Tuesday, January 06, 2009

All Things BCS

1. First of all I would like to thank Dominique Franks and Nic Harris. For those of you who didn’t hear, Franks and Harris were nice enough to give us some bulletin board material. Franks said Tebow would be the 4th best QB in the Big 12, which is bad enough, but then Harris said he would be the 7th best. So thank you for challenging someone that takes personal challenges to heart more than any player I can remember.

2. Why did Spikes have to return the favor? Spikes said that the defenses that Oklahoma played against were a joke. Thankfully that is not getting as much play as the Franks comment. Now that being said Spikes did call out the Creamsicles in September and that worked out fine.

3. Apparently Stoopsie will do anything for support.

4. Anyone else noticing what is happening to the Big 12 South teams? You know the ESPN-annointed greatest division in college football. Well their 2, 3, and 4 teams were 16 seconds from going 0-3 in their bowl games (needing a heroic comeback by Texas for their only win). The announcer in the Fiesta Bowl said in the 1st quarter that it is obvious that Texas has never faced a running game like Ohio State’s. Now in all fairness Beanie Wells is a great back and probably a top 5 NFL pick, but Ohio State rammed the ball right down Texas’s throat in the 1st half, and their running game cannot be considered sophisticated. Don’t be surprised to see the Gator offense try to do the same thing. For all the talk about the Spread Offense, the fact of the matter is that we are a running team first and foremost. Whereas Spurrier’s offense was geared towards big chunks in the passing game, Meyer’s offense is geared towards first downs. The fact that we have so many long running plays says more about our athletes than it says about our scheme. If we are able to do this Thursday, it will have the added bonus of keeping Oklahoma’s offense off the field. Make no mistake about it Oklahoma’s offense is scary good, so Meyer’s plan to win has to include something about keeping Sam Bradford and Company off the field.

5. With #3 in mind, don’t be surprised to see:

a. Meyer chose to receive the ball if we win the toss. Set the tone early.

b. Emmanuel Moody play a lot more in the 1st half. Moody is more of a bruising back than Demps or Rainey, and a better overall player than Moore.

c. The offensive staff call a lot short passing routes early in the game. I do expect us to go deep on the 1st drive however.

d. The play-action pass (or Tebow in “the rocking chair”) to be wide open in the middle or end of drives because of necessity of bringing the safety up into the box.

5. At this point I am ecstatic that I am not Charlie Strong. I still haven’t figured out how we are going to stop Oklahoma’s offense. Here is what I think is going to happen. The defense will spend the majority of the time in a 3-3-5 (with Will Hill replacing one of the lineman). This will allow the defense to blitz without losing a man from the secondary – I am thinking Spikes will spend a lot of time rushing Bradford. I am still scared to death of Major Wright in coverage, but maybe (or should I say hopefully) he will prove me wrong. For some reason, I also keep getting the feeling that Oklahoma is going to try to prove that they aren’t a finesse team. Against Texas Tech, the Sooners decided that they were going to run the ball right at the Red Raiders and it worked. I can see them trying that against us too. I think they have a size advantage when it comes to Duke Robinson (OG) vs. any of our NTs.

6. Tendencies

a. Oklahoma runs the ball 65% of the time on first down.
b. Oklahoma throws the ball 68% of the time when it’s 3rd and short.
c. Chris Brown is the short yardage back (15 of 16 short yardage situation carries on 3rd down).
d. Gresham (TE) is the favorite red zone target.

7. What we need to do

a. Stay away from zone coverage. Bradford struggled against TCU and Kansas State, both of which played press man coverage. Against TCU Bradford completed 55% of his passes and just 40% against Kansas State. (Maybe that was what Spikes was talking about).

b. Watching the Fiesta Bowl one thing became apparent, when Texas ran the hurry up, Ohio State couldn’t keep up. Oklahoma will run the hurry up from the first play. We have to be ready for the snap. Here is how we are preparing for it.

c. Keep the down and distance in our favor. If we can win 1st down, it will go a long way towards stopping Oklahoma’s offense, but to me the key is 3rd down. If we win 3rd downs we will win the game. It gets the Oklahoma offense off the field and allows one of our best weapons to go against one of their weaker units. You can debate the offenses and defenses of these two teams until you are blue in the face, but there is no debate when comes to Special Teams. We are flat out better when comparing units to units (their return team vs. our coverage team and vise versa). Now that Brandon James is healthy we need a big play from him, not necessarily a score (although that would be nice), but something that flips the field or gives our offense a short field.


Mergz said...

The one thing I haven't seen anyone comment on is special teams and our propensity for kick blocking this year.

I know it's a hard thing to quantify, but I have a feeling something on special teams will loom large Thursday night.

DolFan 316 said...

I remember a Sooners DT named Larry Birdine making disparaging remarks about USC before a certain title game in which a certain team lost 55-19. So I'm absolutely thrilled about the OU smack talk.

Stoops pleading for Canes and Noles fans to show up IMO is a strong indicator that he's scared and doesn't really feel as if his Sooners can win on their own merits.

Scully said...

Nic Harris is the gift that keeps on giving. Today he said that Tebow is one dimensional.

I love Percy's quote today that you don't want to awake the sleeping giant, in response to Dominique's comments. He finished it off by saying Good Luck.

jj gator said...

"Stoops pleading for Canes and Noles fans to show up IMO is a strong indicator that he's scared and doesn't really feel as if his Sooners can win on their own merits."

It's pretty sad when Stoopsie has to ask Criminole and scUM fans to jump on his bandwagon for support.

Let the Sooners keep talking smack. When the sleeping giant known as Tim Tebow gets amped up and starts encouraging his Gator teammates to make plays, OU's players will start crying for their mommies.