Quick Postgame Thoughts
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 10, 2021
***Obviously the game was a tale of two halves…and it was actually pretty symmetrical when you think about it.
***Xavier Worthy took the first play from scrimmage 75 yards on a simple screen which we all knew Texas would have success on because OU showed no ability to tackle last week and boom…Davis and DTY can’t take him down and they’re off.
***This week I mentioned I felt if Texas was going to win this game, it would be because of their passing, not their running and Casey had 388 yards passing with 5 touchdowns and Worthy had 9 catches for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gross numbers for any defense.
***The Longhorns block the punt and quickly OU is in a 14 point hole and things were not looking good. Overshown is a monster and played a great game.
***Rattler throws a pick down 14-7, Texas turns that into 7..next drive OU is forced to punt…Texas turns that into 7 again and suddenly its 28-7…teams trade drives OU cuts it to 28-17 (which included a Caleb Williams 66 yard TD run which looked like it was just a normal sub) and then the fumble happens. Eerily similar to last year. Same type of play, same time of game…weird. Riley makes the Call and the legend was born there and then as Caleb Williams enters the game.
***Williams comes in at 35-17 and leads the Sooners to a field goal on his first drive and the half ends 38-20 Texas…but the vibe was totally different. You could see the energy in the OU team elevate. Like you could actually see it from the entire team. I have never seen that.
***Second half, you know the story…OU scores 35 Texas scores 10. Caleb and connects on some deep balls…Mims went OFF…Brooks ran wild…and Caleb Kelly put the wild bookend on the two biggest plays of the day for Xavier Worthy as he strips the ball from Worthy on a kickoff…and nobody even knew it until the replay!
***Saw some really good stuff out of the defensive line today even though they only had 2 sacks among them. The pressure and hurries were there and they did a great job in the run game.
***Bijan got his…ran for over 100 but only had 27 in the second half and it felt like he even had a lot less.
***Oklahoma averaged 9.5 yards per play in the second half and scored 35 points on eight possessions under Williams and that my friends is impressive.
***This team showed me something today though…they are a resilient bunch.
***You also saw evidence of that note that CJ put up about Caleb Williams winning the locker room. Virtually every player on the team was congratulating him and celebrating with him as he led the team to score after score. Just really a wild scene.
***Riley confounded me a few times by not sticking with the run and kicking so many dang field goals….4 field goals on four 4th and less than 5’s inside the 15 I believe. Surprised he didn’t go for a couple of them.
***Sticking with the run paid off. OU had 40 pass attempts and 41 rushes.
***Kennedy Brooks put on an all-time RRS performance as did Caleb…as did Worthy and Thompson on the other side.
***Thought the linebackers looked ‘Better’ and Stutsman brought some nice energy to the group.
***Did not like what I saw out of most of the secondary tonight once again, but I felt like DJ Graham didn’t even get tried, which is a good sign for a corner. Davis had a rough, rough night again and McCutchin struggled, but I did see Bowman grow as he covered a few slants nicely and even after he got posterized by Bijan, he came back and made some nice stops on him. Bowman is going to be realllllly good.
***The offensive line played well for the most part. Protected and opened up some nice lanes, but I will get into that more when I see the game again.
***Overall…I said throughout the week if OU played their ‘B’ game in all facets they win…I don’t know if they even played their ‘B’ game but at times they were on the ‘A’ level and the second half was really pretty stout all around aside from the one bomb given up to Worthy.
***The dynamics of th elocker room will be fascinating this week. And as I write this after midnight on Sunday morning…I am not sure who your QB will be when OU faces TCU next week. Right now, my gut tells me Spencer will start. But that is nothing more than my gut as I have not been talking to anyone except GoDaddy and our developer this evening.
***What a classic game though. I repeat I have never seen one guy have that much of an impact in an entire team as I saw with Caleb Williams today.
***Before I close…couple of shoutouts to the players I noted who may not have been recognized:
Ellison…on Bijans journey over and through the OU defense for 55 down to the 2…Ellison is the guy who knocked him out. I know Texas scores anyway, but that’s a hell of a hustle play by the big defensive lineman.
