Open Post | Weekend, November 10th – 12th

Post Game | OU vs OSU
– Super K – Posted on: November 4, 2023

***Don’t have much to say here other than it’s hard to imagine a team playing worse.

***Defense wasn’t bad. They did enough.

***But the offense continues to just be atrocious and there are just too many reasons.

***It’s the same thing we saw last year. Sometimes it’s the WRs. sometimes it’s penalties. Sometimes it’s bad play calling. Etc…

***BV is going to have to think long and hard about what he wants to do with the offense because they are underachieving.

***He also needs to figure out how to get his team to keep getting better as the season goes on and not continue to fall off.

***This Okie State team absolutely wasn’t a good one and the Sooners had plenty of chances to drive a dagger. They just refused to do it.

Position Group Progress Report | ’23 Game 9: OkState
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 6, 2023

I’m not here to put out any fires tonight…this was a shameful performance by the OU offense.

Shameful. All around.

The offense was undisciplined, unfocused, ill-prepared, lacking leadership, lacking in effort at times, and all around inept.

Let me be clear…that starts at Jeff Lebby’s feet and stops at Brent Venables’s feet and it is my belief that a lack of accountability is at the root of the problem.

Right now Jeff Lebby has been the man behind the curtain…literally…since the last time he faced the media (not immediately following a game) was on the Monday following the SMU game which was September 12th at which he apologized for having Art Briles on the field.

Following the apology, Brent and OU announced they were no longer planning on making the coordinators available to the media on Mondays of game week.

Brent preaches accountability as a foundation of the program (I am not going to get into the sideline penalties right now that the OU coaching staff, including Brent himself, have incurred over the last two games)…Jeff Lebby has not had to answer the questions about what is going on with the sputtering OU offense for the last month and a half. That stunt, having Art Briles on the field, ruffled a lot of feathers both inside the Switzer Center and outside amongst the fan base and donors.

The Oklahoma offense is under scrutiny right now for their performance on the field, and deservedly so. We have seen some of the strangest play calling over the last seven games that we have ever seen and the OU offensive coordinator is not in a position where he has to answer for that. We have watched as players have had some rough moments and the OU offensive coordinator is not in a position to have to answer for that. We have seen some absolutely head scratching personnel choices and the OU offensive coordinator has not had to answer for that. We have seen OU shoot themselves in the foot time after time with nonsensical procedural penalties and the OU offensive coordinator has not had to answer for that. We have seen incompetence on levels not imagined coming into the year and the OU offensive coordinator has not had to answer for that.

We have seen zero accountability in regard to the OU offensive woes from the coaching staff. When OU announced they would no longer make the coordinators available during the week, I noted that the reasoning seemed a bit suspect. Brent said he wanted to free up their time so they could focus more on football related stuff. I wasn’t buying it then, I am still not buying it. I have my suspicions, but that is a post for another time.

Nobody cares if you don’t get to hear from Ted Roof…literally nobody and that is because Brent is the real defensive coordinator and he stands up there on Tuesdays and answers any and all questions. The fact that Lebby remains sequestered away is shameful because this is the University of Oklahoma and the fan base deserves to hear from the architect of this inept offense.

While I know Lebby has to answer to Brent, Brent has to answer to the administration, the fan base, the recruits, the players, and the donors.

It’s almost like Lebby has checked out…and he has been given a free pass to do so for one reason or another. What that reason is, I can only speculate, and I am not here to start rumors and rumblings, but I still do not believe it is so that he and Ted Roof can spend more time working on football stuff.

At the end of the day, accountability within the program stops at the feet of Brent Venables…he is doing himself no favors by keeping Jeff Lebby sequestered back in the green room instead of answering (what would mostly be softball) questions from the media…and, sadly, that’s on Venables and it’s a terrible look, particularly when you preach accountability.

The offensive performance has been unacceptable. The lack of accountability, at least publicly, is also unacceptable, particularly from a guy who obviously thinks guidelines are not always meant for him to follow…(see having Art Briles on the field).

I don’t expect it to change and I don’t expect Lebby will be meeting with the media anytime soon…just starting to wonder if Brent may be second-guessing the way he has handled things since the immediate aftermath of the SMU game.

Sunday Brunch | Picking at the Leftovers
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 5, 2023

Typically, the results of a game do not affect me one way or another. Yes, when Oklahoma wins I am usually happy because my community is happy. When the Sooners lose, and we gained a lot of experience in that department last year, ordinarily it does not really impact me much other than feeling bad for the community and having to police the board a little more, which makes me a bit cranky after a while.

But waking up this morning…man…things just feel heavy. Almost feels like my dog went missing or something… that kind of heavy. Like…you know that the dog likely will come back, but there is that concern it may not…sort of heavy.

So I sat on the deck a bit and tried to understand why I was feeling that way. I don’t know that I came up with the complete diagnosis, but I think part of the reason things feel so heavy is because of the way the loss (and the prior loss) went down was so avoidable that it almost felt intentional. I am not saying there was any intention in the defeat(s), but I look at the team, I look at the way the games played out, I look at the investment Brent makes, I look at the investment the team makes, I look at the way my community invests themselves etc…and it all got thrown in the crapper due to incredibly avoidable, and largely self inflicted happenings.

