Trench Warfare | Sugar Bowl (2nd Quarter)

1. After giving up the big TD to white, getting Sterling drilled on an option, and an illegal formation penalty, it’s 2nd and 19.  We flip it out to Clay on a screen.  Ikard, ever the technician has turned back inside and is blocking that flow player to create a wall for Clay.  Nila to our far left takes the blocking path illustrated in red.  I’d like to see him flatten out and take the path in blue…


1. (cont.) You see here, that Nila’s flattened out, but since Clinton-Dix is so fast, he’s already closed the distance.  If Nila’s a yard closer, he’s a step away from ear holing him.  Clay takes on both Mosley and Clinton-Dix and comes away falling forward.  Brennan played very, very physical.



2. It’s 3rd and 12 after the Clay catch and run.  Trevor drops back and hits Derrick Woods for a gain of 20.  This was essentially a 3 point play.  It was huge because with Derrick hanging onto the ball after getting drilled in the back sent another message that we weren’t going anywhere.  Watching it full speed you can’t really appreciate how hard that Derrick got hit by Collins.  Heck of a play.



3. After Jaz’s catch we’re at 3rd and three.  The coaches and everyone in the superdome knew that Belue couldn’t cover Saunders one on one.  So when Trevor drops back, he’s thinking:  Throw the ball on time.  He doesn’t see Hubbard(42), and he ends up knocking it down.  Had Trevor seen him, he can check back to the middle and he’s got McNamara standing a yard beyond the 1st down marker wide open, or Brennan running all alone on the swing pass to the outside.  We were in that bunch formation, so there’s no one home outside.  Also Bama wasn’t paying any attention to McNamara.


4. Moneycutt…ended the year 24 of 27.  Have we had a better kicker in recent memory?



5. I really thought that Heupel and Norvell game-planned to Trevor’s strengths really really well.  Another bootleg to the left, and the protection is impeccable.  Trevor is very comfortable throwing on the run.


5. (cont.) Trevor getting the ball out to Bester on time really helped make this play.  Look at the Bama defender’s feet.  He’s bitten on Bester’s headfake back to the inside…


5. (cont.) La’Colton gets 10 on 2nd and 8.  The Bama defender he shook has the blue arrow.



6. Brennan catches the swing pass and immediately gets his shoulders square.  He makes the decision to get down and dirty right here…


6. (cont.) Brennan ends up outrunning Collins (right blue arrow), and if Colt could have gotten a better block on his man, Brennan may have scored.  Nevertheless, Brennan was simply more physical than Alabama.  He ran over player after player after player.  His physicality on this play got us to fourth and short.



7. Just like on the 3rd and 1 in the 1st quarter, we started out in the diamond formation…


7. (cont.) Then we shift putting Brannon Green and Ripkowski in motion to the right, basically giving us a double tight end look or a tight end with a wing.  The wrinkle on this was that in the first quarter when we shifted we did it to the left.  Just a small nuance that probably no one noticed for Alabama.


7. (cont.) We had a four on four matchup to the right, and you like having your back one on one with the safety.  What stood out to me the whole game is how good our kids are as people.  I circled Rip, Bronson and Brannon’s blocks with Clay running the ball.  Just blue collar tough guys.  You can’t help but love them.

As that right side is getting caved down, Brennan goes to get off tackle.  Landon Collins (their safety) has to protect against Clay getting outside.  Brennan dips outside just a bit, and then gets vertical on that soft shoulder cut you always hear me talk about…
7. (cont.) Look at how different the formation looks now.  That whole right side is caved in, and Brennan gets the first down with relative ease.  This was the most satisfying play to me in the game, because after years of seeing us get stuffed in short yardage or on the goal line, we went against the nation’s best and pushed them around.  God I love this team.
8. In pass protection sometimes you’ll see me describe an offensive tackle “opening the gate” or “leaving the gate open”.  I want you to look at the Bama defender, Landon Collins.  I pointed at his (our right) foot, and then the other blue arrow shows that if you pretended this was basketball, that foot would be like his pivot foot.  In not being square, his soft shoulder is right up in there where Brennan is going.  Basically Clay is “forcing his way through the gate.”  All of Collins’ power is to the outside and Brennan took advantage of it.  Looking like Marcus Allen on this play coming up huge in short yardage.
9. Any time you run a double move, stop and go, or basic long routes, you have to have great protection to give the play time to develop…Trevor had that and then some.
9. (cont.) After a sweet stop and go move, even “The Pride” knows it’s a td!  BTW is there a better marching band in the country?  Look at the SEC speed there getting roasted.  Belue’s new nickname is toast, cause he just got burnt!
9. (cont.) Jalen with amazing concentration making sure he gets his feet down and stays in bounds.  Kid was a big play machine down the stretch for us.
9. (cont.) Guess who the first player to greet Trevor on the sideline was?  Bell, with brother Connor close behind!
9. (cont.) Saunders is getting mobbed on the bench, and even former Sooner Great and all-pro offensive tackle Jammal Brown(in Khaki jacket) was getting in on it.  When we say we’re family here we mean it!
9. (cont.) I knew we were in NOLA, but who knew Master P was a sooner fan?!  Make ’em say uhhhh….uhhhh na na na naaaa
10. There’s a ton of stuff going on in this play.  We brought Saunders in motion to be the pitch man off of the triple option look back to the left.  The thing that made this work is Shepard’s alignment tight to the left side of the formation.  Had he been split out wide and come a long way, it would have tipped the safeties off.
10. (cont.) By faking Clay up inside on the dive, it froze both linebackers and created just enough space outside.
10. (cont.) Since you have the triple option look going left, and Bama’s so well coached, both the free and strong safeties as well as the corner to our left are playing assignment football.  As I watched this, I thought to myself, where’s the safety?  We’re on the short side of the field running to the boundary, and the safety’s nowhere to be seen.  As you watch it again the masterful play design in formation and execution had that guy flying out to our left to give help on the option. Also, at this point in the play, it’s three on three outside the hash.  Irwin, Rip and Shep.
10 (cont.) Shepard just outruns Hubbard, while Rip takes out two guys and Irwin yells “Dog Pile!”.  The pride got a show on that side of the field with the bomb to Saunders, this play and the big interception.  We can see here too that the safety’s nowhere to be seen.
10 (cont.) Doesn’t look like a throat slash to me!
10. (cont.) How we all felt at halftime!  Boomer!
  • madbrad

    Lol great stuff!

