Position Group Progress Report | Texas
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 14, 2020
Handing out the rankings for the Sooners position groups following the Texas game.
I will be including the previous weeks rankings so we can all see how the units are shaking out on a week by week basis!
Let’s see how things shook out against the Longhorns!
QB: High 3* (Last week High 4*)
This is a tough one simply because it was a tale of two halves…
First half for Rattler would have been a 2*
First half for Mordecai would have been a low 3*
Second half for Rattler was 5* stuff.
Rattler lost a guy in coverage and hit Overshown right in the numbers and followed that up with some careless ball security as he coughed up one of the more visually interesting turnovers you will see. Riley made a tremendous call to sit him down for a bit and an even better call to start him in the second half.
I know there is a lot of love for Mordecai and what he brought to the game. In my opinion, he wasn’t very good. He was consistently making receptions difficult on his receivers by throwing the ball low or behind them. He easily could have thrown two picks (Rambo butt reception) and another ball which he drilled the Texas defender in the chest with (but the play was negated). He also dropped the ball with no contact which could have resulted in a turnover.
BUT…he did bring a sense of calm to the Sooners offense, he did get Theo Wease involved, and he did guide a scoring drive without being charged with a turnover. All that while coming in cold. So credit for that.
Rattlers second half and overtime was top shelf stuff. He made a handful of throws which would make any quarterback jealous (Stogner, Wease etc.) and you could see his confidence growing. He used his feet extremely well and made very solid choices throughout the half. He also had the stones to help talk Riley off the ledge in the second OT when he wanted to throw on 4th and goal. Following an ill timed timeout from Herman, Rattler and Creed convinced Riley to QB sneak the ball in and they were successful.
Feels like you saw Rattler mature before your eyes after being benched earlier in the game.
RB: 4* (Last week low 3*)
In chat last week I was asked for a bold prediction. I said TJ Pledger would have over 100 yards. I was also asked for a breakout star who could make a name for himself in this years edition of the RRS. I said TJ Pledger. I’m happy to report I was correct on both counts.
Pledger had 22 carries for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 2 receptions for 24 yards.
The most impressive runs in that game for him in my opinion…totaled 5 yards or so. The two short yardage goaline runs he had where he punched it in were BADLY needed for the Sooners both on the scoreboard and confidence wise.
Marcus Major added 12 carries for 43 yards and 1 touchdown and he showed some really good pass pro by picking up his blocks.
Both backs had chunk runs, which has been a rarity this year and it really aided OU in allowing them to open up the offense.
Rattler added some good yardage on the ground as well as the Sooners put up over 200 yards on the ground for the first time this season.
Mikey Henderson and Jeremiah Hall added 3 receptions to the Backfield.
I could have gone up to a High 4* here, but seeing Hall blow that blocking assignment really sat with me while grading this so I’m going to leave them where they are.
WR/TE: High 3* (Last week High 2*)
Will Saturday be considered the game where a new number one wide receiver arrived?
Theo Wease was the guy who became ‘The guy’ for at least that game.
Wease didn’t have gaudy numbers yardage wise, but he did have eight receptions and at least two of his receptions were behind the LOS and they were blown up by the lack of good WR blocking from the Sooners. Typically, WR blocking is a strong suit for OU, but this year it is not at the level you have become accustomed too.
He had a couple massive 1st down conversions to go along with that 2 point play reception (which was one of those golden passes from Rattler).
Mims had another nice day and needs to see more reps in front of Rambo as he had 4 catches for 52 yards and the opening touchdown of the game.
Stogner put up another nice day as he had 6 catches for 56 yards and 1 spectacular touchdown. He also had another critical drop on a pass on third down which could have sealed the game for the Sooners at the end of regulation if he makes that play.
One thing that I did see which was encouraging was the Sooner receivers continuing to work to get open as Rattler moved in and around the pocket. That is not something I saw much of against Iowa State. It’s a good sign.
High 3* may be nit-picky and I could have gone 4* I suppose but the weak blocking and the dropped passes (Stogner and Rambo) kept me in the 3* range.
OL: 4* (Last week Low 3*)
Last week I mentioned that I saw some signs of the OL coming together against Iowa State following their disaster against Kansas State.
I saw more progress in the right direction against Texas who presented the most talented (on paper) front that OU had faced to this point of the season.
In chat last week, I suggested that the massive Texas defensive line would actually benefit the Sooners timing along the offensive line because of their style of play. I feel like I was correct on that as OU did a really nice job in pass protection for the most part and you started to see signs of dominance in the run game coming together.
A couple of things stood out at the guard spot as I detailed in the ‘Film don’t lie’ post, but your tackles played well for the most part and they kept OU QBs upright for the majority of the day.
Once again Anton Harrison should be starting. There should not be a scenario any longer where Eric Swenson trots out to start the game. Harrison did more than just hold his own against Joseph Ossai, he actually dominated him at times. Ossai did win a few battles against him, but you can see Harrison growing each snap.
