Open Post | Weekend, October 9th – 11th

Position Group Progress Report | Iowa State
– Charlie S

Handing out the rankings for the Sooners position groups following the Iowa State 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 Cyclones and then be done with it…similarly as we did with Kansas State the week prior.

QB: High 4* (Last week High 3*)

Spencer Rattler had his best game as a Sooner…in a loss to Iowa State.

Statistically speaking, his line read as: 25 completions on 36 attempts for 300 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.

With ANY help from his wide receivers, his yards go up by at least 50 (likely considerably more) and his touchdowns double. Facts.

I like the fact that Rattler took responsibility and held himself accountable for the interception at the end of the game as he flat out said he did not see the safety. That’s street cred right there and a good sign in his maturation.

Rattler made one of the best throws you will ever see while on the move to his right which would have been a touchdown but it went right through the hands of Theo Wease. Obi Obialo also dropped a would be touchdown from Rattler who fought through a pedestrian rushing attack behind a pedestrian (generous characterization here) offensive line in an effort to time and time again to put the Sooners in a position to win the game.

He showed off some good spacial awareness early in the game along with some wise decisions to pull the ball down and run. As the game went on, one could see he was nervous in the pocket and perhaps rolled out too soon, but I cannot blame him for that.

Kid didn’t deserve to be in position he was at the end of the game, but he was, and he made a mistake and owned it.

RB: Low 3* (Last week High 3*)

Pedestrian night for the running backs who had bright moments scattered in with some head scratching moments.

Both McGowan and Pledger had 47 yards on the ground, Pledger on 11 carries and McGowan on 12.

Needless to say, they left at least a few out there with a developing propensity to expend a lot of energy trying to go east and west as opposed to going north and south.

This is the one area, among a few, where OU misses a patient runner like Kennedy Brooks or Trey Sermon.

It looks to me like the inexperienced backs are not letting their blocks set up while also being a bit impatient.

For instance, if you go back and look at the opening series, on 1st and goal from the 6, TJ Pledger takes the handoff and gets through the line heading toward the endzone. At about the 3 he has a choice to go left or right to beat the defender. He goes left, gets through the first defender, but there is another waiting for him and he is stopped short of the endzone. If he had wiggled towards the right, Marquis Hayes had his block going toward the sideline and Pledger likely would have fallen into the endzone regardless of what the safety in front of him did to try to take him down.

Vision and patience needs to improve.

Give a shoutout to Jeremiah Hall who played a very strong game and accounted for two touchdowns through the air. Certainly continues to be a bright spot.

WR/TE: High 2* (Last week High 3*)

Austin Stogner had another nice night despite a drop (common theme for OU pass catchers) as he hauled in 5 catches for 74 yards.

Rambo opened the game with a big reception while being utilized in the only manner which he should be at this point as he stretched the field and was able to haul in the deep ball from Rattler.

However, the rest of the night was relatively quiet for the receivers except for the noticeable mistakes.

I thought Theo Wease would be WR1 prior to the season. He is not. He has not shown signs of becoming that guy to this point through 3 games. The whiff on the epic Rattler pass could be something that sticks with him mentally in the games ahead and the only way to get that out of his mind is to go out there and make some plays. Could go either way here…does he step up and not let a play like that define him, or does he carry that baggage and let it affect his play going forward.

I know Theo pretty well from covering him. I think he is a guy that will not carry the baggage and I think it could fuel him to work harder. Hope that is the case.

Other than that, I saw a lot of standing around from the WRs while Rattler was scrambling and actually said to K and James in the group message ‘Those guys must have forgotten to watch CeeDee while he was in Norman, because they are giving no help to Rattler’.

The drops/whiffs are unacceptable. Period.

OL: Low 3* (Last week High 2*)

Y’all aren’t gonna agree with me, but the offensive line was better against Iowa State than they were against Kansas State. Iowa State, in my opinion, is a much better defensive unit than Kansas State. Still, the ranking remains largely the same because of the results.

No, they couldn’t get the push to start the game on the first series, but they actually got marginally better as the game went on.

Still, penalties, lack of physicality, and some whiffs appeared too often for the amount of talent (on paper) that this line has.

I’m not even going to speculate as to why 77 started the game or played as much as he did. Harrison is your left tackle and should be receiving every snap he can. Makes no sense to pull him for the other guy.

By the way, if you’re about the PFF grading life…Anton Harrison was the 2nd highest graded player on the entire team against ISU.

