Trench Warfare | Spring Game (2nd Quarter)


One of my potential breakout players for the upcoming season is Taylor McNamara. He had a couple of touchdown catches in the spring game, and made three catches in all.  Against Bama in the Sugar Bowl he had a nice catch to get a first down, and it seems like he’s settling in.  On this play, Aaron Franklin (White 25) is getting out (left blue arrow) to cover Daniel Brooks.  McNamara’s in his route and circled in Red.




Mayfield does a nice job keeping the safety between the hashes, and Taylor’s got an obvious height advantage.  Even though it’s good coverage, Taylor goes up and makes a nice grab for the score.  The tight end position to me is one we gotta watch this year.  Ijilana, McNamara, and Flowers are guys  that we’ll see a lot lined up at the spot.  I’m not sure how much we’ll see Connor Knight or Carson Meier this year, but there’s some depth at the position we haven’t had in my memory.  Three legitimate pass catchers in big sets will allow us to stay big for run formations while dictating to the defense what kind of personnel  they have to play us with.  The potential for big plays on the outside to our speedy wide receivers in one on one matchups will definitely be greater than in years past.



Pretty good protection initially allows Hansen to step up and deliver a strike to Smallwood from the left.  He gets it out quick, and you can see the protection breaking down late on the left.



I rewatched this play a few times, and I gotta say that I like how conscious that Smallwood was of getting upfield as soon as he made the catch.  Little things like that make a fast player faster, and a good player better.  Jordan’s able to get out past the 40 just because he got vertical on the field right after he got the ball.  How well he’s been coached at Jenks really shows itself on this play.



As I alluded to, Jordan’s negated the numbers advantage of the three defenders around him because he got north and south so quickly.  If he’s able to break this tackle, It’s over.  That’s what you can do when you don’t have the elusiveness of a Saunders.  Catch the ball and get vertical.



It’s a nice play action fake and a clean line of scrimmage.  The linebackers took the bait on the fake…



Jordan Evans (Red Arrow) almost gets his hands on another one, and Connor Knight is in the pattern circled in blue.  Thaddeus LaGrone absolutely lights Connor up on this play.  You’d hope that the ball had more zip on it.  Connor gets hung out to dry by the ball getting lobbed in there as well as it being so high.  LaGrone looked good on the play and made him pay for it.



This play is a big reason I’m hopeful about Justice Hansen.  The play before, he had a bad play and got his tight end killed.  But here, he comes right back like it ain’t nothin’.  QB’s have to be like that.



You can see the room that Justice has to step into the throw, and the defender on the left(blue arrow) took the head fake inside.  Bennett has em completely turned around, and you know what they say….If he’s even, he’s leavin’…



And again, just a snap after a bad play, Justice drops a dime in to Bennett with a nice touch pass for the score.  You can’t help but like the depth that we’ve got at the QB position for a few years to come.



Trevor back in the game with Derrick Woods in the pattern…



Right back on the very next play with Tempo, it’s another strike to Woods.  Derrick is going to be one of those guys who just fights his way onto the field.  I love his toughness, and the kid never drops a pass when it’s thrown to em.



This was an interesting twist.  Against Okie State we saw Saunders come in motion and be the pitchback on an option play.  It looks like that’s going to happen here initially.



But then it turns into a Jet Sweep almost.  Look at the linebackers’ feet  and how they’ve committed to Ford in the run game.  Striker’s standin on the panhandle, and what’s crazy about this play is that Trevors turned completely around throwing a backwards pass.  You really don’t see this very often…



A frame later, you’ve got Woods in full stride getting vertical.  Striker checks upfield to make sure no one’s coming for the kill shot…



Then, Sanchez does a nice job sitting and keeping outside leverage.  By him locking up that block and staying outside, it allows Thomas and Striker to come in and make the play.  If he jumps inside, it would have allowed Woods to get outside and then it’s a race or at least a play that got a few more yards.  This is good team defense.



Big Savage is pulling around.  Evans is circled in blue.  The Red line shows where Savage should be going…




This shot shows it a little better, and you can see that Evans has filled the hole.  Savage’s head is still looking outside.  Evans looks like an all American on the play, when it’s just a bust in blocking assignments.  As Savage pulls around there, he’s gotta dip that inside shoulder and lead up onto Evans.  If he were technically sound, he’ll block Evans into Alexander and Ford may have a play here…



Really nice push by the entire O Line on 2nd and 3.  This is the 2nd unit in there getting movement, and it speaks volumes to the kind of Coach that Bedenbaugh is and what he demands out of his entire group.



And coming right back on the very next play, it’s a hat on a hat again.  Really cleanly blocked play to get us some good yardage.  Hopefully Coach Bedenbaugh makes Norman his home for many years to come…



Wrapping up the 2nd quarter, you can see the dilemma that the defender has.  Does he sink and take the slant, or drive on the flare route?  Cody forces the issue and gets a good pass into Bennett.