Image via Soonersports.com
Hope everyone enjoyed the game last night. I’m on a business trip up in Michigan and I THOUGHT I was going to be able to watch the game online through Soonersports.tv but unfortunately it was not working for me. I did however get up early this morning and get a chance to watch the first half. Unfortunately, the connection isn’t good enough for me to really rewind and look at some of the details so you’ll have forgive me for any errors or lack of depth. These are some first half thoughts based on my initial viewing. I’ll try to look at the second half later this afternoon.
– What a change just in terms of offensive style. Two years ago we seemed to be in 10 personnel almost exclusively. Now? I dont think I recall one time when we were in 10 personnel…even on obvious passing downs. The move to bigger sets with multiple hybrid players is complete. Now it’s just about those players continuing to get comfortable.
– Related to that note above, I think it’s good that they kept Bell in for most of the first half. He did some nice things but it’s clear he needs some time in live game situations to get used to get his feet positioned correctly and using his hands to make his blocks. He had a great straight line block in space in the first quarter but regularly seemed to chip too early or not use his hands and feet effectively to make other blocks. It’s just something that will take some time so I expect to see him look better and better as the season goes on.
– Bell did look really natural when he jumped for that one handed grab in the back of the endzone. He didnt come up with it but got a PI call and against just looked natural. Wasn’t able to go back and look at release but I’ll be interested to see that.
– Love seeing all the offensive line run action on pass plays. Makes it very hard for the LBs and safeties to key on the lineman.
– The big sets really allows us to get WRs isolated one on one without safety help. It also simplifies the game for Trevor. This is stuff that JY was calling for last year.
– Perine is something. He’s got great one cut and upfield ability. He’s a load. And there is absolutely nothing to hit on his body. He’s so big and compact. He’s thick everywhere. He’s only going to get better.
– Ford, Perine and to some degree Alex Ross really bring a presence we haven’t had in a while. They are able to take advantage of small creases. I used to get so frustrated when people blamed the OL for all of our running woes forgetting that an OL is rarely going to block everything cleanly. You have to have backs that are going to explode through a hole and not go down on an arm tackle. There was one play where the backside defender took a clean shot at Perine at the LOS and he bounced off him. Perine kept moving his feet and turned a play that would normally have been a gain of zero to a gain of 5+ yards.
– KJ Young has great body control and ability to pluck the ball out of the air. Look forward to seeing him continue to develop.
– The defensive line played physical and smart. There was an excellent screen read in the second quarter where every player on the LOS read the screen and covered every possible screen LA Tech could have thrown at them.
– Obo is twitchy. Very similar to Striker in that he can not only get off the ball but he’s got nice bend. He had a great inside move that forced a pick. He just needs more time on the field.
– Obo is going to need some time so that he can really become a complete pass rusher and defender. There was a play where he just didnt get deep enough in his drop and another player where he didn’t appear to know what he was supposed to do. But again once he gets more reps he’ll be difficult to deal with.
– As we suspected, Torrea Peterson was played at DE. This is funny because it’s something a lot of OU fans were calling for last year when OU was having such a tough time stopping the run.
– Sanchez’s pick was excellent. He gave ground, turned and ran with the defender and then immediately turned his head when he saw the receiver look for the ball. It was textbook. He’s got to wrap up on tackles though. I like his ability and willingness to come downhill but he’s not big enough to assume that a player is going to go down immediately off one strike from him. He’s got to get those arms around the ball carrier.
– This defense is fast and they rally to the ball well.
– Jordan Thomas is bigger than I thought.
– The defensive line was able to hold the point of attack so well that I don’t recall seeing a safety even have to come down hill and make a play. It’s going to be very interesting to see them against better competition.
– Charles Walker just needs time but he has a great physical presence. He’s able to use his hands almost effortlessly to keep OL from getting inside on him. He just needs some time to go from almost making the play to actually making the play.
– Overall I liked what I saw on both sides of the ball. It’s a good start and you can see the pieces are there. They just need polishing.