  • Super K

    Good stuff j!

    • JY


  • Jerry Reid

    Loved it!!

    • JY

      How’s the road treatin ya?

  • Caleb Nuckels

    Good stuff! Knight couldn’t have looked better. Props to the play calling as well.

  • Sonny Schovanec

    Great stuff JY. Love that you pointed out the advantages to running the option or reverse to the boundry. A lot of teams set their defensive strengths to the field no matter what formation you put into the boundry. Their philosophy is to use the boundry as an extra man. In most cases running to the boundry the offense has the numbers advantage. In the Switzer triple days they ran option to the boundry a lot. Fans used to gripe and yell all the time ” why aren’t we running the option to the wide side”. Well uhh there is an extra defensive player to the field.

    • boomersooner

      also, if you fumble its got a better chance, naturally, of going out of bounds if its run short side

      • Eric Hoffpauir

        Of course, our option teams never fumbled the ball…

  • SoonerfanTU

    The reverse to Shepard was one of my favorite calls/plays. Fun play, well designed, and worked perfectly.

  • Matt

    Yeah when we ran the reverse to Shep after Sanchez’s pick. You could just see it in the smoothness of the exchange: they knew they had Bama on their heels and they didn’t just expect to score on that possession, they were gonna score on that play! Love this team!

  • Jake

    What are the advantages to havng a right handed qb roll to his left? I know its a more difficult through. At that level are the qbs just expected to be able to make the throw or is there a specific advantage in doing this?

    • JY

      Yeah, if you have a qb that can roll either way, then defensively you have to respect it. If a guy can only roll to his right or his left, then you can gameplan for that and have the d end sit on that bootleg. It also opens up the inside run game since those ends can’t crash down as hard since they have to contain.

      • jdotkimmy

        Having a right handed QB make throws while rolling to his left can be taught. Precise technique and a talented arm(to a degree, depending what the offense is asking for)is required to do so.

  • Sooner Ray

    Great stuff JY, This is the point of the game where I started feeling good about the possible outcome!

  • L’carpetron Dookmarriot

    I actually watched picture “7 cont.” several times on HolaKyle’s highlights. Bronson makes an initial block on one person, then blocks a second person. The initial block worked to kinda stifle the Bama player so that Brannon and Rip can seal the right side. This, as you pointed out, JY, leaves Clay one-on-one with Collins (who, by the way, got beat up all night, other than his INT). The beauty of that play, to me, was what Bronson did.

    And he did this type of thing all night. There were several other plays on the highlights that showed Bronson crushing the Bama rusher. If the two teams weren’t wearing uniforms and we were simply given descriptions of what was happening everyone would think OU was Bama and Bama was OU; one team playing man-ball better than the other.

    Bama has said that they want to be the team where you don’t want to play them a second time. OU played like that.

  • Shifty

    As alway, nice breakdown JY…I’m gonna miss Ikard and Irwin..Irwin was so versatile and really helped with our depth problem…hopefully St John is the real deal next year

  • pitbull17

    Great read. It helps my simple mind understand some of the finer details I miss live. For as many times as I’ve called for him to be fired I will say I though Heuple called a really good game against ‘Bama.

  • AlexOU

    Thanks again, awesome stuff. That last play was something else, loved it. Especially remember that Shepard run freaking out & 1st thought in mind was ‘I CANNOT wait to hear the ESPN talking heads in a few moments’. They looked as stunned as Bama. Real somber almost embarrassed faces. May took it step further with an almost pouty look & of course didn’t fess up at all about being so wrong, just focussed on talking about game & what happened. Hilarious.

  • brad

    I think the rapper dude is scissorhands team barber from okc lol but funny if master P

  • brad

    The girl in the last photo saying “wow”…”wow” cracked me up only OU fans believed

  • Bill Milo

    Tremendous post. Don’t want to cry over spilled milk, but where was this game plan against Texas and Baylor. 🙁

    • jdotkimmy

      Texas probably had one of the best defensive lines in the country, they constantly got into the OU backfield and caused havoc. Alabama is talented, but they couldn’t quite generate the pressure that they had been able to the last few years. Baylor’s defense is built on speed, they were one of the few teams that could actually keep up with OU’s speed.

  • SoonerStuff

    A friend turned me on to this board and said it was a friend of mine from the Sooner Scout board . I have to say , I think you have a winner !!! I am so tired of Scout and all the BS that goes with it . You guys actually know what you are talking about over here. I love the format for the most part. Be nice if the message part was set up a Little more like the scout board but hey everything else is so much better that I can live with that.
    Very intelligent arrangment you have going here Rebel and I am proud of you!!!!

  • SoonerStuff

    Yes the reverse to Shep told me that we actually had control of this game and had them guessing and they had no idea what we were going to do next or when we were going to do it . Thank you for letting join in fellas

  • SoonerStuff

    Yes that reverse to Shep the way it was pulled off it reminded me of the old wishbone days when JC Watts would run to the short side of the field and pitch it to Buster Rhymes . Just had that feel to it .