford on the road) – Up 4
12. Wisconsin – Unranked – 5-3 (Lost PSU, ND, Michigan)
13. Florida – Unranked – 4-4 (Lost Bama, @Kentucky, @LSU, UGA)
14. Miami – Unranked – 4-4 (Lost Bama, Michigan State, UVA, @UNC)
15. USC – Unranked – 4-4 (Lost Stanford, Oregon State, Utah, @ND)
16. LSU – Unranked – 4-4 (Lost @UCLA, Auburn, @Kentucky, @OleMiss)
17. Indiana – Unranked – 2-6 (Lost @Iowa, Cincy, @PSU, Michigan State, Ohio State, @Maryland)
18. Iowa – Current Ranking (19) – (Lost at home to Purdue and at Wisconsin) – Down 1
19. Penn State – Current Ranking (22) – (Lost @Iowa, at home to Illinois, @Ohio State) – Down 3
20. Washington – Unranked – 4-4 (Lost Montana, @Michigan, @Oregon State, UCLA)
21. Texas – Unranked – 4-4 (Lost @Arkansas, OU, OkState, @Baylor)
22. Coastal Carolina – Current Ranking (21) – (Lost on the road to Appalachian State) – Down 1
23. Louisiana – Current Ranking (24) – (Lost on the road to Texas) – Down 1
24. Utah – Unranked – 5-3 (Lost @BYU, @San Diego State, @Oregon State)
25. Arizona State – Unranked – 5-3 (Lost @BYU, @Utah, Wazzu)

Not included in the AP preseason Top 25 but currently ranked

Michigan State – Current Ranking (5) 8-0
Michigan – Current Ranking (9) 7-1 (Lost to Michigan State on the road)
Wake Forest – Current Ranking (10) 8-0
Oklahoma State – Current Ranking (11) 7-1 (Lost to Iowa State on the road)
Auburn – Current Ranking (12) 6-2 (Lost @PSU & Home to Georgia)
Baylor – Current Ranking (14) 7-1 (Lost to OkState on the road)
Ole Miss – Current Ranking (15) 6-2 (Lost on the road to Bama and Auburn)
UTSA – Current Ranking (16) 8-0
Brigham Young – Current Ranking (17) 7-2 (Lost vs Boise State & @Baylor)
Kentucky – Current Ranking (18) 6-2 (Lost @UGA & @MissState)
Houston – Current Ranking (20) 7-1 (Lost to Texas Tech)
SMU – Current Ranking (23) 7-1 (Lost on the road to Houston)
Fresno State – Current Ranking (25) 7-2 (Lost on the road to Oregon & Hawaii)

Position Group Progress Report | Game 9: Texas Tech
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 1, 2021

Checking out how the position groups performed in the Sooners win against Texas Tech. Coming into the game, OU was a huge favorite over the Red Raiders and they wound up covering the spread with a 52-21 win.

This is the Ninth progress report of the season and I will include the previous game’s ratings for each unit.

Let’s see how things shook out against Texas Tech.

QB: 5* (Last Week High 4**)

Last week, OU doesn’t win against Kansas without Caleb Williams’ heroics.

This week, he just added to his growing legend with a performance for the ages.

This week he didn’t need any amazing 4th down conversions with his legs. He didn’t need any long runs. He just was meticulous with his movement inside the pocket and on the run as he picked apart the Tech defense for 402 yards and 6 touchdowns.

OU didn’t lean on the run game or ease Williams into the flow…Riley handed him the keys and away he went.

Outside of a clunky first drive, where the OL had some miscommunications, Williams was in command. He was decisive and accurate and didn’t put the ball in jeopardy.

Is he the best QB in college football already? I’ll let you guys make that call, but I don’t see anyone playing at a higher level than he is.

Just so much fun to watch.

Then, your backup…Spencer Rattler comes in and goes 5 for 5 for 67 yards and a dime to Brian Darby for a long touchdown. Have to feel good for that guy.

Undoubtedly a 5* performance for the position group.

RB: 3* (Last week 3*)

Another week of ‘meh’ for the running backs.

The run game was not really called upon. The backs combined for 15 carries and averaged 4.6 yards per carry among them.

Brooks had 8 carries for 35 yards (4.4 ypc), Major had 5 carries for 29 yards 5.8 ypc) and Gray only had 2 carries for 5 yards.

Riley really didn’t utilize the room, by choice, so there really isn’t a lot to say about them aside from…they were average.

As I mentioned in the postgame thoughts, I felt that Brooks looked out of synch…just a tick off in his limited opportunities.