Stoops…no catches but another strong day blocking
Hall…did some nice things in pass pro and did a great job on the trick play
Brkic…hated the field goal attempts, loved the made field goals
Turk…after the block the dude hits an 85 yard punt!
Broiles…kid is a dog. You can beat him all you want, but he doesn’t stop coming at you. I know, I know…not the most physically talented, but I love his heart.
Yesterday Was a Long Year for OU at Quarterback
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 10, 2021
What a wild year yesterday was…or at least it felt like that.
Let’s rewind to 2020 and OU vs Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
OU rolls in with young Spencer Rattler at quarterback after having suffered two conference losses earlier in the season. Rattler looks shaky on the big stage of the RRS and he gets off to a horrible start as he throws an interception and loses a fumble.
Lincoln Riley makes the tough decision to pull Rattler for the moment and inserts Tanner Mordecai at QB who seemingly settles the offensive unit and gets the OU ship pointed in the right direction at half
Riley comes out, sends Rattler out on the field after the half and he goes on to lead the team to a 4 overtime victory. Well done for a young player who obviously was struggling with the moment and his coach realized that and took care of it.
Fast forward one year to the 2021 Red River Shootout.
OU rolls in at 5-0 which is good, but the offense has only recently begun to look like the typical OU offense. Rattler had some shaky games early in the year, as he did last year, but the Sooners were able to sneak out the wins. In the Cotton Bowl, the Longhorns jumped out to an early 14-0 lead due to the defensive miscue on their first snap and a blocked punt which followed a 3 and out by the OU offense under Rattler. The Sooners, as a whole, look like they are not playing with the same energy the Longhorns are and they are stumbling around until Caleb Williams enters in a short-yardage situation and breaks a run for a 66-yard touchdown.
Great use of his personnel by Riley, but still, not a big deal as Williams presents an advantage against the Texas defense numbers-wise in the run game. However, Rattler, much like in 2020, throws an interception on one drive and follows that up a few drives later with almost the exact same fumble he had in 2020. I mean it was bizarre how similarly the two games played out in regard to his play.
Riley makes the move and inserts Caleb Williams as the quarterback for the rest of the half and the team responds similarly to the way they responded to Mordecai and they look to be pointed in the right direction heading to the half but still down 18.
One big difference, the entire OU program seemed to have more energy and more intensity the minute Williams engineered his first drive for points. Offense, defense, fans…coaching staff…everyone seemed a bit more amped up.
Coming out of the half, I don’t think anyone expected anyone other than Williams to be behind center to start the comeback, but there was still some doubt that crept in.
Riley didn’t flinch and he stayed with Williams as quarterback…unlike in 2020 when he put Rattler back out there.
Williams goes on to lead the Sooners on a historic Red River Shootout comeback and he led OU on scoring drives on 6 of the 8 drives they had in the second half. He finished the game 16 of 25 for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air and 4 rushed for 88 yards and the one touchdown on the ground.
The offense played inspired and free and the defense was playing with an intensity that helped them limit Texas to 10 second half points. Everyone was just completely amped.
The stats were not eye-popping really and Williams dropped a snap and made some rookie mistakes. Many OU quarterbacks have put up similar or better numbers in a half when compared to what Williams did. But this was different.
This was a true freshman, who came in and led his team, on the biggest stage of the season, to a massive comeback victory against the arch-rival.
This was a young man, which CJ noted a few weeks ago, who clearly has earned the respect and admiration of his teammates and the belief from them in his abilities to lead this program forward putting it all on display and carrying his program.
The energy level of the team, the players, the coaches, the entire stadium…both fan bases…everything changed…including the hierarchy of the QB1 position in Norman.
This was not supposed to happen at this point. Spencer Rattler was supposed to lead this team to the playoffs and Caleb Williams was supposed to hang out, go into the games situationally, and learn for a year before taking over the reins in 2022.
The last time the team was in Norman, there were boos from the fans for Rattler’s performance. Whether or not one agrees with the boo’s or not, they were there. Last time the team was in Norman there were chants of ‘We Want Caleb’ following the boos. The entire country was aware of it and they tried their best to use it against the Sooners. Texas fans were chanting ‘We Want Caleb’ at gameday…there were signs…there were tweets!