Looking in the rearview…the last two weeks have me feeling a lot like last year…but I know it’s not really all that similar to last year. There are some similarities, but while it feels the same, that may be because there is an issue, and once again it’s on the offensive side of the ball. The difference between last year and these last two losses is that there are coaches, one in particular, who are not only contributing to the losses but are some of the leading factors in the losses.

Last year everything was so new and it was easy to point the finger at the players and say they needed time to acclimate to the scheme changes and play calls. We knew (and still know) the strengths and weaknesses of the major players on the field, but we had yet to learn about the weaknesses of the staff and while there were easily identifiable issues last year with the staff, we saw flashes of those things (time management, game management, play calling, personnel decisions) being ironed out.

This year, we still know the weaknesses of the players, but the last two games showed us that certain members of the staff just have not developed at the rate you expect at the University of Oklahoma.

I wanted to write something positive this morning. I have a real desire to provide answers for the community to help start the healing process. But as I sit here at my laptop, I am struggling to put the lipstick on the pig.

So lets do some reverse engineering.

Lets talk about the areas we know aren’t the major problems.

We know the defense is not the major problem. Yes, the defense is not perfect. No, the personnel is not where you want it to be, but you can see development across each level of the defense. You can see depth across each level of the defense. You can see buy-in across each level of the defense. You can see solid game planning and adjustments in game from the defense.

The Sooners defense has come a long way. They are turning the ball over at crucial times of the game. They are coming up with timely stops and have been really impressive with ‘heart’ plays as they have had numerous 4th and short stops at some incredibly important times. In the fourth quarter of the two losses this year, the defense has forced 3 turnovers resulting in only 9 points) and had multiple key stops and turnovers on downs.

The defensive trajectory is pointing in the right direction, at least in my opinion it is.

Then you look at the offense and you start to feel a little uneasy. The offense as a whole lacks an identity. We talked about the scheme having an identity, and while in the big picture, it does, OU is not running the scheme the way it is designed to be run due in part to the limitations of the quarterback and the ineptness of the offensive coordinator. But that’s not it.

The good about the offense? You can see a couple rooms that show promise. The offensive line is still getting it done. Pass protection has been very good and the evidence of development in the running game is tangible, particularly over the last two weeks in the losses…which is baffling in itself, but here we are. No, the offensive line is not perfect, but you can see growth and development as the season has gone on, which is what you ask for. Again, the running lanes have been there, Tawee Walker and his 5.3 YPC average tell you that. The offensive line does not decide to block better just cause Tawee is in the game. Walker goes through the line most times untouched and makes his moves beyond the line of scrimmage. So you have that going for you.

The wide receiver room, despite some drops yesterday, has shown signs of progressing throughout the year. Losing Andrel Anthony was tough, but there are guys getting separation and getting open. The distribution of the ball is not on them, that’s on the QB and the OC, but for the most part, this season they have been very good. Again, I understand it is difficult to pat them on the back after yesterday’s play, but big picture, Emmett Jones has done a really nice job with that group.

Now, as many moms have said throughout the eons…”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

So this is where I stop talking about the offense for now as I just do not have many nice things to say about the quarterback position, the running back position, and the tight end position.

The Sooners are 7-2 after nine game. They have a chance to pick up double digit wins a year after they went 6-7. There are positives to be taken from the season to this point. OU has a win over Texas, which is something many people did not think would be the case this year and a 10 win regular season is within their grasp still (more on that possibility later) and most in the fan base would have signed up for that heading into the season and view that as a reason to be happy.

It just doesn’t feel like it.

It feels like that damn dog is still out there missing, and there are no certainties it will come back. And that is a crappy feeling.

Position Group Progress Report | ’23 Game 9: OkState
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 6, 2023

Checking out how the position groups performed in the Sooner’s loss to Oklahoma State. Coming into the game, OU was a favorite over the Cowboys.

This will be the ninth progress report of the season. I will include the previous week’s ranking at the top of each position group’s report.

Let’s see how things shook out against Oklahoma State.

QB: 3* (Last week 2*)

Dillon Gabriel wasn’t the reason for the loss. He also was not impactful enough to push his team to victory.

He was average. He got little help from his receivers in big spots and he also had some bad decisions and throws on his own.

Feels very much like I could copy and paste his progress report from week to week.

Again, this loss is not on Gabriel, he had a solid statistical day as he went 26/37 for 344 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

RB: 4* (Last week 4*)

Again, another curious situation where OU actually had the running game working (much like against Kansas) and then the rest of the offense goes in the crapper.

Gavin Sawchuk had a huge 64 yard touchdown run on his way to a big first half where he had 9 carries and close to a hundred yards. The rest of the game, he got 4 carries and finished the day with 111 yards.

Tawee Walker followed up Sawchuks lead with 9 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Sawchuk averaged 8.5 yards per carry and Walker averaged 7.4 yards per carry…and they only got a combined 21 carries. What are we even doing here? OU was running the ball at will and they decided to go away from it and throw 37 passes on the day?

Make it make sense. It’s like Lebby gets something consistent and decides it is time to work on another area and try to get that consistent.

WR/TE: 2* (Last week 1*)

This is a tough one to grade, I ain’t gonna lie.

Drake Stoops had a career day, but came up 2 yards short at the end of the day. Stoops had 12 catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.