Did like what I saw from Major, but I felt like Gray should have gotten more opportunities to carry the ball early in the game when Brooks appeared to be a bit off.

Regardless, OU would obviously like to get more out of the run game and Baylor will be a test.

WR/TE: 5* (Last week High 2*)

After a ‘bad’ outing against Kansas where they looked unfocused and disinterested, the Sooners wide receiver room really had a tremendous day.

Marvin Mims led the unit with 4 catches for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns and man, does it look like the OU offense missed Mario Willimas as he returned to throw up his first 100 yard game with 5 catches and a touchdown.

Haselwood and Stoops each added 3 catches and 6 different pass catchers put touchdowns on the board.

Brian Darby with the circus catch while being mugged on a beautiful pass from Rattler was the icing on the cake.

Was really good to see Stogner get a touchdown and Willis continues to produce as he scored one of his own.

The potential returns of both Mike Woods (likely back for Baylor) and Theo Wease (potentially back before the ned of the year) will only add talent to the group for Championship November.

OL: 3* (Last week High 2*)

Better then their effort against Kansas, still not great and a lot of room for improvement.

Through the first half of the season, this group had been the one consistent group that was showing signs of progress from week to week.

Over the last 4 games, they have been alternating being up and down…this week they settled at ‘average’.

The tackles played very well in my opinion, but the interior struggled. I don’t even count the drive that Congel was in on, but still the interior guys got very little push against a ‘decent’ but not great Texas Tech defensive line.

Not liking what I saw on the first watch from Hayes, at all, but I’ll look more when I start ‘Film Don’t Lie’ later this week. Same for Murray, he looked a bit shaky in pass pro, but again, I’ll look more at that when I go back and watch.

Thought Raym made some strides in pass blocking. Looked really active and did a nice job for the most part.

Not where they need to be, or where they should be with the talent there, but not horrible.

DL: 3* (Last week Low 1*)

After a complete no-show against Kansas, the defensive line looked better.

Not dominant, but better.

The line did generate 4 tackles for loss, 1,5 which came from Isaiah Thomas.

The other DL tackles for loss…not from the guys you would expect like Winfrey or Redmond or Grimes…they came from LaRon Stokes (1), Isaiah Coe (1) and Ethan Downs (.5).

Bottom line, OU needs more production from Winfrey who has disappeared over the last 6 games aside from Texas.

In the first 3 games of the year, Winfrey had PFF grades of 75.8, 89.9, & 76.2. The last 6 games…46.4, 49.2, 59.3, 61.7, 39.5 (Kansas), and 60.7. His pressure grades are way down and some of his tackling scores were in the teens and twenties. Something isn’t right there.

The addition of Redmond certainly helps and it should boost everyone’s production going forward.

Big day for Isaiah Thomas as he was released from the interior and thrived back on the edge.

LB: High 3* (Last week 1*)

Thought Asamoah played pretty well and was very active.

Also liked what I saw from Ugwoegbu, felt like he had a nice game.

White still worries me with his angles and missing tackles and Stutsman only got 8 snaps but he did have 2 tackles.

Nothing really stood out, didn’t see as many of the busts as we have seen at times throughout the season, but also didn’t see too many impact plays.

Saw Shane Whitter running around a lot. That’s about it as I didn’t notice him much aside from him just being out there.

DB: 4* (Last week Low 2*)

As odd as it sounds, once again, following Kansas, they likely were the best unit on the defensive side for OU.

Granted, they were the best unit against Kansas with a low 2* rating…but still, back to back weeks of being the best unit of the defense is saying something I suppose.

The move of Key to CB for the TTU game looks like it worked out. He was competitive and confident, two things sorely lacking from the secondary for much of the year. I will reserve judgment until he is faced with some different types of receivers, but so far, early returns show some promise.

DTY’s energy has been missing. He brings some confidence back to the entire secondary by being out there. Made a couple nice stops after looking a bit slow at the start of the game.

Fields and Broiles pulling in interceptions off of tips was nice to see for them. Maybe this game sparks them going.

Billy Bowman basically got the day off, but I cannot help but think that if Grinch and company are true to their words about getting the best ’11’ on the field, he will be back out there at NB at some point as he won the job and did the team a solid by trying his hand at CB.

I will say, DJ Graham had a rough game and you hope he was just knocking off some rust as the season goes along. McCutchin only saw 6 snaps…would think that will change if Graham continues to struggle.

Special Teams: High 3* (Last week 2*)

Brkic made all his XP’s and nailed his lone field goal attempt.

Turk had one punt, wasn’t a great one.

Kick Return and Punt Return were fine.