Open Post | Weekend, November 20th – 22nd

Spencer Rattler | Update
– Super K – Posted on: November 17, 2020

As you all know, OU quarterback Spencer Rattler took a shot to the hip, during the Kansas game. Following that hit, he was unable to plant properly and overall looked like he was in a fair bit of pain.

I did ask around to see how things are going and I’m told that they rested him quite a bit. Told there is no concern and it appears he’s good to go and has been back to his normal dime throwing self in practice.

Also will note that I’m told practices in general have been excellent. Sooners feel good going into this one.

Bedlam | Player Quick-Update
– Super K – Posted on: November 17, 2020

***I am told that as of right now, all starters are practicing.

***It does sounds like Jon-Michael Terry, however, is not expected to play. JMT has done a nice job but if the past three games are any indication, between Ronnie, Nik and Isaiah, they shouldn’t have much trouble getting edge pressure.

Bedlam | Additional Player Updates
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 19, 2020

*** Earlier in the week, we let you know that we did not expect Jon-Michael Terry to be available this week.

***In addition to JMT, we expect CB Jaden Davis and WR Jadon Haselwood to miss this weeks game.

***Some good news here as sources tell James they expect DT LaRon Stokes to be good to go following a minor injury which had kept him out of the Kansas game.

Bedlam | Player Availability | Thursday Evening
– Charlie S – Posted on: November 19, 2020

***Sources tell us the Sooners will likely be without the services of tight end Austin Stogner this week.

***Source adds this absence is not COVID related.

Quick Hitter | Jonathan Alexander Kansas State Grad Transfer
– Charlie S

You guys are always looking for names to keep an eye on in regards to grad transfers and portal candidates who may be of interest to the Sooners.

Yesterday I caught up with Kansas State defensive back grad transfer Jonathan Alexander (6’2″ 213).

Alexander is from Ft Worth, TX, and he went to high school at Trimble Tech before heading to JUCO at Kilgore College. Following his time at Kilgore, he committed and signed with Kansas State where played in all 12 regular-season games, recording 25 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, a sack, two pass breakups, a fumble and a fumble recovery as well as a blocked punt.

I reached out to him to see if he had any interest and contact with the Sooners.

In this case, Alexander is the one who is expressing interest as he told me ‘I’m very interested in OU!’.

However, he has yet to have any meaningful communication with the staff at OU to this point. His plan is to make his decision prior to this years early signing day so unless something changes in the near future, I would not think there will be a match here.

I will remain in contact with Alexander and let you know if anything develops here, but I just wanted to get this note up as an indication of what will likely be a wild offseason with the portal moves.

This year will likely be like no other we have seen in regards to players looking to make a move for one reason or another. The NCAA is looking to pass the ‘One time’ transfer rule where kids will be immediately eligible at a new school.

My thoughts are that there will be an over abundance of players checking into the portal. I also believe many programs will be very stingy with how they hand out their scholarships based on what will be a numbers crunch due in large part to the extra year of eligibility afforded to their current players.

Right now, it looks like the NCAA is planning on going with a scholarship limit of 110 for 2021, but in 2022, the programs will need to get back down to the 85 man limit. Obviously that will take some creative numbers manipulation and a clear plan on how they plan on doing that.

While the portal and the new eligibility rule may look enticing to some players, I do worry that some will chop off their noses despite their faces and wind up in portal limbo and potentially out of school and the sport they love altogether.

It’s going to be a wild ride for both the kids and the programs.

Jardin Gilbert | Update
– Super K

This Jardin Gilbert situation is starting to look a little bit like last year’s Major Burns recruitment.

Once again, the Sooners are in pole position for a top Louisiana high school prospect only to have LSU come in with a late offer and change things.

2021 DB, Jardin Gilbert was a near lock to OU but this past weekend, LSU – despite already having two of the top five ranked safeties in the country committed to them – made an offer to Gilbert.

The Sooners have not given up here. They continue to maintain contact with Gilbert and I’m told they are encouraged by what he is saying – as in he seems to be giving them an indication that him taking the LSU offer isn’t a forgone conclusion.

I think this is a wise course of action on the part of the Sooners given what did transpire with Burns last year. He was dropped late by LSU. This Gilbert offer from LSU may just be a way for the Tigers to hold off the OU commitment. Also, it appears LSU has a few issues they are dealing with.

So, until the NLI is signed, I think there may still be some twists in this one.

Know Your Opponent | Oklahoma State
– Charlie S

Head Coach – Mike Gundy (16th Season) 2-13 against Oklahoma

Offensive Coordinator – Kasey Dunn (10th Season)

Defensive Coordinator – Jim Knowles (3rd Season)

This is Mike Gundy’s Offense, as it has been his entire tenure. Jim Knowles prefers size over speed in his Secondary, but emphasizes the opposite for his LBs.

