As I pointed out in my take on the game, it was good to see the defensive alignment be tighter this week, as well as the team playing with a bit more urgency than we saw the week prior. I’m gonna change it up a bit this week and show some defensive shots too.
Below you can see the immediate recognition the guys have since they have safety help over the top. They get on their horse in a hurry to force the issue.
Back in the day one of the Lubbock papers was quoted as saying 2/3 of the earth is covered by water…the rest is covered by Roy Williams. I miss that type of aggressiveness and I know you guys do to. Simply being aggressive forced this play to be dead on arrival.
Here again on a critical 3rd down and a 14 play drive KU had strung together, Parker again diagnoses the play quickly and gets there.
The ball hasn’t arrived yet, but only one second has ticked off the clock since Parker recognized the route and jumped it. The receiver had no chance and the Sooners forced a field goal.
Mark Andrews seems to get more comfortable all the time. He’s perfected this cutback move where he “hits the brakes and they fly right by.” He turned this one into a good gainer and a 1st down.
This post may turn into the Steven Parker Show as again, off of a different look, his recognition Saturday night was off the charts. This time it’s a screen to the RB, hoping to confuse the d. Again Parker is able to read and react quickly and get another key 3rd down stop.
KU does this every year. They refuse to die a slow death by letting teams have the dive or run game across the formation off of a read option look. You have to keep someone in to block them on the backside, and to this point in the game, the run game hadn’t been clicking for the Sooners for this reason. Riley made a nice adjustment and went with the cross buck action where in this case, Abdul Adams slams up into the backside crashing DE.
As he makes contact with that DE, you can see the other guys simultaneously squaring up the defenders and opening up the first nice run lane for Joe Mixon. I like Riley’s ability and willingness to make adjustments in game.
Another nice adjustment was to run a reverse off of the lead play. Flowers was going right on a lead block, and the D end was chasing hard to get to Mixon. Suddenly Mixon flipped the ball to Mykel Jones around the corner and made the Jayhawks pay for their eagerness.
Gotta love your QB being willing to throw a lead block for his receiver.
Just like in Top Gun, he brought em in closer for the second time. This time Andrews went on in for the TD. Gotta believe if #96 is hustling here, he shuts it down.
Playing tight up to the line of scrimmage helps you in so many ways. Look at the alignment of the DB’s. It helps in the run game and in the short passing game.
Subsequently, Parker’s able to fly up and make another critical 3rd down stop by Steven Parker. He didn’t have to cover a lot of ground to close the gap on this one. By alignment it allows the guys to be more aggressive.
Here’s the read option game. Like I pointed out in a few games earlier, teams were staying home to account for Mayfield. KU had some success early in the 1st quarter forcing the issue and committing to the dive back.
Baker pulls the ball and has a great lane to get up into. This was the 2nd time in two weeks where the Sooners Scored inside a minute right before halftime.
When Kendall got in I noticed how smart he is. This outside defender was crashing hard. Note that Austin is standing on the 20 carrying out the mesh between him and Adams.
I remember saying Wow to myself when I saw Austin step up a yard and get in the way of the crashing defender. It almost looked like he had eyes in the back of his head, and it got just enough on the defender to allow Adams to squirt up through there behind Mittermeier. If Adams can stay on his feet here, then he scores.
There’s a lot to be positive about coming out of this game. I don’t think anyone in the locker room is happy about being 6-2, but with such a young team, they really needed a game where they had some good solid success on both sides of the ball. Offensively the Sooners are averaging 45 points a game and almost 6 yards a carry. They’re going to need everybody healthy down the stretch with the tough four game slate they have coming up. It’s Iowa State tomorrow night, Baylor, @ West Virginia, and then a bye week before Bedlam. Ames is a crazy place to play, especially at night on a Thursday. Will the young Sooners be able to adapt and get it done? They need to be 7-2 going into that top tier of the conference. We’ll see how it goes, but again there’s a lot to be optimistic about in my opinion.