Trench Warfare | Oklahoma vs. La Tech (Defense)

Hey, it’s my first crack at the Defense so take it easy on me!  Right here, you have Phillips top arrow and Striker bottom.  Phillips comes off with a great quick swim, and causes the Center to completely whiff.  Striker is going to be picked up by the fullback.


This just shows how quick in a short distance Jordan is.  He’s even with Q. Hayes who is a DB.  He’s one of those guys blessed with God given talent that makes it unfair.  He’s bigger than centers and guards.  He’s quicker.  And like a boxer, you can’t get inside that massive reach.  So getting your hands on him when he’s technically sound is nearly impossible.  So when you think about how your nose has a reach longer than most of your O-Tackles, that’s scary.


This is a great shot of what run fits are supposed to look like.  Jordan Evans is the bottom arrow and Dominique Alexander is the top.  Dom wouldn’t have made this play last year early on, but since he’s playing more instinctively, he beats the center to the point and you can see the “fit” he has to make.


Here it was a frame earlier and you can see where if he hesitates (top arrow), then the center cuts him off and it’s a big run play.  Striker has outside contain, and Evans has that C-gap.  Dom is “fitting” into the frontside A-Gap


And since our D-line held the point and demanded double teams, Dom is able to scrape over and make a nice play.  He’s so much bigger and stronger physically that he looks like a different player.  Now that he’s playing with instinct and not over thinking it, if he and Evans can stay healthy this D will be sick filthy.


A reader pointed it out how much of a difference that Boulware has made on special teams.  Look at the effort from Phillips and Sanchez.    This was just a great job.


Here’s Obo on Sanchez’s pick.  He’s already got the tackle beat.  He’s got that inside hand washing that tackle out and with that strong initial move, look how he’s turned the tackle outside.


Now it’s a straight shot to the QB, and he’s gotta stay on his feet.  If he doesn’t fall here, it’s most likely a hit and fumble.  Look at the pocket collapse in one second.  Striker has outside.  Geneo has beaten his man.  Gastelum is closing the pocket in the middle, and Dom is spying just in case.  One second was all it took to blow this thing up.


And talk about some big time hops!  Look at Sanchez get up for the pick.  Looks like Sterling is taking a picture of it behind em.  Heck of a nice play.


This was a screen play, and I wanted to point out how well coached our defense is.  You’ve got six red shirts in the picture, and Two of them are D-Linemen that didn’t go for the fake.  This was just a swarm.


This was another play I don’t think Dom makes last year.  Striker almost gets the tackle off the jump and rather than getting sucked inside, Dom stays where he’s supposed to.


And as the back gets away from Striker, Dom meets him with a perfect form tackle.  Kid has grown up.


Here Striker is at it again, and Obo (on the 2nd & 10 graphic) must’ve thought he heard a whistle.  Dimon’s on a loop twist.


Here again, you see that motor that won’t quit from Dimon, and Obo you see is still confused.  We came up with the sack on a play that we haven’t made in years past.  I gotta think that if Obo doesn’t think the play is over he crushes the QB as he was unblocked the whole time.


Phillips is just a landbeast.  This is one of those plays that he could have tackled everybody in the backfield.  Look at how deep he is on the first step.


This play is Charles Walker.  Textbook, picture perfect technique by the young buck here.  Locks out the guard and drives him a couple of yards deep.  If you listen closely I’m sure you can hear Coach Montgomery yelling “press, press, press!!!!”


And on a 3rd and two, when a big play is needed.  C-Dub just goes beastmode and makes a play for a three yard loss.  Kid may end up doing that #97 proud.


Here’s Devante Bond #23 (top arrow)  Julian #2 has got contain, so it frees up Bond to crash.  On play away, you’re scheming to leave that end unblocked, and you hear it in practice that if that backside end can make this play we’re in trouble.


Well guess what, you are in trouble, because he’s that fast and athletic.  You don’t see normal DEs/LBs on play away able to make this play often.