Well…much to their own detriment, they got what they wanted, and I do not see a path back from this point. Lincoln Riley opened the phonebooth and Caleb Williams entered. Superman came out. He ain’t going back in.
This week, many will discuss the QB situation at OU…who will start, who will play…it will be talked about way too much for such a simple question. Lincoln Riley will say politically correct things and handle it very professionally.
But if you are looking for the answer…just picture this:
It’s next Saturday night. Fans are packed in, recruits are in the building. The Sooners head out of the tunnel to take on TCU. There is a palpable feel of electricity in the air as the Sooner faithful seek to cheer for their super hero from the Red River Shootout. Can you imagine if Riley sends Spencer Rattler out there to take the first snap? Talk about spoiling a moment and shooting yourself and your team in the foot.
In my opinion…Caleb Williams is QB1. You have to let Superman fly.
Riley Non-Commital on QB Situation
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 11, 2021
Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley was non-commital on naming a starting quarterback for the TCU matchup when asked by Eric Bailey (Tulsa World).
Pretty much as expected.
We will work on finding out what we can throughout the week of practice as to who is taking the reps or if we can even get a tip of which way Riley is leaning.
***When you look at the decision that has to be made (I am for Williams starting at this point) you do not envy the position Riley is in.
***On one hand, you have a guy who was the Heisman Trophy favorite, not just a contender, who has started 14 consecutive games which your team has won. The kid was your first High School recruit to start for you and the focal point for you for the last 3 years. Rattler is very talented, but for two consecutive years, he has had a major hiccup in the biggest regular-season game he played in against Texas.
Rattler has not had the offense working in high gear this year. They have looked pedestrian for the most part.
***On the other hand, you have the number one QB in the 2021 class. A guy who has embedded himself in Oklahoma from the moment he committed.
As CJ noted HERE even prior to the booing at the West Virginia game, Williams is a guy who ‘Won the locker room’ even before playing a meaningful down for Oklahoma.
‘To keep it in the words of my source, he said quite frankly: “Caleb Williams has won the locker room.”
I paid no mind to the comment at the time, having believed it was just noise at the time. However, following the weekend’s events in Norman and seeing how a portion of the fanbase has seemingly turned on its starting quarterback, it is worth sharing they may not be alone.
Going a little further in depth, the source mentioned Williams having come in with his head down and grinding day in and day out from the time he stepped foot on campus. That seems to have resonated with his teammates and that is exactly the type of stuff you want to hear.’
That was never more evident than on Saturday when the entire team seemed to respond to Williams entering the game. Kudos to CJ for the timely note there as we all saw, in real time, the way his teammates responded to him as he led them to the amazing comeback.
The offense looked much more like the OU offenses under Baker and Kyler than it did to the product that they have put on the field for the better part of this season to this point.
***Against Texas, with Rattler under center for 32 snaps, the Sooners gained 169 yards. 111 passing yards, 58 rushing yards, 8 first downs and they averaged 5.3 yards per play.
***Against Texas, with Williams under center for 50 snaps, the Sooners gained 493 yards.212 passing yards. 281 rushing yards. 18 first downs and they averaged 10.1 yards per play. 10.1 YARDS PER PLAY!
Decisions like this are why Lincoln Riley gets paid the big bucks. I do not envy him.
If OU is truly basing this on a ‘week to week’ evaluation…the choice is clear.
Sourced Note on Caleb Williams During the Game
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 11, 2021
Just a quick note on Caleb Williams’s leadership qualities…
Source tells K that after Caleb’s first drive where OU scored 3 points on the field goal, he was frustrated and felt he should have led them to 7, on the sideline Caleb went up to each position group and their coaches and told them ‘we’re gonna win this game’.
The word continues to be that he has leadership qualities that are ‘Baker-esque’ or even more so.
The Latest | Gabe Dindy
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 11, 2021
Just a quick note K passed along in regards to Gabe Dindy and his announcement tomorrow evening. (Today)
***Sources from both sides (OU and Aggie) indicate they have not been told what the decision is at this point.
***We still stand with our last report and like where things stand between OU and Dindy at this time.
If something changes, obviously we will update.