Creed once again was not all-american caliber by any means and the guard play was pretty ‘meh’. Robinson with another silly penalty should have Raym breathing down his neck at this point. Hayes is a shell of what I expected him to be this weekend and Ealy, while he had a bad miss on an assignment late in the game, probably was your best OL on the night.

Overall, I did see some positive signs, just not nearly enough at this point of the season. Disappointing.

DL: High 2* (Last week 3*)

They are what they are and Isaiah Thomas is the best of what they are right now.

The OU defensive line is an average group personnel wise so when they put out a 3* ranking, it’s reflective of what was probably a good night for them.

Bright spot was Isaiah Thomas coming off the edge at DE and forcing a fumble and a recovery for OU. Kid looks like a different player in the short time he has been under Jamar Cain, doesn’t he? Happy for him.

That play above represents just the second defensive line sack of the season for the Sooners. True freshman defensive end Reggie Grimes had one against Missouri State. The interior DL has yet to get their hands on the QB unfortunately.

Perrion Winfrey flashes at times, but he has yet to make a play and Josh Ellison recovered the fumble, however, that was about the only time he was to be noticed.

Anyone seen LaRon Stokes, Jordan Kelley or Kori Roberson? Should we alert authorities?

If your defensive line can only generate 2 sacks against 3 ‘poor’ offensive lines, which includes a bad FCS team, you likely have some issues there.

An Oklahoma defensive line should be eating these teams offensive lines up. They aren’t. They show no indication that this will change going forward. They are what they are and that is an average unit who does not have a true difference maker at this point.

The Missouri States, Kansas States (4 new starters) and Iowa States (3 new starters) of the world should not give an OU defensive line an issue and the DL should be able to impact the game in a positive manner for the rest of the defense. It’s just not happening.

The Iowa State offensive line won the battle as Breece Hall rushed for 139 yards on 29 carries and Brock Purdy threw for 254.

LB: 3* (Last week 3*)

Bonitto was probably the guy who had the best night, but still it was overall another ‘meh’ outing for this unit.

Love Asamoah’s energy, but he had a couple busts in coverage and got suckered in by play action on the first series alone to Breece Hall when he had a clear shot at Purdy.

DaShaun White was pretty much invisible to me for most of the night, but when I noticed him it was usually by seeing the back of his uniform.

DB: 1.5* (Last week 3*)

Tre Brown: 2*

DTY: 2*

Pat Fields: 1*

Bookie: Nebula: A nebula is a region where a new star is beginning to form.

Jaden Davis: 3*

I have little to add to what you all saw.

Between slipping, missed tackles, missed turnover opportunities and flat out blown assignments…there wasn’t a lot of positives. Actually, I cannot think of one positive from their play the other night.

No words for the night Bookie had.

All I got there.

You really have to wonder when you will see some personnel changes. Have to be frank here and say I am not expecting anything anymore (no matter what we may hear leading up to the game) as I had great belief that this year would be different based on Grinch’s offseason talk. It hasn’t been any different.

Special Teams: High 2* (Last week High 2*)

Brkic is human and missed the first kick of his career, but that is not why there is a 2* ranking.

That long kickoff return following the Sooners touchdown which came on the back of the turnover forced by Isaiah Thomas was a back breaker.

Also…if OU is going to be punting more this season, they may want to open that position up for some competition.

Seth McGowan | Important Update | Insider
– Super K

The Sooners are already extremely thin at the running back position. With Trey Sermon transferring, Rhamondre Stevenson suspended, and Kennedy Brooks opting out, OU was left with a true freshman in Seth McGowan to go along with inexperienced guys like TJ Pledger and Marcus Majors.

I am hearing that McGowan is now in concussion protocol and is unlikely to play this weekend.

So, look for a healthy dose of TJ Pledger with a sprinkle of Marcus Major. Behind them…not sure what the Sooners have.

***This note was posted on Tuesday on the Donor Board. At this time, we do not have any additional update on McGowan. We still believe he is not likely to play.

Update | Stacy Wilkins Opting Out
– Charlie S

Sources indicate that Sooners offensive tackle Stacey Wilkins has decided he will likely opt out for the season.

Heading into the season, Wilkins, a sophomore, was expected to push Erik Swenson for the starting job at left tackle after participating in four games during his freshman season.

True Freshman Anton Harrison shocked everyone and went out and won the starting left tackle spot during fall camp.