Jalil Farooq added 7 catches for 98 yards and Nic Anderson had 3 catches for 92 yards…but he also had a massive and game-altering drop.

Austion Stogner was just brutal as he contributed next to nothing in the pass game and he was inexcusably bad in the blocking game at times. If you’re going to be on the field for 95% of the time, you have to do more than block well 70% of that time.

The wide receivers also had 4 penalties on the day. That may be a record.

The 2 yard short route, the drops, the mind-numbing procedure penalties, and the abysmal blocking took the shine off what should have been a 4 or 5 star day.

OL: 3* (Last week 3*)

Easy peasy…without the bad snaps, this unit had a 4 star rating at the very least on the day.

Thought the interior played really well, particularly McKade Mettauer on the right side and Cayden Green has settled in nicely and is getting better from snap to snap. Raym was solid when he wasn’t snapping the ball poorly.

Guyton had a nice day from what I saw and Walter Rouse got beat once or twice, but overall, the line was good and I was glad to see they limited their penalties (1).

DL: 4* (Last week high 3*)

Another tough one to rate as I thought they did a really, really nice job in helping to limit Ollie Gordon, but they really didn’t get a ton of pressure on Bowman…not sure if that was by design or what, but I will be paying attention to that once I watch the film again and reach out to JY to get his thoughts.

Felt like Rondell Bothroyd did a really nice job against the run and Ethan Downs was solid in that respect as well.

Terry and Lacey did nice work in the middle and Isaiah Coe really looked like he was having a monster day against the run.

Trace Ford was solid on the EDGE as well while PJ Adebawore got taken to school on occasion.

Overall, really nice job up front and that helped the young linebackers shine as well.

LB: 4* (Last week 2*)

Kip Lewis has officially arrived and it may cause a ripple effect in the linebacker room as it will be difficult to reason out keeping him off the field for the last three weeks of the season.

Lewis was a madman out there as he had 15 tackles and set the tone early in the game as he went right at Ollie Gordon and the world found out that the ‘needs to add weight’ narrative was greatly overblown. Kip plays with great instincts and is as fundamentally sound of a linebacker as OU has.

Kobie McKinzie came in for a struggling Jaren Kanak and played a helluva game as well as he notched 7 tackles of his own and didn’t have any ‘what the hell was that’ moments that Kanak has been displaying of late. Kobie definitely is making a case to supplant Kanak going forward.

With how well Lewis and McKinzie played…what happens when Danny Stutsman returns? These young cats are going to make it difficult on Roof and Venables to figure out a rotation as you still need to get Kanak snaps to allow him to try to work things out because Kanak is not as bad as he has looked over the last 2 or 3 games.

OU has a ridiculous amount of talent in that LB room and Lewis and McKenzie have turned up the heat for cetain.

Cheetah: 4* (Last week 4*)

Kendel Dolby was the standout here, which was a bit surprising to me as I thought Dasan McCullough would have an expanded role in the game with the Pokes running game being their bread and butter.

McCullough only played 23 of the 85 snaps while Dolby played 62 snaps.

Not sure what the plan is with McCullough going forward as you would think that OU would like to get his talent on the field for more than a quarter of the snaps, but on this day, Dolby did very solid work in regard to what was asked of the Cheetah position.

Just starting to wonder if Cheetah is the long term answer for McCullough.

DB: 2* (Last week high 3*)

As far as starters went…Billy and Woodi were good…Key and Gentry not so much.

Both Gentry and Key left the game due to injury and that is becoming a concerning trend for Gentry at this point. But he was getting picked on early as he clearly was not up to speed after coming back from injury. Key played a total of 10 snaps early in the game and struggled with tackling before exiting the game.

The good news? Robert Spears Jennings came in and played very well in place of Key and Vickers and Wagoner got some much-needed experience in relief of Gentry. Yeah, the young guys had some growing pains, but they both will be better for it.

Peyton Bowen was limited once again, he only had 10 snaps and man, you hope to see him get healthy and more involved over these last 3 games of the regular season.

ST: 1* (Last week Nebula)

Kick returns and punt returns are basically non-existent for OU at this point.

Elzinga averaged 55 yards on his punts, so that’s cool and Gabriel had a nice punt to pin oSu at the three.

However…the Sooners missed another field goal and chose not to even attempt a couple others, and that’s just a drag and should have been addressed in the offseason.

What the ?!
– JY – Posted on: November 6, 2023

I usually make myself stay off of social media for 48 hours after a loss.  I’m an emotional person when it comes to football, so It’s like giving a toddler their absolute favorite toy or candy bar, showing it to them, reminding them how good it is or was, giving them a taste and then inexplicably taking it away for no good reason.  So with discretion being the better part of valor I just stay away.  A wise man once told me that when you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig likes it.  Friends and family who have been dropped on their heads and for whatever reason developed an affinity for Oklahoma State are quick to pile on.  Like many of you, I suspect I’m not the only one with unanswered texts, calls and facebook posts.  Anyway, as it pertains specifically to Saturday…what the absolute f#$% did we just witness?

To start the game, OSU looked like a well oiled machine going 8 plays for 75 yards.  Much of that could be attributed to two big plays, one being a missed tackle on Brennan Presley on a bubble screen that he took 26 yards, and then Ollie Gordon went left for 20 yards and a score.