For the second blocked kick in the game and second of his career, Dimon just crushes the center and blocks the XP.  Again great effort up the middle.


  • Mike Reed

    Great work on the defensive break down JY!! Love these!!

    • JY

      Thanks Mike!

    • Oscar

      Agree! Thank you for taking the time to do this for us. Much Appreciated!

      • JY

        No problem guys.

  • Grant Benson

    Just shows you how good Jordan Phillips is. He was our best defensive player last year in the first 4 games, and I think he was our best defensive player Saturday night in his limited snaps as well. As long as he’s in the lineup, nobody is running the ball against this defense.

    • JY

      He’s a special player for sure.

  • Boom

    Obo & Bond are both active players. I’m really interested in seeing which one plays more. I’ve heard B Stoops talk about Obo but not Bond. Excited about the D and the depth. Keep’em rotating so everyone is focused.

    • JY

      Yeah, and as they both get settled in, they’re going to be really good on the edges. Keeping everyone fresh will limit chances for injury too.

      • friedgreensooner

        Your summaries are so positive I am beginning to think we are really good in the trenches! Is that really true? I know that the competition is not the best yet, but just how good do you think we really are? There are never any negatives in your evaluations! Are we that good!? Talk to me. What do you think?

        • JY

          I’m a positive person by nature, and I’m not going to roast a kid out in a public forum. I try to be respectful as much as possible, so that can be confused with sunshine pumping. I think it’s early, and I think we’re going to learn a lot from the Tulsa and Tennessee games. I think we’re showing signs of being elite in some areas, but at this point any anointment would be premature.

          • friedgreensooner

            Thanks, JY. I guess I’m not looking for a roasting or put down, but maybe pointing out where our young ‘uns have some learning yet to do, if they do. I’m certainly learning from instances where you point out they are doing the right things, but we non-players can also learn from where they are as yet not proficient. You did a great job of that with Dom in this post, showing things he would not have done last year that he is excelling at this year. I would love to have seen them last year as he was doing them. You do that beautifully with recruiting analysis.

            This is not a criticism in any way. I love what I, and old high school basketball coach and 60 year Sooner football fan, am learning bout football from TFB. Thanks for your excellent instruction!

          • JY

            No you’re good. And I’ll be honest with you in games like this that are blowouts, it’s tougher to find stuff to pick on. but as we face tougher competition I’ll definitely point out what we can work on. Keep on comin back! Love the nickname too!

  • FeedtheMonster

    Trench Warfare is my favorite thing on this site. Just awesome. Seeing the stills of other team’s offensive and defensive linemen getting driven back or put on their butts by our crimson crushers really gets my blood pumping. THANK YOU JY!!

    • JY

      Hey man, you gotta FeedtheMonster!

      • Boom

        JY, picture this. You’re a center, how do you block Phillips?

        • JY

          1. Pray…a lot
          2. Get help from your guards
          3. Get inside his hands
          4. Sacrifice a live chicken or get a bucket of KFC like the guys on Major League did.

          • Boom

            chalk board talk at it’s finest

          • Lesslie Stanford

            You have to get the live chicken!

          • EasTex

            Don’t forget the bag of black cat bones.

          • soonermusic

            Better grab some John the Conqueror root, while you’re at it, as well.

          • ouguy777

            Get Jobu some rum!

          • JY

            It is bad….very bad…to steal jobu’s rum

      • soonerinks

        JY, thanks for all you do.

        • JY

          No problem Siks

  • Kody K.

    Good break down and I like how you point out players developing. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a MSSU grad.

  • soonerinks

    Boulware has put the special back in our special teams. In every aspect we are so much better than in years past. Great kickoffs, great punt and kick returns, money on field goals, and BLOCKING punts and extra point attempts. Jury is still out on punting and hopefully we never find out if we are good or not.

