Trench Warfare| Oklahoma vs. Louisiana Tech (1st Half)

Right off the bat, it’s a swing pass to Alex Ross out of the backfield.  The receivers did a really nice job blocking this on the edge, and Alex is off to the races…literally



Before this game I had heard stories about how fast Alex was, but he caught this thing on the 25, and was out to the 50 in a blink of an eye.  He’s got major league wheels.



Here’s the option back left.  Really good blocking up front and scheming to numbers forces the defender(red arrow) to slow play both Samaje and Trevor.  As his hips got turned like they did here, it made Trevor’s read really easy.



It was a really big gain, and a wrinkle you need to have since we run so much zone read, but you can tell that we don’t want to get Trevor hurt.  He did a nice job getting down and avoiding contact and showed some maturity here.  I wanted to point out that Samaje and Alex were in the game at the same time, that’ll be a wrinkle to look out for later on.



Not to give myself props or anything, but I said Tyler Evans was going to have a big year.  He was also one of my staff picks.  Here he has the key block that springs Keith down the sideline for the first score of the season.  Nice blocking on the backside as well to seal the lane.



A split second later, the receivers are finishing off the corner, Bronson left Tyrus his tortilla maker from a year ago, and Keith made the safety miss in the hole.  He showed off some really nice speed getting down the sideline for the score.



On the ensuing drive, it’s exhibit B for great blocking by our receivers.



Here’s a better look at it.  I was really impressed with how cleanly the receivers blocked out on the edge.  In an opener with a new receiving corps for the most part you’d expect it to be a little sloppier.  Coach Norvell had them boys ready though.



A couple of plays later, here’s what Trevor saw on Sterling’s TD.  The run game forces eight guys to commit to the run.  Keep in mind that the safety is almost 11 yards deep(I’ll show you why later).  The corners are playing man.



This was just automatic, as Trevor rose up and threw the ball immediately.  Great footwork by Sterling at the end of it, and it just felt like this was a “me and you” call between Sterling and Trevor.  When we get this look, it may be automatic.



I really liked that we had 5 td’s on the ground.  Alex had two, ‘Maje had one, and here’s Keith’s second.  Before anyone goes chirping about how it was only La. Tech, how many times have we seen the run game struggle in games like this?  The red lines illustrate Tyrus(red arrow) and Dionte knocking it open.



Here’s another look at it.  As Keith gets the ball, Tyrus is down blocking on the backer(I used to love those earhole shots you could get on the linebackers), and Dionte is pulling around to block the first man who shows.  Look at Dionte’s head, he’s checking outside, and ultimately blocks #11.



Then it’s just Bam Bam time as Ford and Savage steamroll their way to the endzone.  Look at all of the white Jersey’s going backwards.



That’s a FULL GROWN MAN right there!



To start the 2nd quarter now, Alex is going to be a weapon in that swing pass game.



After getting around Quick’s block, Durron got a good one too.  It was almost automatic for Alex to get 20 yards on the swing passes he got.



The drive sputtered out and Moneycutt came in for #63.  Can you say Groza award?



Unheralded receiver KJ Young made a heck of a catch to keep the drive alive.  In the far right of the frame look who’s body slammin folks…yep Tyler Evans.



I know this is a lot of arrows and lines, but bare with me.  From left to right…Tyler executes a textbook combo block up to the backer.  See how his right shoulder is still in contact with the defender, yet his eyes are upfield in case he needs to come off quickly.  That’s the Bedenbaugh Effect.  Tyrus is sealing the backside, and this is a lead triple option.  Rip’s leading up on the backer.  It has to be a called give, because there’s no one Trevor is reading.  If someone showed, he could keep or pitch to Durron.



And on 4th and two, the called give yields 4 yards.  Look at Daryl smashin folks(blue arrow)



We got a good edge sealed for Samaje, and this was the first play we really saw his physicality.



Kid just straight bucked two would be tacklers and stiff armed #23.  As the bumps and bruises of a season take their toll, defenses are not going to want to tackle him, or Ford or Ross for that matter.



Here’s why I pointed out the safety depth earlier.  Instead of 11 yards deep, the run game is forcing him to play up in the box.  Trevor knows it’s man outside due to the safety depth and how far off of the outside receivers their corners are…



Then, because the run game dictated it, Durron has little to no traffic outside to pickup the first down.  If we stay healthy and just execute, this offense is going to be tough to stop.



I thought this was significant as well.  9 guys in the box, but we got em outnumbered on the right.  Their alignment on the right gives us good angles for down blocks and combos.