The Sooners followed up and came out firing.  I had reason for optimism as Gavin Sawchuk made a tough catch on a 5 yard gain and then broke out on a 64 yard run.  3 plays and 75 yards later, the Sooners scored with the whole drive lasting 48 seconds.

The defense responded by forcing a punt, and at this point I was feeling pretty good.

My confidence was ill placed because the s#$% show began on the next drive.  Sawchuk went for 3, and then an incomplete swing pass to Gavin Freeman.  I like Freeman, I think he’s a great kid and obviously a hard worker, but when he’s in the game, everybody and their dog knows that it’s either a reverse, jet sweep or swing screen to him.

INDICTMENT #1–predictability within personnel groupings

Then on a conventional drop back play, Gabriel hits Farooq for 15 yards and we’re off the goal line.  Ok, maybe Lebby’s learning.  Stop the gimmicky bs and let’s play big boy stop us ball. Next play, false start..Really!?!

INDICTMENT #2–undisciplined pre-snap penalties by the offense…The past two weeks in key moments, receivers jump offsides, we have an illegal motion or an o lineman jumps…inexcusable.

Two plays later we give up a sack and Gabriel fumbles…  luckily he fell on it.   3rd and 13, now and Gabriel hits Anderson for 49 yards…at this point I’m excited.  Even though the Sooners are playing with fire, they made a couple of big plays and overcame some mistakes.  Now you’re 1st down on the 34 going to score and go up by 7.

INDICTMENT #3–gimmicky bullshit.  On the very next play, right after you had both Stoops and Anderson wide ass open on a mesh concept, your o line protected their tails off, you gain 50 yards and then decide to go gimmick.  You’re clearly more talented, and I’ll show you in an abbreviated TW what I mean, but on this play, Gabriel is lined up behind the guard.  Its a direct snap to Barnes where Gabriel is gonna take the handoff from Barnes, and it looks like they’re trying to run the option with Drake Stoops to the left.  It looks brilliant in its design, but it’s complicated.  If you execute, most likely you score.  Alas, the snap comes it’s high and hot.  Barnes bobbles the snap, the Sooners fumble it and waste a golden opportunity.  I’d wager if you stay meat and potatoes, you keep driving and you go up 14-7 and the game looks different.  Riley used to do this stuff too, coming from Eastern Carolina…he and Lebby scheme plays like they’re the underdog.  YOURE NOT!  YOU DON’T NEED TO DO FANCY S$$%.  You have better players.  Let them play!  Instead of being up 14-7, OSU grabs momentum, drives the field and scores.

Once you get the ball back, you immediately get behind the chains AGAIN with Farooq lining up offsides.  As a receiver, how in the hillbilly hell do you line up offsides?  See INDICTMENT #2.  You end up having to punt on basically a 3 and out.  Instead of responding, you shoot yourself in the foot.  While you should be up 14-7, you’re down by the same score.

OSU gets the ball back and drives for a field goal.  With 9:42 to go in the 2nd Quarter you’re down 17-7, and I want you to check this out…

Next 6 OSU Drives

  1. Fumble
  2. Punt
  3. Downs
  4. Downs
  5. Downs
  6. Interception

From 9:42 in the 2nd Quarter to 7:59 in the 4th Quarter the defense locked it absolutely down.  Basically 5 turnovers.  3 4th down stops, a fumble and an INT.

Down 14-7, you go back to lateral BS and get stopped for a loss until on 3rd and 12, you run a stop route where Farooq stops at the sticks, breaks a tackle and gets 17.  The rest of the drive looks masterful and the TD to drake was awesome.  You fake the QB run drawing the LB’s in and Stoops is wide open.  Again, you don’t need to do gimmicky bs.

Next your defense forces a 3 and out.  This is the point where OU HAS to go for the jugular.  Gabriel hits Farooq for 15, Anderson for 19 and before you can blink you’re on OSU’s 29 yard line.  On 3rd and 8, you run some more lateral BS when again, THEY CANNOT COVER YOU!!!!!!  They’re playing off coverage.  Go get the first down!  Drake gets dropped for a loss of 6 and you attempt another field goal that Schmit misses.  At this point, I have more confidence in Jimmy Stevens.  With that in mind, you’re kind of in no-man’s land for your kicker, who has been struggling.  So, why aren’t you trying to take it to 4th down and short or get the 1st down with conventional looks?  On this drive Farooq and Anderson have gashed em?  Again with the predictability, the reverses and jet sweeps do not work.

Defense responds and gets you a 3 and out.  Then on 3rd down you go long down the left sideline to Anderson, who has been the big play man.  He’s got a step, and he just drops it.

INDICTMENT #4–Inconsistent play

After halftime, you get the ball, and no doubt you want to get down the field and score.  You’re down 14-17 with more than a few missed opportunities.  At this point you missed a field goal (17-17), fumbled a snap (24-17) and dropped what I believed to be a touchdown (31-17).  The conversation at halftime should have been that you just need to settle down and be yourself.  Let’s trust each other and we’re going to cut out the mistakes and go earn this one.  Don’t panic, because we’re going to have another 6 or 7 possessions in the 2nd half.  As an offense I need 4 scores.  Let’s go get the first one right now.  On 2nd down Sawchuk goes for 15 yards.