On Offense …

The Cowboys want to be physical on Offense and they’ve shaped their identity around the running game over the past season and a half. They’ll keep a TE on the field pretty much at all times and will also utilize 12-Personnel and bring another on the field. Due to the emphasis on running the football in addition to running an up-tempo attack, the damage that they create through the air usually comes off of play-action fakes or quick screens. Anytime that Tylan Wallace has single coverage, especially on 3rd and Medium or 3rd and Short, the Cowboys will take that matchup.

QB – #3 Spencer Sanders*

RB – #30 Chuba Hubbard* or #0 LD Brown

–  I’ve never been a big Spencer Sanders fan. He has some obvious talent with his mobility and is not a terrible passer. It’s his decision making that holds him back in my view. Kind of reminds me of more twitchy Jalen Hurts who has the same type of ability as a passer (again, in my opinion).

– Chuba Hubbard hasn’t had the year he was likely expecting to have when he decided to not test the waters of the NFL Draft. His stats for the year read: 125 carries for 581 yards which is an average of 4.6 yards per carry with a long run of 32 yards and 5 touchdowns. Not bad stats, but not ‘Chuba’ good stats. A lot of that has to do with his offensive line. He is still one of the premiere backs in college football and is a big play waiting to happen.

– A guy OU will need to focus on when he is in the game and not take a breather on is LD Brown. There is no real drop off from Hubbard to Brown and in fact, Brown has the better stats on the year: 60 carries for 372 yards which is 6.2 yards per carry with a long of 66 and 1 touchdown.

– I know there is talk about Wallace, Hubbard, and Brown potentially not being available…that may be the case, but remember a few years back when Joe Mixon was rumored to basically have had his foot amputated prior to the OkState game? Could be some legit bad luck for the pokes, or it could be a lot of smoke. We will see. I’m expecting to see them.

WR – #2 Tylan Wallace*

WR – #17 Dillon Stoner

WR – #8 Braydon Johnson or #1 Landon Wolf

TE – #89 Jelani Woods or #87 Logan Carter

– Tylan Wallace is the best Wide Receiver in the Big XII and will almost assuredly go in the first two rounds of next spring’s NFL Draft, barring another injury.

– Dillon Stoner has been around forever and is the team’s possession Receiver. He’s very good at finding holes in Zone Coverage and operates at his best between the hashmarks. Braydon Johnson is the fastest Receiver on the team. Feels like he got on campus around the same time Chanse Sylvie did in Norman back in the late 90’s (lol)

LT – #61 Jake Springfield

LG – #72 Josh Sills

C – #50 Ry Schneider 

RG – #70 Hunter Woodard

RT – #73 Teven Jenkins

– This is a physical group, that is lacking athleticism across the board. Mike Gundy tries to combat that by using a hurry-up attack and keeping things simple. This is a unit that will trip, hold, grab, and do whatever they have to do to try to execute their assignment. The Tight Ends play a big role in the run game as well.

– Simply put, they are not one of the better offensive lines in the Big 12.

– Treven Jenkins is one guy who has a chance to play at the next level.

On Defense …

DE – #94 Trace Ford

DT – #95 Brandon Antwine or #92 Cameron Murray

DT – #98 Brendan Evers

DE – #89 Tyler Lacy 

– This group has been able to generate some pressure this season. Antwine, a Colorado transfer, is the leader on the Defensive Front with 3.5 sacks to this point from an interior position. Ford has added 3.0 sacks from his Defensive End position.

– Historically, OU has been able to handle the front of OkState rather effectively. It will be interesting to see how Erik Swenson does against the quickness of the Cowboys edge defenders and linebackers.

MIKE – #20 Malcolm Rodriguez or #16 Devin Harper

WILL – #7 Amen Ogbongbemiga* or #1 Calvin Bundage

– Ogbongbemiga is the guy to watch. He’s the leader of the Defense. Rodriguez and Harper take turns manning the MIKE spot. I like Harper better than Rodriguez.

– Bundage is actually tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks this season.

CB – #8 Rodarius Williams

S – #31 Kolby Harvell-Peel

S – #3 Tre Sterling

Nickel – #2 Tanner McAlister

CB – #24 Jarrick Bernard-Converse

– The Safeties are experienced. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are very good. Harvell-Peel had a nice interception against Iowa State.

– The Corners are two of the fastest players on the team and Rodarius Williams is the brother of former LSU All-American and current Cleveland Brown Cornerback Greedy Williams.

