Trench Warfare Oklahoma vs. Iowa State

Hey everyone.  Big game against Baylor this weekend coming up!  I’m excited to see Joe Mixon back on the field and hopefully some other guys getting healthy.  While a lot of the fan base wasn’t overwhelmed by the performance in Ames a week ago, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind.  There has been a lot of injuries and other attrition to this point in the season.  Oklahoma finished off the game against Iowa State with a stat line that showed again by a margin of 42 to 34, that when the Sooners call more run plays than they do passes, they win.


Dmitri Flowers had the game of his career to this point last thursday night.  22 Carries for 115 yards & 3 receptions for 34 more yards and a score.  The Junior made a strong case for potentially coming out in a wishbone look with a lot of crossbuck action and four true threats with the ball and a guy named Westbrook on the outside.



The tempo was giving Iowa State fits early on.  Check the gap on the right side where ISU wasn’t even lined up yet, and a defender was offsides at the snap.



As Adams came around the corner, he had a couple of big homies out in front and turned this into a really good gainer down inside the 5.



With this screen play, the Sooners had numbers, but just didn’t execute very well.  Wren(just above the 4), has to be looking back inside as he leads.  If he would have been looking inside he cuts off the defender, and Powers & Evans can work upfield.



Since he didn’t, the two guys behind Wren are unaccounted for(the guys Powers and Evans would have blocked), and if this is executed a little better it’s a big play.



Defensively I’m really excited about Lampkin and Gallimore.  The line of scrimmage is on the 10.  In this next slide you’ll see how bright their future is.



Lampkin picks up the center and guard & drives them eight yards deep completely collapsing the pocket.  Gallimore almost gets there too(feet on the 20), and the pressure and really a 4 point play(forcing them to kick a fg instead of a td) is caused by these two young bucks.  Both RS freshmen, these guys are gonna be really tough to deal with in years to come.



The basic power game was there all night.  Iowa State was keeping 5 in the box, and the Sooners really took advantage of it.  Iowa State’s game plan was to force Oklahoma to beat them with the run game since Perine and Mixon were out.



You’ve heard me talk about vision and “feeling a play” before.  If you look at Westbrook’s eyes on this kickoff return, you can see that he senses the opening to the left, gets #1 flat footed, and just outruns the trail defender.



As he explodes out of his break, those trail players to the right have no chance, and it’s a 40-50 yard race to the opposite end of the field and a great kick return due to his vision and short area quickness.



Look at the separation he gets on the long ball just a little bit later.  This is why I’m a big fan of jumbo sets and keeping defenders out of the pattern.  There’s no traffic for him to navigate there and it’s one on one with the safety who has no chance.



Something that has been standing out to me is how comfortable he’s getting.  He times the stiffarm perfectly and takes another big play to the house.  The guy is going to be a high draft choice this year.



Here again the 5 man box look gives the Sooners a big alley on the power game coming left.  The shade backer up on the hash has not a prayer to get across the formation and get to Adams in time.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but outnumbering people is key in the run game.



Flowers’ skill was on full display, and the guy is a weapon down around the goal line.  Seriously, who has a fullback who can play tight end and tailback while making tip toe back end line catches like this pretty regularly?!



I noticed Caleb Kelly’s quickness off the ball.  One of the ways we evaluate a d line prospect is whether he’s the first off the ball or not.  You can see that Caleb is about a half a step quicker than everyone else.  This one ended up in a sack for him.



Off of the wildcat look, there’s 8 blockers vs 9 defenders.  If the Sooners come back left here, they have a plus one advantage.  The “‘Nader Chickens” had 5 defenders to the right, but with the qb run game, they still made out o.k.



Carson Meier got a great down block, and if Flowers just stays on his feet, he may score off of this play.  Anytime you get a 4th & short or any down & short and you get 6 yards it’s a good deal.  Really nice wrinkle.  Seems like Riley comes up with something every week.



Here’s that 5 man box I’ve been talking about with the backer shaded out over the receiver on both sides.  With 5 up front and a running qb it’s something that dares the offense to run.



The result is a lane the size of I-35, I-40 or I-44 whichever side of the state you live on.  The only unblocked guy is all the way across the formation.



With 4 minutes to go in the game and Iowa State knowing that the Sooners wanted to run out the clock, they insisted on sticking with the 5 man box.



And again, the Sooners take advantage.  While it wasn’t flashy, it was effective and sound.  The Sooners have quietly gotten better as the season has worn on.  The youngsters have gotten forced reps, and if they run the table for the next three weeks, they could end up in a really nice bowl game.