INDICTMENT #5–Be aware of what’s happening during the game.  Somebody, has to get into Lebby’s ear.  Sawchuk scored on the 64 yarder earlier on the exact same play.  The counter was so open that both Green and Rouse didn’t block anybody as they were pulling and you still got 15 yards.  OSU responds with a lighter box than what you had on the previousl play.  You had a 6 man box, and now you have a 5 man box.  The Counter or a Run should be automatic.  Counting Stogner, you have a plus one numbers advantage, and if you go QB Run game, you have a plus two numbers advantage.  So the situational awareness simply isn’t there.  Gabriel who’s a 9th year senior has to know a couple of things on this play.

  1. Check to a run.  OSU is daring you to run the football here.  I find it hard to believe he doesn’t have the latitude to do that.
  2. It’s 1st down, if you get sacked it’s not the end of the world.  It’s not ideal, but don’t throw it up for grabs.
  3. Mettauer has to do a better job on the DT.  OSU runs a delayed blitz and if Mettauer seals his guy, Gabriel can probably get away from the blitzer.

Gabriel throws it up for grabs as he’s getting hit.  Brennan Thompson gets run over, and there’s no flag for PI.  OSU intercepts it.

Defense gets you another stop, and in spite of another false start by a receiver, this time Drake,  you have the best looking drive of the day capped off what appeared to be a healthy Tawee Walker for the score…on you guessed it…the counter play.  I’ll die on this hill also.  Gabriel looks really good in the conventional drop back play action game.  Do that more.

Defense gets you another stop, and youre up 21-17.  With how the defense was playing at this point there was no way you could have told me the Sooners lose the game.  The plays on this drive went:

  1. Drake catch for 6 yards
  2. Drake 2 yards
  3. Tawee 7 yards
  4. Tawee 7 yards
  5. Tawee 6 yards
  6. Sawchuk-0 yards
  7. Guyton False Start–2nd and 15
  8. Incomplete
  9. Stogner for 10 yards
  10. Incomplete on 4th down.

Again the presnap penalty killed this drive.  Along with the discipline, knowing where you are in the game has to be relevant as a play caller.  It’s clear that Tawee has a hot hand.  At this point, he’s carried 5 times for 43 yards.  At this point, Venables has to be on the headset with Lebby telling him to slow it down.  This is a critical drive, and again Tawee is a man amongst boys at this point.  Mix in a pass to give him a break and then come back to him.  Sawchuk had had a good game to that point, but Tawee’s putting em away.  Then we’re not disciplined enough to hold our water and we jump offsides.

Now for the maddening, if you’re not there already.  Sooner Magic looked to be in full effect as Billy Bowman intercepted OSU RB Ollie Gordon off of you guessed it…Gimmicky Sh#$ and returned it 39 yards to the 44 yard line.  Rightfully you go back to Tawee who promptly reels off an 11 yard run. You’re 1st and 10 on the OSU 45 going in.  This is a great spot for play action and the nail in the coffin.  You score here and its lights out.  Despite all the mistakes and ugliness, you can put em away right here.  Still I understand going back to Tawee.  He gets 3 and then 2, so you’re slowed a bit in the run game. But following an interception with momentum and gazelles on the outside, 1st or 2nd down you gotta take a shot.    For the 2nd consecutive week with the game on the line following a huge interception you tighten up so tight you could cut lock washers off of your hind parts and run three times.  The box is loaded.  They’re trying to stop you.  Go get it.

After that it was a comedy of errors.

  1. PI on Vickers 15 yards
  2. Meltdown on Venables 15 yards
  3. Offsides on Coe 5 yards
  4. PI on Bowman in the end zone.

But wait…there’s more!!!!!

As soon as the Sooners get the ball back Raym snaps it before Gabriel is ready and we fumble.

Ultimately here is where we are.

As an offensive coordinator, you are responsible for many things.  Ball Security and Discipline should be on the top of the list.  While you look at the stat line Gabriel didn’t have a bad day.  Still he was responsible for three turnovers.  You had five or 6 bad penalties that put you behind the chains offensively, and despite all that you still had a chance to win it.  This week there should be people puking at practice.  There should be updowns until you die for all of the penalties you had offensively.  Gabriel should be on a short leash as far as turnovers go, and Raym should be for that matter with two bad snaps.  You’re 7-2 now, and still way better than you were, but you gotta get back to basics.  Re-Seize that offseason momentum you had and get the moxie back you showed early in the year.  If I’m Venables there are a few things in the staff meeting I’m demanding I never see again.

  1. Gimmicky Bullshit.  It’s clear the Sooners don’t gain anything from it but negative yardage.
  2. Side to side lateral stuff unless it’s to draw the safeties up, so you can burn em over the top.  Some bubble go etc etc.
  3. Get in the offensive line meeting as a HC and challenge those guys.  They didn’t play bad Saturday, but I need you guys to be great.  We can’t do this again.
  4. Get in the receiver room and tell em the next guy who jumps offsides will run to highway 9 and back every day until it stops.

The Sooners played the only team that has been able to beat em this year so far and that’s themselves.  OSU didn’t win that game, and neither did Kansas the week before.  The Sooners lost em both, and now tree huggin environmentalists are after us cause goalposts are in the pond.

Sorry for the rant–incoherent at times, but what the absolute f#$%.  With as much talent as you have offensively with receivers, backs and o linemen everyone in the country wanted, it should be pretty easy to call plays.  Simplify it.  Challenge your guys and say I’m gonna trust you guys to beat the other guys.  No more BS.  Strap up because I’m calling your number.