And in spite of the extra manpower I pointed out, we block it cleanly.  There’s a nice crease for Samaje to get into.  Look at how big those thighs are…geez!



After a broken tackle in the hole, against a 9 man front, he pops off a really nice gain.  With more looks, these young backs are going to be lethal.



Right back at em again, look at the crease behind Shead 74, Ty 56 and Daryl 79.  Bell’s throwing the cutblock in the foreground.



Then it takes 5 white shirts to get Samaje on the ground.  Kid’s a BEAST.



Then to give Samaje a rest, Alex comes in and gets his first TD as a sooner.  You can see a little crease there for him to get into.



Here’s what the end result was, and that’s Dionte smashin the guy at the end on top of the pile.  Dionte played a really nice game.




  • Cory Reedy

    We can have lined up and ran the ball down their throat EVERY single play and I think the score would have been worse. OUr line is nasty and OUr backs…well, they run with authority.

    • JY

      Yes sir. And it was Very vanilla Saturday night.

  • Trey Allen

    Imagine this offense with the threat of DGB in it.

    • Sooner Ray

      I would pity the fool called the D coordinator.

    • L’carpetron Dookmarriot

      The NCAA imagined that possibility and ruled DGB ineligible, to make it fair for everyone else. #jokes

    • JY

      Nice insight Trey. With the one on one outside, it would be filthy with em for sure.

  • ohiosoonerdevildog

    Glad the team did not come out flat on either side of the ball. You can tell this team has that hunger in them. I credit the coaches and Captains for keeping the boys focused.

  • Bob Edwards

    Every time I read one of these I feel like I gain an extra IQ point. Five more years and I will be Einstein.

    • JY

      hey if you do share some with me lol

  • Sooner Ray

    On the first Zone play/option, I was shocked the defender chose Perine over Knight. I know that was his responsibility but I would have taken the QB and accepted the butt chewing. HAHA. Thanks for the breakdown JY, I think most people watching the game were pleased with the down field blocking by the wide outs and as you pointed out, this O line is special.

    • JY

      I’m very optimistic about the run game, and while we were good Saturday there’s still a lot to clean up

  • OUknowitscomin

    And now….my weekend is complete.

    • JY

      Like you said, you knew it was comin! 😉

      • OUknowitscomin

        In all seriousness JY, these reports are truly a game changer in my football season. I’m a f’ball enthusiast to core, but know just enough to be dangerous compared to the real gurus. Your & K’s perpective on O & D really help see things I wouldn’t see. Perspectives I wouldn’t get from your basic beat reporter (not that there’s anything wrong with that). 😉
        For that, I humbly thank both of you for your time & expertise. Makes my year so much more fun.

  • Ed Cotter

    Line play will get even better once Bell gets even more acclimated to the nuances of blocking. Thought he really played hard and made some good blocks. Seemed to miss on a couple, but he’s still learning. The play of the OL and DL really was outstanding against LA. Tech.

    • JY

      Yeah, Blake is gotta learn pad level and hand usage. I bet we see em flexed at some point. He’s an immediate mismatch in the pass game.

      • Ed Cotter

        Figure Heup and Norvell are adding things in slowly. Bell will become a big time target in the red zone soon enough. Heck, he almost had that one for a score, but the defender was called for PI. Those will be TDs before long. Great breakdown JY, much appreciated.

  • rphdenton

    jy……..your breakdowns are really interesting ……..I think you have fun doing it but it does take time and effort…..I have to laugh but you sound like you’re ready to jump onto the field sometimes……..thxs

    • Sooner Ray

      When JY straps that helmet onto his avatar, it’s all business at that point!

      • JY

        That’s right my man! Buckle up and strap in!

    • JY

      I do enjoy them. Before I learned better ways, these used to take about 10 hours to do a whole game. I’ve got it down to about 4 now.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    I’ve been waiting for this! You didn’t disappoint, JY!

    • JY

      ‘preciate ya Toats!

  • EasTex

    The game ain’t over til the big guy breaks it down for us. Thanks, JY.

    On that first down pass to Neal, it should be noted that Ford picked up the blitzer up the middle to keep TK’s pocket clean. He not only picked him up, he stayed with him and put him on the ground. If Ford and the other RBs add that last line of blocking effectively lots of big plays will happen. The O-line must feel even more motivated to block with the RBs they have behind them.

    As good and deep as the O-line is, one name that never gets mentioned is Darlington. Some may think his sub 300 body is a liability, but his technique and 2000+ SAT smarts more than compensate for a few pounds.