If Wilkins goes through with the opt out, he would be joining his 2019 classmate and fellow offensive lineman EJ Ndoma-Ogar in opting out for the year.

***This note was also posted Tuesday on the Donor Board. At this time, Wilkins is still listed on the official roster. Perhaps he has changed his mind, but again, we have no new info to update the initial post with.

Know Your Opponent | Texas
– Darius Terrell

Head Coach – Tom Herman (4th season at Texas)

Offensive Coordinator – Mike Yurcich (1st season at Texas)

Defensive Coordinator – Chris Ash (2nd season at Texas, 1st as DC)

The Texas Longhorns are in year four of Tom Herman’s tenure after he took over for Charlie Strong, who had led the program through its worst stretch in school history. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Herman either, who has replaced every member from his original staff, except for Defensive Line Coach Oscar Giles and Running Backs Coach Stan Drayton, heading into what was expected to be a big season for Texas according to those close to the program.

On Offense …

Texas runs an interesting variation of the Spread Offense that emphasizes Inside Zone, Power, and QB Power in the run game and wants to utilize 12-Personnel (1 Back, 2 Tight Ends, 2 Receivers) as much as they can. When they open things up, they still prefer to keep at least 1 Tight End out there in 11-Personnel (1 Back, 1 Tight End, 3 Receivers) split out wide and it in a way hinders what is a statistically very good offense that could be even better.

QB – #11 Sam Ehlinger* 

RB – #26 Keaontay Ingram or #2 Roschon Johnson

–  Ehlinger is a 4th-year starter and he’s the engine of the Offense. He is a solid runner and has stretches where he truly looks and performs like one of the best Quarterbacks in the nation. He also has a track record of going through dry spells for 2-3 drives in each contest and during that time he can be prone to turnovers that the Texas Defense hasn’t been able to overcome during his time on campus. It is imperative that the Sooners get pressure on Ehlinger, like they did last season. Will they have someone that can spy Ehlinger like Kenneth Murray did a year ago?

– Keaontay Ingram is the lead Back for Texas and he’s a very good college Running Back. He does everything well and has terrific balance, while lacking the top-end speed to finish long runs. Roschon Johnson is similar to Ingram, while not being quite as impressive laterally and also lacking top-end speed. Johnson runs hard and can also catch passes out of the backfield. If True Freshman Bijan Robinson is available, he does have to explosiveness to make the Sooners pay if he gets into the second-level of the Defense.

WR – #13 Brennan Eagles or #0 Tarik Black

WR – #7 Jake Smith or #4 Jordan Whittington or #13 Brenden Schooler 

WR – #6 Josh Moore or #9 Al’Vonte Woodard 

TE – #80 Cade Brewer or #18 Jared Wiley

– This group has a bunch of names that have touched the football and contributed this season. Texas isn’t lacking for talent at Wide Receiver. You simply never know what you’re going to get from Brennan Eagles from week to week, but if he comes to play he has the talent to be a difference maker on the outside and huge matchup problem for the Sooners. Tarik Black is another inconsistent big-bodied guy that could present some matchup issues in the Cotton Bowl. Jake Smith is Sam Ehlinger’s favorite target, but Smith showed a lot of rust in his season debut last week. Josh Moore is a speedster with the ability to take the top off of a Defense. If Jordan Whittington is available, he could throw a wrench into things.

– Texas plays both Tight Ends early and often, but Brewer isn’t much more than a 5-10-yard threat downfield. Wiley has ability, but hasn’t been targeted much to this point.

LT – #52 Sam Cosmi*

LG – #75 Junior Angilau

C – #68 Derek Kerstetter

RG – #78 Denzel Okafor

RT – #70 Christian Jones 

– You all are aware of the hype around Sam Cosmi by now, although I’m of the opinion that he’s been more good than great so far this season. The right side of the Texas Offensive line has been much maligned, although every member of front has had their moments so far this season of not doing their job. I doubt we see a repeat of what happened last year, but this is a group that can be attacked with success.

On Defense …

Texas lines up in what ends up basically being a 4-2-5 look, which has become customary in the Big XII. They’ll mix up their coverages, but most of the time play a soft man-to-man.

BUCK – #46 Joseph Ossai* 

DT – #99 Keondre Coburn

DT – #49 Taquon Graham

DE – #98 Moro Ojomo

– Ossai is the name to know here as he’s the only guy up front that’s able to consistently generate a pass rush for Texas. Ossai will go in the first 2 Rounds of next year’s NFL Draft if he declares.