Time to Look Ahead | Still Reason to be Hopeful
– Super K – Posted on: November 7, 2023

It’s been a bit of doom and gloom for the past few days. And I know some of it isn’t just about the losing. I think some of it is about whether this slide is just a temporary thing or part of a pattern that we first saw last year.

That question will remain unanswered for now. I personally think they’ll right the ship.

It is important that they do right the ship…now. Why? Because if they win out, they’ll not only be sitting at 10-2 (massive improvement over last year and great for recruiting in the off-season) but…

They will also be in a position to get back to the Big 12 championship if…

***Texas drops a single game.

***It isn’t absolutely guaranteed in that case but it is more likely than not. I’ve gone through the tie breaker rules and if Texas loses any game then, as far as I can tell, there would be a number of scenarios under which OU could end up back in the Big 12 championship against, presumably Okie State.

***And just given how everything has played out, I think the OU fans would not only love a scenario like that, they’d probably be happier stealing that last win as they hoist the championship than they would’ve been winning the first time.

***Can Texas drop a game?

***They’ve been flirting with it. Without Quinn, I think even Texas fans would recognize they’re playing with fire. Certainly not guaranteed but certainly a possibility.

***Obviously the other issue is Kansas. Again, I believe there are multiple scenarios where, should Texas drop one, then a tiebreaker could break OU’s way even if Kansas wins out but…

***If Texas and Kansas drop one then, that would clearly put the Sooners in.

***Here is the remaining schedule for Texas: TCU, Iowa State and Texas Tech.

***Here is the remaining schedule for Kansas: Texas Tech, Kansas State and Cincinnati.

***Also, did check with a source on the OU side, they are very aware that things can still break their way but was told they are, as you’d expect, preaching focus on WVU. So, for everyone who has the “let’s take it one game at a time” comment at their fingertips…they are. We aren’t playing so, our looking ahead doesn’t matter.

JY – Posted on: November 9, 2023

For the last couple of years following my divorce, I kind of went into hibernation for a spell.  Like a lot of men I crave peace and quiet.  Fortunately for me the divorce provided me peace to a degree.  As for the quiet part my man-cub at times like most kids and his bubbling enthusiasm,  is hard to contain.  A good way to describe him would be “you can’t stop em, you can only hope to contain em!”  Simply put my son, Roman, is a force of nature.  I’ve never met anyone who’s able to make friends so easily.  We’ll walk into Wal-Mart or Target to get something, and by the time we come out we’ve made at least two new friends.  He’s never met a stranger, and by a lot of accounts his “light” or at least that’s what I call it is extraordinary.  I’m convinced that God gave him to me, so I could see how truly amazing life could be.

During that time, I kind of stepped away from TFB as you know, and I was able to link up with a college teammate I played with at Missouri Southern in the 90’s.  I found out that he was coaching 8 man ball at a little town in Missouri, and he asked me to come talk to the team and spend some time with them in camp.  Before I knew it, I was attached to the kids and got the opportunity I needed at the time and had always wanted, to be an offensive line coach.  So for the last two seasons, I’ve been doing that along with my full-time job.  Man-cub has been a fixture at practice, jumping on the tackling pads, dummies and the players.  Hopefully, he’ll start wanting to play, because man he’s physical.  We’ll be in our apartment, and it’ll be dead quiet until I hear a war cry.  Before I know it he’s channeling his inner Alvin Mack and throwing his entire body weight into me.  Ear-holing dad is one of his favorite things to do.  I’ve tried to talk him into playing, but he’s afraid that he won’t like it because he doesn’t think he can throw.  I’m like kid your a d end all day long.  His hand usage is already superb, and I wish I hadn’t taught him how to knock my hands off of him.  When we go to wrestle, he knocks my hands off, and says beat the hands you beat the man dad!

Anyway, with my personal life, and my Sooner life as I call it, the last few years have been what you could call eventful to say the least.  As I talk to my guys at work who ask me about my Sooners and what’s up, I can’t help but do an inventory and talk about what’s missing.  I’ve had the conversation more than once about how spoiled we’ve been at the QB position since 2015.  Even before that, there was Heupel, White, Bradford and Jones.  Yes, I included Landry Jones.  My explanation is for another post.  Simply put, most of the people on this board and in Sooner nation have been blessed with prolific quarterback play for the last almost 25 years.  Sure there were off years here and there, but for the most part we have been SPOILED by the amount of great QB’s we’ve had come through Norman.

In recent memory, since 2015, we have been spoiled rotten by transcendent QB Play:

2015:  Baker

2016:  Baker –3rd in Heisman voting

2017:   Baker–Heisman winner, #1 Pick in NFL Draft

2018:  Kyler–Heisman winner, #1 Pick in NFL Draft

2019:  Jalen–2nd in Heisman voting

2020:  Rattler

2021:  Caleb–went on to win the 2022 Heisman and will likely be the #1 Pick in the NFL Draft this spring.

