I opened the door to that familiar cubbyhole not knowing what to expect. It had been nearly fourteen days and this was, well, this was OU week. What could the Cigar have in store for the Jesus? Macanudo or Romeo y Julieta, traditional cut or a punch job, Ash packages or trick plays? I’d take whatever the old man offered at this point, knowing it had been an eternity since last we dipped a Cuban in the single malt and chatted about our beloved Horns. The man with the raspy voice did not disappoint, even if he had to get censory with his answers—but again, it’s OU week.
JS: So tell me, how was Ames? Any impressions from the game on Saturday?
BC: Based on the locker room, you could tell the kids were pretty satisfied. I got the impression going into the game that we felt we were going to dominate and we did exactly that for 30 minutes. After the game, I don’t know if the coaches were quite as happy about the performance as the kids were. I got the distinct feeling that the coaches were pissed and my feeling was confirmed come Monday morning based on what I heard from the coaches’ meetings.
JS: So basically it was a tale of two halves or some such cliché?
BC: Yep, I suppose. I know they were pleased with the opportunism on defense and the big plays on offense, but they were upset with the ability to dictate our base offense or defense for most of the game. I also think they’re damn near settling on a QB.
JS: Wow! What does that mean? That’s sort of a bombshell.
BC: Look, I’ll say it. I think the staff, especially the assistants think that Ash gives them the best chance to win. Now do I think McCoy will be relegated to the bench? No, I’m not saying that. But if the folks I talk to close to the staff and those with names on the buildings are correct, it means that Ash will get the keys to the kingdom this weekend. He’ll be able to run the entire offense and Case will come in as a change up.
JS: If you’re a fan of Ash that’s like David Lee Roth taking over for Sammy Hagar.
BC: I'm not sure what that even means.
JS: So you think Ash gets most of the snaps this weekend? The Asset told us it was trending that way last week.
BC: I do, unless he somehow falters. Then Case will play more. But all else equal, I’m told Ash gets a lot of snaps and probably the vast majority.
JS: So what else have you heard without giving up too much of the game plan to Trailer Park U?
BC: I’m hearing Harsin is ultra-confident he can "work" the Sooner defense in route to some easy points. He knows we have to keep their offense off the field but he’s pretty sure he can manufacture enough offense to keep us in the game. My friend told me that Mack is SHOCKED by this guy’s ability to scheme and game plan. It’s like nothing he’d seen before, and it’s got Mack pretty excited about this weekend. Harsin is going to throw the kitchen sink at OU so don’t be surprised when three different players throw passes, four when you include McCoy. We’re going to do everything in our power to extend drives and score all over the field. We want to make their offense press so Manny can work his magic.
JS: Any particular players to watch out for? Any ultra-surprises outside of the usual suspects like Shipley and Ash?
BC: Yep. (laughing). We’ve got defensive linemen catching passes and guys you’d never thought of throwing them. We’ve worked on everything under the sun the last few days and off the record you can tell your closest friends but you can’t let it get out. Sure, we’re going to line it up against their front seven and expect success, but we’re going to make them honest with a package of gadget plays to take advantage of their overly aggressive tendencies. We also don’t think Travis Lewis is healthy so we’re going to test his ability to react and change direction. We’ll also make their safeties doubt what they see for most of the game by play selection in the early going. Those kids can hit, but can they diagnose? We’ll find out.
JS: Defensively, what’s the game plan from a ten thousand foot level?
BC: I think they’d rather give up 5 yards a carry if it means they’ll get a hit on the QB on the next snap. We feel like we can take advantage of the interior of the Oline in pass pro so we’ll game and stunt our way with DT’s and ILB’s to get hits on Jones. When FSU hit Jones he was atrocious and we feel like our front 7 is better than FSU’s from top to bottom. In the secondary, we’ll need to tackle, but we like the matchup on the smallish Broyles. We’re worried about Stills, but Vacarro was able to blanket him pretty well last season so I’d expect that to happen this Saturday. Their third wideout will likely draw Diggs unless we’re in zone and we feel good about that matchup. We just have to play sound in the secondary and we feel like we can hit the immobile Jones. Okafor, Jeffcoat, Wilson, and Johnson are going to be chomping at the bit because this is their chance to shine. Some exotic blitzes will help things as well in that respect.
JS: So, in a nutshell, what’s the game plan on both sides of the ball? Again, don’t give up the goods.
BC: Defensively it’s hit Landry Jones at all costs even if it means giving up some yards in the running game. Huepel won’t be able to help himself, so he’ll have to chunk it around. We need to get them behind the chains and get in Jones’ head with pressure in the passing game.
Offensively, we’re going to out scheme them with exotics and then counter punch with straight up numbers at the point of attack in the running game to bludgeon their smallish front 7. When they get cute and drop a safety in the box, we’ll go over the top for big plays. No inside information, but that’s what I would do.
JS: So how much of this report was inside information?
BC: All of it but the last answer. Or none of it. I’ll let Bob Stoops be the judge.
JS: And fuck that guy. Right?
BC: You bet.