    Also, whoever the doctors were that worked on Shead’s and Phillips’ backs he/she/they deserve a raise. Phillips looked unblockable and Shead played with more quickness than previous years. I had noticed last year and the year before that Shead walked as though he was lumbar trouble, now he walks normally with his body able to move freely from side to side.

    • soonermusic

      I’m thinkin’ we’re finally, again, gonna see the Shead that everyone was so excited about when he first appeared.

      • EasTex

        As good as he was with a bad back, based on what we saw the other night he could be one of the top OGs in the country this year.
        When he punched with those huge hands the defenders bodies shook.

        • Zack

          I think all the seniors have a shot to make a team next year. Evans will have question marks about his health but he played really well Saturday Hopefully they all keep up the hard work and keep smashing guys

    • JY

      Thanks a bunch ET! Love your posts. I tell ya another thing that will help Shead and Phillips is the depth we have. We can really go 3 deep at both guards and at the nose, so Phillips, Romar and Wade, while at the guard you can rotate Shead, Nila or Savage in there along with Evans if you needed it. It will definitely help.

      • EasTex

        Yessir, you are correct.
        I don’t know of many teams that can match our O-line quality depth with their D-lines.
        I’ve said it before, I really like this team.

        • JB

          During the game–I couldn’t see who it was on the right side of the line but obviously it had to be Tyler or Daryl–but they were just blowing up the defensive lineman on one particular play.The D lineman charged, Tyler/Daryl shoved him back; DL charged again, and again he was pushed back; DL charged a third time and just got tossed back like a rag doll. It was impressive.

  • L’carpetron Dookmarriot

    Probably the best collection of RBs at OU during Stoops’ tenure. Ford can do pretty much anything. Samaje isn’t human. Ross is a lightning bolt. Ross’ potential is impressive. Ford might be the best back overall, right now, and Samaje is someone’s dad, but Ross can break it if the defense has a split second breakdown.

    I’ve seen OU’s WRs block well before. Saturday was an exhibition.

    • Super Keith

      As much as I want to agree with you, it’s still a little early to anoint this group as the best. There has been some amazing talent in the backfield under Stoops. However, it’s very possible they could be when it’s all said and done. It’s crazy to think of next year, with Mixon on the field too.

      • John Garner

        Then the Anderson kid shows up next year. Could be incredible.

        • Sooner Ray

          Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that. If everyone is on campus that we expect, we will be known as running back U.

    • JY

      ‘Maje is a freak of nature. Really who’s built like that? Truly a God given talent.

      • JB

        Imagine if Joe Mixon were available too…

      • soonerbred4ever

        In that pic of Samaje stiff arming # 23, Samaje’s forearms are as big if not bigger than 23’s biceps. He truly is a freak of nature.

    • Zack

      I would give this group the edge next year with mixon. I think this one is still very good but the three headed monster will have this year to gain a bunch of experience then next year be unstoppable. I think Anderson will likely have to RS but we will see about that.
      I think ford is probably the best of the 3. He is kinda the hybrid between the other 2. And he showed nice hands catching Saturday.

    • Kevin Moore

      The RB’s need to be nicknamed Snap (Ford), Crackle (Ross) and Pop (Samaje)!

      • Boomer4life

        Or the horsemen of the apocalypse.

        • Drew

          Once we have Mixon back.

      • captfoss

        Thunder (Ford), Lightning (Ross), and Thor (Samaje)…

  • soonermusic

    Great job, JY.
    “before anyone goes chirping…” Exactly right. This may just be LaTech, but we were able to run at will. In the past even against Little Sisters or East Handkerchief that wasn’t always a given.

    Agree that Ross is really fast and looks great on those swing throws, I was surprised at how “electric” Ford seemed at times. Didn’t notice that so much about him last year.

    I felt like there was a sense of team cohesiveness, everyone on the same page, on both sides of the ball to a much greater extent than we’re used to seeing this early. I know they’ve been saying everyone is much farther along etc etc, but hard to buy into it until you see it.

    • JY

      Yes sir, thanks for the kind words. You can really sense the team’s togetherness.

  • To be honest. really looks like a scrimmage or even practice …dangerous team..very dangerous if we can stay healthy. …get some receivers some reps…develop some lbs Game on

    • JY

      Jordan Evans got a raw deal, but per the rule it was probably the right call. He’s an all conference talent this year in my opinion.

  • Super Keith

    JY, you always deliver the goods in a way a former O-lineman really appreciates!