    • I thought so too. It’s been years since we took special teams seriously and we can all see the difference having a ST coach can make. ST performance was nothing less than sterling last Saturday. If we can get production like that on a semi-regular basis, we will beat people in all phases of the game. Boulware was a magnificent hire.

      • soonerinks

        I have never understood why we NEVER try to block a punt. I understand setting up the return and the fear of running into the kicker, but at least we ought to show a rush every now and then. I can’t remember the last time we blocked a punt or even an attempt to block a punt. Just seems to me that we allow their punter plenty of time to get off his best punt with no fear of a rush coming, instead of making him wonder if the rush is really coming. Just a pet peave of mine.

        • Me too. I think the last time we’d blocked a kick was in 2004. Before Boulware, our players would just stand up lazily at the snap and not contest any kicks which always drove me nuts. And as you said, we always played the return on punts too. I just don’t think ST was much of a priority to the staff prior to Boulware.

          • soonermusic

            If we start going after punts on a regular basis or at all, that will definitely be a change. Stoops has explained his philosophy on that in several of the pressers. He just doesn’t think it’s worth the downside, and that dates back to getting burned in a big game early on. Hard to picture that changing, but we’ll see, I guess…

    • soonermusic

      I think Boulware is great and he’s doing a great job, and I love what he brings to the team, but the idea that he has suddenly improved what was lousy special teams performance is a myth.

      OU’s average for kick returns in 2012 was 25.8. Last year it was 22.4. Opponents average in 2012 was 18,2; last year it was 22.3. In 2012 OU punt returns averaged 14.3 yards; last year 14.2. In 2012 opponents averaged 7.3 on punt returns; last year 15.6.

      When Phil Steele aggregated all special teams stats for the season, he ranked Oklahoma 16th nationally in 2011; 14th in 2012; and 37th last year.

  • Bob Browning

    I too noticed Bond chasing down the RB from the backside – what a weapon. I remember Rod Shoate doing that again and again in the 70s.

  • soonermusic

    great work JY

    • JY


  • EasTex

    Good to see you in the trenches on the D.
    Slackage is given, with one teeny-weeny/itsy-bitsy item.
    On the play where you highlight Walker whipping the OT and making the play, it should be noted how quickly #25 Franklin read the play and shot through the gap. He and Walker basically hit the RB at the same time. Not only has Dom improved instinctively, so has his back up. I think for both it is about being familiar and comfortable with their reads in the 50.

    • JY

      Thanks ET. My bad on the slackage

      • EasTex

        Not a biggie, just a pinch. LOL.
        When Gastellum and Franklin are the two ILBs, you have two first team Academic Big 12 players. Glad to see them both play and play well. Going to be a long season and they will most likely be needed at some point.

        • JY

          Gotta give a good rib once in a while!

          • EasTex

            I just looked at your still shots from the Walker play and what I noticed was Franklin is 12 yards behind where Walker is just whipping the OT and he makes up that yardage and joins Walker in the tackle. His 4.4 speed really shows on that play.
            Couldn’t have noticed that without your excellent stills to support your breakdown.

      • ToatsMcGoats

        Jeeze, JY…full time job, new kid (and all that entails), blogger, full time awesomist…such a slacker…

        • JY

          I know I know hahaha!

    • soonermusic

      I think Dom is gonna be really great this season.

      • EasTex

        So do I.

  • Ed Cotter

    Land Beast….Love it and love the breakdown. Thanks JY.

    • JY

      Yes sir! Land Beast!

  • Sooner Ray

    Well JY, you’ve dealt us the sample and we are now addicts. You have to keep us satisfied now LOL!. Great job on your defensive debut.

    • JY

      Glad we could help!

  • OUknowitscomin

    In Obo’s defense, I heard that whistle on my tv 700miles away. Not sure what it was, but it was a whistle of some sort. Fortunately the rest of team missed it. But Obo stood up and stopped as soon as that happened. I rewound a few times on DVR, was very clear.
    And thanks JY, I’ll take every bit of this I can get 😉