From the overtime win @ Tennessee in 2015 through 2019, the production at the QB position was nothing short of exceptional.  Even with Jalen finishing 2nd in 2019, many amongst us were calling for Rattler because of the limitations we believed Jalen to have.  Be careful what you wish for, because Rattler wasn’t what we were accustomed to.  Caleb took over for him during the Texas game in 2021, and man, Caleb willed the team to a win that day.  That year, Oklahoma was 7-1 in one-score games.  Oddly as a starter that year Rattler was 4-0 in one score games, and Caleb was 3-1.  After what he did in the games against Texas & Kansas, it was clear that Caleb was truly special, and may end up being better than them all when the smoke cleared.  Anyone who’s being honest will say that they certainly thought we would see statue #8 in Heisman Park with Caleb’s name on it before it was all said and done.  Fast forward to 2022, and the Sooners were 0-5 in one-score games, simply put, OU didn’t have that guy who could get you a play when the game was on the line.  My argument is and has been that throughout the Riley years in spite of a horrendous defense, Oklahoma had QB’s that could do things that were jaw-dropping. So much so, when the rest of the team made mistakes, those guys were so good, they were able to overcome it, sometimes within the same play.  As such, I’m of the opinion that  Oklahoma was the same team in 2022 that it was before, just without Transcendent quarterback play. To be clear, this is not a bash or bitch session about Dillon Gabriel or Brent Venables.  As an offensive lineman I’d love to block for Dillon.  I love his confidence, his toughness, and his leadership.  Nevertheless, he’s just not Baker, Kyler, Jalen or Caleb.  Not an indictment, just is what it is.

A wise man once told me that you’re never as good as you think you are, and you’re never as bad as you think you are. When Venables came in, he inherited an absolute mess. The strength and conditioning program was in shambles at best, and the roster had been gutted.   A lot of guys left with Riley, there were guys who stayed, and I wonder how many of em weren’t invited to come with TBOW out to California.  The dynamic of all of that for guys who may have been recruited by the old staff only to be rejected when he left could have been attributed to some of the poison you heard about and the lack of complete buy-in to the new staff’s philosophy.  After stripping it down to the studs to rebuild it back correctly, there was, and still is reason for optimism.  During the first 6 games of this year, Venables had these guys cranking it out at full capacity.   While we’re being completely honest, the team is a lot better than it was last year.  Defensively the team has made tremendous strides.  Multiple times this year they have come up with a fourth down stop, turnover or forced a punt at critical times.  I’d say as much as we all bash the offense, when key defenders started getting hurt, a big play that we needed just didn’t come when we needed it.  I’d wager that if Gentry Williams is healthy 100% against KU and OSU they don’t win either of those games, in spite of all of the mistakes by the offense.  Don’t forget the losses of Stutsman and Peyton Bowen either.   We’re delusional to think that if all of them are healthy that the outcome is the same as what it has been the last few weeks.

At the end of the day, once we step back, swallow the disappointment and really look at how far this team has come, there’s reason for optimism.  Like the Chiefs when they transitioned from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes, hopefully the same thing will happen when we transition from Dillon Gabriel to Jackson Arnold.  Regardless of all that, it’s not logical to believe that a team can have multiple dropped passes, missed blocks, six turnovers and 19 penalties in two weeks and expect to be 2-0.  For lack of a better term had the Sooners just played cleaner, they’re 9-0, steaming toward the playoffs etc.  We’d all still be bitching but hey that’s just who we are.  As more and more of these recruits come in, you’re going to see more players like Bowen, Kip Lewis, Gentry, PJ, & RSJ come into the program.  As the Sooners continue to build on that competitive depth we’ve heard so much about, I truly believe we’ll continue to see steady progress.  I’m just as disappointed as anybody, but hey the good news is that we get to watch Sooner football this weekend.

’24 Offensive Lineman Committed to Tulane Visiting
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 9, 2023

Touched base with ’24 interior offensive lineman Tyler Mercer who confirmed that he will be in Norman for a visit to the West Virginia game this week.

Mercer (6’3 275) out of Prosper, Texas, is currently committed to Tulane and holds around a dozen offers, mostly from smaller programs around the country.

During our conversation, Mercer let me know that this is not his first trip to Norman, in fact, he said “I grew up a Sooner” and added, “My dad is an alumnus and my brother is attending OU right now”.

Mercer went on to say he has family all over the state and he knows a bunch of the players already in the program through various connections.

In regard to the visit itself, the Tulane commit says he is looking forward to experiencing a game day from a players perspective as well as getting some face time with the coaching staff and coach Bedenbaugh in particular. OU has not extended an offer to this point, but should they choose to do so, I would feel comfortable saying a flip would be inevitable.

Oklahoma is also hosting Grant Brix this weekend, so coach B will have some targets to attend to as he looks to add some talent to his ’24 class.

Know Your Opponent | West Virginia – 2023
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 9, 2023

WVU (West Virginia University) Logo PNG Vector (SVG) Free Download

Head coach: Neal Brown (5th season)
Offensive coordinator: Chad Scott (1st season)
Defensive coordinator: Jordan Lesley (5th season)

The Mountaineers are 6-3 on the year overall and 4-2 in the Big 12 Conference. West Virginia owns victories over Duquesne (56-17), Pitt (17-6), TTU (20-13), TCU (24-21), UCF (41-28) and BYU (37-7). Their losses have come to Penn State (38-15), Houston (41-39) and Oklahoma State (48-34).