OU will be adding Chris Murray to the mix next week and I believe you will see him push both starting guards for playing time immediately and if I were Hayes or Robinson, I would be doing everything I can to up my game.
DL: High 4* (Last High 2*)
Best unit on the field against Texas across the board.
Every defensive lineman, interior and ends, all played very, very well.
Very well could have been a 5* effort, until you watch that Ehlinger run where 95 and 96 were jogging and following the slow developing play.
Perrion Winfrey didn’t have the shiny stats to point to following the game, but he was an absolute wrecking ball who caused a ton of Chaos for the Longhorns as he took up more space in their offensive backfield than their own running backs did.
Isaiah Thomas continues to be a revelation for the Sooners as he put up another monster game impact wise.
Heck you even saw Jordan Kelley, Josh Ellison and LaRon Stokes out there making plays.
Gonna add Bonitto and JMT to this group for progress report this week (usually I include the RUSH with the LBs) because they had a massive impact in rushing Ehlinger. Bonitto had 5 tackles and 2 sacks and JMT added 7 tackles and a sack. They both played lights out.
Before anyone gets carried away with this group however, remind yourselves where they were against KSU and ISU. Texas was a huge step in the right direction, just pace yourselves when declaring this group to be the best unit on the team…because they are not. They played a helluva game and if they can keep that focus and intensity up, they could break through that 3* ceiling I projected for them at the start of the season.
Just enjoy the way they tormented Texas and keep your fingers crossed that the progression continues going forward!
LB: Low 3* (Last week low 3*)
This was the lowlight of the defense this week. Gonna break it down individually:
Asamoah – 3* – Lot’s of tackles (9) and half a sack and tfl…but man, he left a lot of plays out there and had a few coverage busts plus the pushing down of DWhite near the endzone on Sams TD.
White – 1* – 2 tackles and an APB put out during the game for your starting MIKE is not acceptable (no there wasn’t an APB really, but there should have been). Just a complete non-factor. See the clip in ‘Film don’t lie’ about his complete whiff on Bijan Robinson in open field.
Ugwoegbu – 4* – Could have been a high 4* or low 5* until you saw him quit on Ehlingers TD run in OT. Dude NEEDS to be the starter. You can see his growth from play to play and you can see him starting to become more fluid as things start to slow down for him. Once he gets to the point where he doesn’t have to think so much and his natural abilities take over…watch out. He’s getting closer to that point every play.
DB: 4* (Last week 1.5*)
What a difference a week makes for this group.
4* may be a bit high based on Pat Fields play alone, but I’m going there anyway as Woodi, Jaden, DTY, Bookie, and Tre Brown all played pretty well.
Yes Brown should have had 2 picks, but he also got away with a few blown coverages (see Woodi Washingtons INT in ‘Film don’t lie’) but he played very well.
Nobody is crying about Bookie today I see? Aside from his penalty on the punt (which was bad) he played a very solid game. The PI on him in the endzone was crap so I am not dinging him for that.
Woodi was great in coverage, Jaden did some really nice work and DTY was solid.
Look…most of you agree, you need to see something different in regards to 10. Whether it’s Bryson Washington or Tre Norwood, or someone else, you need to see something new there. All I have for that.
Great day for the DBs overall as they helped allow the front to show out with mostly solid coverage on the day.
Special Teams: 4* (Last week High 2*)
Field Goal block, Punt block and big punt return, love it.
Missed crucial FG, don’t love it.
Solid in coverage (was worried about that coming in for OU as Texas is good on returns in general).
Overall, better than average day.
***Film Don’t Lie is a new feature on the Donor Board where we take short clips from the previous game and break down what went right, or wrong on that play. This weeks ‘Film Don’t Lie’ had over 30 clips.
If that is something you are interested in, please check the Donor Board***
Ronnie Perkins | The Latest | Sourced
– Super K – Posted on: October 13, 2020
***As you know, given the fact that collegiate players are amateurs, we try to avoid topics related to the players – especially those that are not directly related to football. So, I’ll tread lightly here.
***It did appear that Ronnie Perkins’ appeal was going to be approved. The final decision was contingent on some things.
***Those things did not go well and unless something changes, we do not expect to see Ronnie back on the field this season.
***He should be fine for next season but the question obviously there is whether he will choose to stay or try his luck at the professional level.
***As I understand, that conversation between Ronnie and coach Cain has not yet happened (or at least that was the case as of yesterday).
***Given what Cain has done in a short time with Isaiah Thomas, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s able to convince Ronnie to work through this situation and come back for another year to improve his chances at the next level. He was already doing well under Thibs but obviously he was still quite young. He’s going to need another year to put himself in contention for the draft.
***Let me say that the Sooners would really benefit from Ronnie coming back. I know he’s dealing with some issues here but don’t let that fool you. Ronnie has tremendous leadership qualities. I can tell you that a few freshmen were late to practice last week (in fact I was surprised to see one of them on the field) and the got an ear full from Ronnie. That’s exactly the kind of team leadership you need. Unfortunately, Ronnie was the only player who ripped into those young guys. You need more of that.