    I get fixated on line play during most games, but it’s been a long time since I saw our line play as clean an opening game as they did Saturday. ONE holding call (which was one of those ‘you can call that on every play’ calls), and that was it, no dumb flags, no procedure issues. Off to as good a start as you could hope.

    I don’t know if Evans started because Nila was out, but he picked up right where he left off. His experience is so valuable, and I’m sure it’s helping Ty get adjusted.

    • JY

      Exactly. Us landbeasts have to stick together SK! I’m glad that Tyler is back and playing at a high level.

  • Kevin

    Exciting read!

    • JY

      Thanks man!

  • Sooner Ray

    Just watched the game again ( lost track of how many times now) And I’m real happy with the Line play on both sides, the running game is solid, and Shep and KJ are playing good ball. I didn’t give KJ enough credit in my initial evaluation. The starters in the secondary played good for the most part but there were a few plays that someone busted an assignment. The backups need some more game reps to get up to speed. Every receiver behind Shep and KJ need some more reps, they look talented but seem to be a bit nervous on the field. Overall I believe there will be big improvements over the next couple weeks and we should be very strong in conference play. Hope to see someone get some backup QB reps soon just so we can feel better about that, not crazy about asking Bell to change positions again even though I know he could do it.

    • Zack

      I missed it the first 5 times I watched. One of the commentators said I just call him “sir” when talking about perine.

      • Sooner Ray

        He is a grown a$$ man!

        • EasTex

          And he turns 19 in October.
          Dang, what’s he going to be like when he grows up?

  • EasTex

    JY, I got to watch quite a bit of the Allen vs Guyer game.
    Bobby Evans is still listed as 6’5″ 270 and he looks like a GQ model, maybe .009% body fat. He is so incredibly athletic it is amazing. On Allen’s first play the QB Murray ran 70+ yards for a TD, the first person to celebrate with him in the end zone was Evans.
    When he gets the S&C and coaching he could be an All-American.

    I know you have been busy, but to let you know Chett Munden did commit to UNT. Their first game the other night they rushed for over 350 yards. A junior RB to watch is Deondre Osborne and a sophomore QB Cameron Haller. Haller, if he doesn’t sign a pro-baseball deal out of high school(90+ fast ball as a freshman) he will be a dual threat QB(5’11” 195) that has a cannon for an arm and runs a 4.nuthin’.

    • JY

      Good for Chett! Bobby is gonna be good. It’s unreal how much talent Allen has.

      • EasTex

        Allen hung 55 on defending state champion Guyer.
        They also gave up 41, defense didn’t look very good.
        Bobby is a man among boys at this level, I’m sure he will face some challenging D-linemen down the road.

  • Swanny

    All the recruiting info is A+, this is my favorite of the recurring posts though. Great job as always JY!

    • JY

      Thank you so much!

  • boomersooner

    JY. Thank you brother. Love these breakdowns. Very exciting time to be sooner

    • JY

      No sweat man thanks!

  • hOUligan

    You never disappoint, JY. Love the ‘extras’, like pointing out Evan’s combo block, shoulder placement, eyes upfield. Bedenbaugh Effect. Another ‘Bedenbaugh Effect’ is Savage. Bringing in guys like him and it continues. No ‘dancing bears’ in this group. Bell was visibly upset at his whiffs a couple of times. He also had some nice blocks. He has that ‘want to’. Love this group of linemen and TEs/FBs. Love this run game.

    • JY

      You definitely can’t coach desire. You can talk about it, but you can’t teach somebody how to want to be great. Bell has it for sure. He’s gonna get much better.

  • One of the funniest moments of the game I noticed was after Shepard scored his touchdown when he reached out to slap the referee five and the ref yanked his hand back behind him. I like the swagger that Shepard is playing with along with the rest of these guys. It has been awhile since we have seen this.

  • Rob Turner

    Ahhh yes I love trench warfare. So glad to see Dionte playing well. That “grown man” is playing like a Hungry Rhino out there! I remember when signed he said he loves to run block! These running back gotta be loving this!

    • JY

      Yes indeed!

  • KellyB

    Great write-up JY! I really liked the way Bell blocked. Look on the right side of frame #12. Bell is blocking big #9, Vernon Bulter who is listed at 6’3″ and 309. In the next frame ( #13) Bell has moved him all the way to the left and has him face-down on the ground.

    To me, that is remarkable to go from starting QB to starting TE in less than 7 months. Kudos to our coaching staff

  • Cush Creekmont

    Great write up – thanks for spotting for us. The three backs all looked like THE top back – they should stay fresh and be lethal in the 4th qtr against tired LBs and bruised DBs.