On offense…

The Mountaineers come into the game having found an identity as a strong running team of late. They want to be all about the ground and pound and take the bulk of the workload off their quarterback. They rank 43rd overall in total offense as they average 419 yards per game. WVU currently ranks 6th in the country in rushing offense as they average around 218 yards per game and 4,8 yards per carry. They rank 98th in passing offense as they average 201 yards per game through the air, but we have seen this before.

QB #6 Garrett Greene
RB #4 CJ Donaldson Jr.
FB #35 Luke Hamilton

– Garrett Greens is not a great passing quarterback, we all know this, but he has been effective enough (10 TDs and 2 INTs) through the air and he is the second leading rusher as he averages around 5.5 yads per carry. He only has a 53% completion rate through the air, but he has stayed out of the turnover zone better this year than in the past.

– CJ Donaldson is a big back who carries most of the workload for the ‘Eers. He has 147 carries for 676 yards which is good for 4.6 yards per carry and he has 9 touchdowns. He is a load.

– I stuck Hamilton in this preview simply because it’s cool to see a fullback listed in a depth chart these days. He is an effective blocker but has yet to make any impact statistically this season.

The passing game is not great and WVU really doesn’t have a standout receiver. They use their tight end frequently in the passing game though.

WR #29 Preston Fox
WR #7 Traylon Ray
WR #5 Devin Carter
TE #87 Kole Taylor

– Taylor, the tight end is the Mountaineers leading receiver so far and he has 25 catches for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is a large target (6’7) and is Greene’s security blanket in the passing game and he does a nice job using his frame to creat space and a nice radius for Greene.

– Carter is a big outside target that WVU always seems to have up their sleeves. At 6’3 he is a mismatch physically for most corners. He has 23 catches on the year with 1 touchdown.

– Fox and Ray have not had the big impact that WVU was hoping for to this point of the year, but they are solid in their roles.

The offensive line is the story of the WVU offense as it is very talented and very experienced.

LT #74 Wyatt Milum
LG #50 Brandon Yates
OC #54 Zach Frazier
RG #66 Ja’Quay Hubbard
RT #58 Nick Malone

– Frazier, at center, is one of the better anchors on the offensive line in the country.

– The entire unit is filled with upperclassmen and while they have surrendered 9 sacks on the year, they are a nasty and aggressive unit who are the clear leaders on the offensive side of the ball for WVU.

– Very stiff test and OU may have some success rushing the passer when given the opportunity, but the DL will have to work extra hard in defending the run.

On defense…

The Mountaineers are a 3-3-5 Defense that will alternate between a 4-Man front look as well. They want to keep everything in front of them (no big plays) and make opponents put long drives together without shooting themselves in the foot. Let’s see how that works out for OU who has a nasty habit of shooting themselves in the feet of late.

West Virginia ranks 61st in total defense as they average allowing 367 yards per game. They are 57th against the run as they give up 139 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. Against the pass they are ranked 61st and they allow 228 yards per game.

DE #91 Sean Martin and #3 Tomiwa Durojaiye
NT #93 Mike Lockhart
DT #96 Edward Vesterine

– The ‘Eers get a lot of their 18 sacks from the backend of the defense but Durojaiye, the freshman, has made the most of his chances and he leads the DL with 3 sacks of his own.

– Lockhart is effective in the middle, not a big pressure guy but he does his job well and eats blocks up.

– Martin and Vesterine are guys that the OU OL should e able to handle (the entire DL is a line OU should be able to handle) but they just want to occupy the man in front of them to allow the back end to make plays.

West Virginia has a pretty nice group of linebackers who are very active and provide a good chunk of their defensive disruption.

BANDIT #10 Jared Bartlett
WLB #15 Ben Cutter
MLB #1 Lee Kpogba

– Kpogba leads the Mountaineers in tackles with 67 and he also has a pair of sacks to his credit. He is very active and very assignment sound.

– Cuter has 35 tackles and Bartlett has 34 on the year. Cuter has 1 sack to his credit and Bartlett has 2.5.

While WVU lost a good chunk of their secondary following last season, they still return a group that is compromised of all upper classmen as they added a couple guys from the portal.

SPEAR #13 Hershey McLaurin
LCB #14 Malachi Ruffin
CS #12 Anthony Wilson
FS #2 Aubrey Burks
RCB #11 Beanie Bishop Jr.

– Bishop is their thief as he has 4 interceptions on the year and 17 passes defensed (that is a HIGH number)

– The safety group is not all that stellar, but Wilson is second on the team with 48 tackles.

– Overall they are a solid group, but nothing spectacular and they have proven to be hit or miss in the tackling department.

Overall thoughts…

Look…it’s week 10 for the Sooners…once again they are the more talented team all around.

West Virginia has improved from last year (a year they beat the Sooners) but they still do not have the talent nor the depth that Oklahoma has.

Once again, and without a doubt, this one comes down to Oklahoma not beating Oklahoma.

If OU plays like they have for the last 3 weeks, this will be a dogfight and West Virginia is plenty capable of coming into Norman and walking out with a victory.

If OU cleans up their game, tackles well, knocks off the stupid procedural penalties, and executes their offense consistently, they should win handily.

Obviously on defense, OU will look to hold the WVU run game in check and on offense they should be able to take what they want…if they are focused and execute well.

I have no idea what to expect, but after what we have seen for the last 3 weeks, a nailbiter would not surprise me.