***When I was out at a Houston training facility a few months ago to see Ayodele Adeleye, I did happen to see Ronnie there putting in some work. Got the vibe that he really likes Cain. So, again, while he may very well leave and try his luck at the next level, I want to wait and see how things go once he and Cain speak before I say anything too definitive.
The Latest | Leigh and Bowman
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 13, 2020
Couple quick recruiting notes for you all…
***On 2021 offensive tackle Tristan Leigh, James spoke to some sources over the weekend and they expressed growing confidence in where things stand for OU at this time.
Source said that OU and Leigh remain in constant contact. Source told James that OU had a ‘great conversation’ with both Tristan and his mother Laura Rigney.
LSU is believed to still be the main competition for Leigh’s signature so it doesn’t hurt that they are struggling this year and Ohio State remains in the picture, but you have to like the position the Sooners are in right now.
As far as a timeline for Leigh to let a program know his decision, that is a bit unclear, but a decision in the relatively near future would not be shocking.
***In regards to 2021 ATH Billy Bowman, K spoke to an OU source who let him know things are still trending in a very positive manner for Oklahoma following his decommitment from Texas.
For those of you who are active on social media, you may have seen a picture on Instagram which his girlfriend (OU Softball player Jayda Coleman) posted over the weekend from Norman which included Bowman. That is never a bad thing particularly since OU beat Texas on the field this weekend as well.
OU is pushing all the right buttons with Bowman and it would not be a surprise at all to see something go down in the not too distant future.
Quick Hitter | Riley on Chris Murray and Ronnie Perkins
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 13, 2020
Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley confirms UCLA offensive line transfer Chris Murray has been declared eligible and will be available against TCU in two weeks.
On Ronnie Perkins, Riley said that if he ever writes a book, he’ll devote a whole chapter to the Perkins saga. He chose not to add anything other to the topic.
Team | Sourced | Quick-Hitters
– Super K – Posted on: October 15, 2020
***Last weekend, Sooners gave a couple of the young DBs some time in the game.
***Both DJ Graham and Josh Eaton played a few snaps.
***I was a little surprised to see Graham as I’ve heard that he’s very likely to move back over to the offensive side after this season.
***Eaton struggled a bit but again, it’s a situation where little injuries and Covid have made it difficult for him to get nearly as much practice as he normally would have by this time. In fact, I believe he’s dinged up again this week.
***We did not get a chance to see Dennis. I continue to hear that Dennis is by far the most explosive DB they have but the staff wants to see more sense of urgency from Dennis in practice. If Dennis figures that part of it out, it sounds like the potential is very much there. But Grinch is an effort guy and he wants to see that sense of urgency from his young players in every drill.
***We did not get a chance to see young guys like Bryson Washington or Shane Whittier. I did ask about that…
***Was told that while we didn’t see Washington, of the DBs, he is the most ready. So, perhaps we will see him in the near future.
***One source told me Whittier will get there and the athleticism is there but the speed of the game is still a bit much for him.
***Earlier this week, both James and Charlie mentioned how well Ugwoegbu played. I’m told that is the same sentiment the staff had.
***Going into the season you may recall us saying that Ugwoegbu was the kind of guy who could unseat a starter at inside LB if he figures it out and gets comfortable with the new spot.
***Well, that may be happening before our eyes. I’m not necessarily saying David will be the starter in the next game or two but I’m hearing that the staff feels it may be a matter of time.
***Either way, as James noted, you’re going to see him a lot. There will be a three man rotation between Ugwoegbu, White and Asamoah.
***Mead continues to be that fourth guy. Robert Barnes is looking to take that spot from Mead. Barnes is obviously the superior athlete but I get the sense they’re wanting to see more continued progress in terms of Barnes’ physicality.
***Asamoah is a guy who I’m told the staff feels can end up being a Kenneth Murray type for them by next year. He displays some of the same athleticism, physicality and urgency.
***Asamoah, however, is still making mistakes. So, while he does everything 100%…sometimes it’s in the wrong direction. One that comes to mind was the final score from Texas in regulation when he blitzed but was supposed to cover the RB who scored. The number one WR motioned making the TE the new number one. The cornered moved over and took the new number one.
Quick Hitter | Billy Bowman Virtual Visit
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 15, 2020
…is taking place right now (Thursday 5:30 pm).
The Sooners are virtually hosting 2021 athlete Billy Bowman this evening for a virtual visit.
As you know, Bowman was a long time commit at Texas and as we have previously reported, he is leaning towards OU at this time.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, we don’t expect this one to drag on. The Virtual Visits that OU have put on have moved some kids off the fence and into the class previously.
Keep an eye on this one.
Good News Coming
– Super K – Posted on: October 16, 2020
Sounds like Sooners should get some good news from a 2022 prospect, later today.