–  Keondre Coburn has spurts where he can be extremely disruptive, but as a whole this group looks better on paper than they’ve actually performed.

SAM – #0 DeMarvion Overshown

MIKE- #6 Juwan Mitchell 

– Mitchell and Overshown are the guys here and there’s next to no quality depth behind them. If Oklahoma can get these two guys worn down, they can have a ton of success moving the football on Saturday. Mitchell is better against the run than he is in coverage and it’s the opposite for Overshown, who is an athletic converted Safety.

CB – #5 D’Shawn Jamison 

FS – #7 Caden Sterns

SS – #25 B.J. Foster 

WS – #15 Chris Brown

CB – #9 Josh Thompson

– Jamison and Thompson will get the starts but #3 Jalen Green will also see a lot of action. Texas’ Corners are nothing special, although Jamison can and will make a play on the ball if he has an opportunity.

– The Safeties, namely Sterns and Foster, have been huge disappointments in year three and have seemingly regressed from their Freshman seasons, which is alarming. Brown is the best of the bunch.

Special Teams …

K – #17 Cameron Dicker 

P – #8 Ryan Bujcevski

Overall Thoughts …

– This game is pretty much a toss-up in my mind. The Sooners are favored in Vegas, I’d assume because Lincoln Riley is a better coach than Tom Herman.

– Texas has the experience behind Center, which could prove to be the difference. If Oklahoma is able to generate pressure on Ehlinger and also limit him as a runner with a spy like they did a year ago that would go a long way for increasing the likelihood that Oklahoma takes this one.

– There will be plenty of fireworks in this one with both teams scoring of explosive plays. Turnovers and possibly a big play on Special Teams (hello, Jay Boulware) could be what nudges this thing in either direction.

Update | Ronnie Perkins Situation
– Charlie S

As if you hadn’t had enough bad news, yesterday afternoon we heard through sources that it sounds like there has been a snag in the appeal process for Sooners defensive end Ronnie Perkins.

Based on what we are hearing, we now believe it is unlikely that Perkins will be playing this weekend.

Last week, we broke the news on the Donor Board that Perkins had in fact traveled with the team to Ames. At that time, we did were not able to confirm that his suspension had been reduced. This news was confirmed following the game by Lincoln Riley.

Earlier this week, K reported that sources did tell him that they were expecting Perkins to play against Texas (despite Lincoln Riley saying nothing had changed) unless there was a snag in the process. There does, in fact, appear to have been a snag.

If we get anything new we will let you know.

Update | Sooners WR Target Billy Bowman
– Charlie S

Sooners 2021 WR target Billy Bowman out of Denton, Texas, has announced via Twitter that he has decommitted from the University of Texas.

Bowman is one of the guys Sooners quarterback commit Caleb Williams has been targeting from the moment OU extended the offer back on July 21st.

Bowman has another connection to Oklahoma which may play in their favor as his girlfriend is a softball player at OU (Jayda Coleman)

The best news…Sources tell K Bowman is leaning towards OU at this time.

The Freshmen | Sourced
– Super K

I know there has been some clamoring by fans hoping to see the freshmen get playing time.

Based on what I’ve heard regarding this week’s practices, I don’t anticipate that happening this weekend.

While some of you may not like hearing this, I personally think freshman playing heavy rolls without more preseason training/development would be a bad sign.

There are of course some exceptions when a freshman can come in and take a spot although to do it this year with so little pre-season work would require an exceptional and studious player.

You’ll notice this year no one is clamoring for some young freshman to come in and take over at defensive end. That’s because coach Cain has made an instant impact on the development of his players.

If you find yourself constantly wanting another player, especially a younger player, on the field, then you’ve probably been sold a bill of a goods – the old, ‘we need better players excuse’.

There isn’t a player in the secondary right now that looks like they can catch an interception. Is it more likely that all four or five starters are flawed recruits or that there is some work in the development department that needs to be done?

Bob Stoops won a National championship with Blake’s recruits. There may be some exceptions in certain years or at certain positions, but I am strongly of the opinion that for the past five years, the constant “need better talent” mantra that I’ve heard as an excuse even from the top, is tired.

Oklahoma has talent. Upgrades are always welcome but develop what you’ve got.

Quick Hitter | 2022 WR Luther Burden
– Charlie S

You’re probably gonna wanna be around for that.