Well, it wasn't pretty, but don't go the Owen Wilson route just yet.
Drive of the game - Texas' second possession in the second half that sealed the game. Charles has several nice runs, including the score.
Player of the Game - Jamaal Charles. Remember the easy, smooth runner that effortlessly bounces out of tackles? He's back, and there is no mediocre senior to keep him down.
Quarterbacks - Colt . . . did not have his best game. He was so proud of his new arm strength that he decided to zip every single ball he threw tonight, costing us dearly. Several drives were killed because he threw behind or too hard on an important 2nd or 3rd down. He made some nice checks, including a deep route to Sweed for the game's first TD, and that quick WR screen when the defense brought 8 in the box. If he puts air under any of a half a dozen passes, we score twice as many points. That timing will come around, eventually. He also needs to take more check down throws to the backs, as he is starting to hold on the the ball for a Bledsoenian amount of time in the pocket. He needs to give his OL a chance. I rate him 2 out of 5 crying sooner kid heads:
Running Backs - Charles was awesome. He earned himself an extra 70 yards easy tonight. His pass blocking left a lot to be desired, however, so he cannot earn the best score I give, of 5 crying sooner kid heads.
Receivers - It's been a real pleasure watching Limas Sweed mature. He came in a fast, raw prospect, and right now he's probably one of the three best receivers in the country. He made several very nice catches tonight in traffic and away from his body, something he couldn't do when he got here. Quan had some nice returns and YAC. Billy Pittman was invisible tonight, so I have to dock them.
Offensive Line - Four of them played well. Ulatoski . . . what can you say? He hasn't progressed at all from the guy that got beat like a drum last year, apparently. Almost every time a defender sliced through the line, Ulatoski was trailing behind, fresh off said drum beating. We might need a freshman to step up at tackle and fast. The unit didn't perform well in short yardage situations either, including the 4th down toss in which Ulatoski got beat. Pass blocking was OK, most sacks were the result of Colt holding the ball too long.
Defensive Line - Orakpo went down early and we looked to Houston and Jones to step up, and thankfully, they did. Both youngsters played pretty well, including an INT forJones in the endzone. Frank Okam also had a nice night for himself. Still, the pass rush was spotty and the run defense was unreliable at times, although a lousy LB performance made them look worse. Oops! I shouldn't give it away!
Linebackers - Coaches for whatever freaking reason, will always give the upperclassman a chance. Sometimes, two chances. And sometimes, they'll stick the veterans on the field even though they are an active detriment to your team. Mack Brown has always had an odd affection for terrible, terrible LBs. From Tyrone Jones to Eric Hall, we've always seemingly had one. Now, we have three. Bobino, Derry, and Killebrew are all slow, and none can defeat a good block. The Arky St. QB was fast as hell and boy did he make them look bad. I was flashing back to Matt Jones' abuse of Hall in 2004. It was ugly. They are also minus pass defenders, lacking the quickness to jump tight ends and slot WRs. We need Muck, Norton, and Kindle when he comes back on the field learning ASAP. We cannot make it to the BCS with those three guys. I award them my lowest possible score: a single laughing Bob Stoops head.
Secondary - Not bad. Ryan Palmer played his best ever game, which is to say he only mostly sucked. Brandon Foster and Deon Beasely both made the leap to DBs that can make a play on the ball. Foster got burned once but otherwise played pretty well. Beasely was impressive and should be starting ahead of Palmer. If Chykie Brown played I didn't see it. Marcus Griffin And Eric Jackson were entirely average, making no plays and never horribly messing up.
Overall, we need some playmakers on defense. We have some potential, but it's young and on the bench right now. We have a bunch of guys who can't BEAT an offense, they can only wait for them to mess up. If this is the unit we send out to play OU, I won't be optimistic.
Coaching - Incomplete. I am ready to hand out some laughing Bob Stoops head, but fact is we mailed it in and played vanilla against a nobody opponent. Check back after we play TCU. One noteworthy thing for those wanting to know how the desert swarm would effect our defense, we seemingly got our answer tonight. I postulated that we would play the same defense as last year, but with some swarm pressure packages, which is exactly what happened (for me). Something like this:
See how we still rushed 4 and dropped 7? This is the foundation of the desert swarm defense, mixing it up to confuse blocking and pressure the QB. Expect more variety as the season wears on, as we only ran two stunts with any regularity. Eddie Jones' INT was on the one exotic blitz I remember seeing, so I expect better defensive performances, even if we stay put with personnel.
Finally, don't get too upset over the final. We gave them three turnovers (one on downs . . . ugh) and had at least three really bad drive extending penalties. We sucked, yes, but out score was dampened a bit by those things.
The Casey Hampton Award for Defensive Excellence - Frank Okam
The Eric Hall Award for Offensive Defense - Rashad Bobino
The Vince Young Award for Offensive Excellence - Jamaal Charles
The Matt Anderson Award for Offensive Offense - Adam Ulatoski
The Colt McCoy Award for Best Current QB on Team - Colt McCoy
The Selvin Young Award for Upperclassman Favoritism - Ryan Palmer (4 tied for second)
The Tim McCarver Idiot Rambler Award - "How much better can you play it? The answer is not that much better."