Overall Thoughts …

– Last year, the Sooners did a great job against Chuba Hubbard, limiting him to 104 yards on 24 carries. If they can duplicate that effort up front defensively, they should be able to provide some help over the top to the corners on Tylan Wallace.

– Sanders WILL give OU some opportunities to turn the ball over. It will be all about if the Sooners can capitalize on those opportunities and secure the ball, whether it be on the ground or via interception.

– Offensively, Oklahoma should be able to throw the ball, but they would be wise to establish the run game early in order to wear out the high energy Cowboy defense by the time the game gets to the 4th quarter.

– My biggest question is if Austin Stogner is not available, or slowed, who will emerge as Rattlers security blanket? Brayden Willis is likely to be back and Jadon Haselwood will be out there, so it’s not a massive concern, but still something to keep an eye on.

– OU’s biggest strength this year has been their defensive front. OkStates biggest weakness this year has been their offensive line. If the Sooners get up a couple scores, things could get ugly as the pass rush will have opportunities to eat.

– I like the matchup for OU overall as I am not sure that the Cowboy offensive line will allow them to get in any sort of consistent rhythm throughout the game. Yes, they will get some chunk plays, but if OU can limit them, the Sooners should come out on top as I don’t think they will be able to go ‘score for score’ with the Sooners.

 Charlie & Darius

One on One | Oklahoma State
– Charlie S

The Sooners will be back in action this week following a bye week. Oklahoma is on a four game winning streak and look to be playing their best ball of the season at this point.

Oklahoma State currently sits atop the Big 12 standings (tied with ISU) and is coming off of a 20-18 victory over Kansas State prior to their own bye week.

Let’s take a look at a couple of match-ups worth paying attention too.

One on One Number One:

Oklahoma left tackle Erik Swenson vs Oklahoma State defensive end Trace Ford

Coming out of fall camp, Sooners true freshman Anton Harrison was named the starter at left tackle…yet, that never really happened on the field at least, following a COVID induced quarantine for the opening game.

Swenson has started every game for OU at left tackle and, while early on in the season he would get taken out following a series or two and Harrison would play the majority of the snaps, Swenson of late has played the bulk of snaps, and has played pretty well.

Trace Ford is the guy I am using for this one on one, but it could be any number of edge rushers I will be focusing on. Ford is a nice player, he has some good burst off the line, but overall, I do not think he is a guy Swenson cannot handle on any specific play. I think it will be more about a cumulative effort where Swenson will need to be consistent as the energy brought off the edge from OkState is constant.

Ford has 3 sacks on the year and gets consistent pressure on the quarterback.

Swenson has been successful of late against some inferior talent (Kansas, TTU) and this will definitely be an upgrade in opponent ability.

Ford will have the speed advantage and in pass pro, Swenson will have to use his footwork and hands to wash him out and continue on towards finishing each and every play as Ford will not quit even if he gets pushed wide.

In the run game, I don’t think Swenson will have much of a problem with the edge guys of Oklahoma State to be honest. They are quick and are pretty assignment sound but a bit undersized, but if Swenson is able to hit his keys, he should be able to overwhelm the smaller defenders.

One on One number Two:

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace vs Oklahoma corner back Tre Brown

Wallace will be the best receiver on the field on Saturday. There is no doubt about that. The kid is a gifted route runner, has incredible hands, and can flat out get up and get it when it comes to contested balls.

Brown is a guy who has played well of late after getting off to a slow start to begin the year, but Wallace is absolutely the best receiver he will face this season.

If Wallace is healthy (and that is still a question) Oklahoma will have to focus on not allowing him to beat them.

OU can do this in a number of ways and in a perfect world, the OU front seven will be able to take care of the run game and allow the safeties to provide some help to the corners.

We all know Brown will not be matched up with Wallace all the time as OkState will move him around a bit and the Sooners play sides of the field and not boundary and field at corner.

With that said, when they do match up, one thing Tre has been susceptible too is double moves. Wallace has a huge bag of tricks and double moves are among them. If Sanders has time and Wallace is able to do some work, Brown (and the other OU corners) will have a huge challenge in front of him.

I’m going into the game expecting Oklahoma State to find some early running success (may take a drive or two for the OU defense to get up to speed) so it will be crucial for the Sooners to have their corners play well early. If OkState can run the ball early, the corners will be left on an Island and they will need to limit the big play potential of Wallace.

Brown will also have his opportunities when it comes to turnovers. Sanders is not the most accurate guy on balls traveling over 15 yards and Brown has shown the ability to come off his man and track the ball while it’s in the air.

Wallace will get his targets. My biggest hope for Brown is that he limits the impact of those targets as he will not shut Wallace down, nobody can. But he has to contain him following the catch.