If you had told me before the game that we would force five turnovers, I would have thought we would have won by 21. Instead we won by 3. Guh. The first half of this game felt like 2005 all over again.
Logically I didn't see how Texas could lose, but ever since two fifty point loses I'm never as confident as I should be about this game. Because we still have Greg Davis.
I've finally figured out of whom or what Davis reminds me. Greg Davis is Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. He sits up in his antiseptic coaches box away from the action on the field where he prevents any divergence from his gameplan (most likely written in Pascal or some shit).
"What are you doing, Colt?"
"I'm going to call an audible."
"I'm afraid I can't let you do that."
He has no feel for a game, and he calls plays with no concern for down and distance. His performance in the first half was one of his worst. Our first play from scrimmage was just the type of misdirection run that gives OU trouble. We pick up 16 yards and...don't run it again. Miami destroyed them on a similar play, and we never ran it again. Our second drive we pick up 9 yards on two runs so on 3rd and 1 we go four wide, keep a back in to block and throw it . OU rushes three and sits eight in coverage. Incomplete. Fozzy Whitaker runs the ball twice on our next five drives. OU is blitzing the shit out of us, and we finally call a screen pass to John Chiles. On 3rd and 18.
The Sooners nailed our tendencies, and as usual it took us at least two quarters to do anything about it. They know what routes our receivers will run on 3rd and short. They knew as soon as McCoy lined up under center with Fozzy in the backfield that we were going to run option. Watch Keenan Clayton run up to the line of scrimmage before the snap. Marquise Goodwin was open on his touchdown reception because the Sooners ran a zone blitz and put three guys on Shipley. They almost got two touchdowns by jumping our short throws. Tendencies.
OU has less talent than we do on offense, but you can at least see what they were trying to do. They're at least doing things to help their players succeed. The random insertion of the Little Bighorn? Just horrible.
Colt is struggling because he's out of his comfort zone and trying to do too much. McCoy is best at knowing where he wants to throw the ball before the snap. Confuse him, give him doubt, and he's not as good. And he's not getting much help from his offensive line or wide receivers. He averaged 3.2 yards per pass and turned it over three times. And he's our best player on offense.
The offensive line was terrible in the first half. OU confused them with blitzes and pre-snap movement, and we confused them with our inability to call running plays or use any misdirection. If you don't give a defender any hesitation, it's that much harder to pass block. Six or seven penalties didn't help their cause any.
There needs to be some changes at wide receiver. John Chiles apparently is only capable of receiving the ball on one play, the screen. Which is the absolute worst way to get him the ball. James Kirkendoll is giving us nothing at this point except drops, unbroken tackles and personal fouls. Malcolm Williams continues to bust his ass on special teams and make acrobatic catches when the ball is thrown in a somewhat vertical fashion. But Marquise Goodwin needs to play more. He's still young and learning, but he can play. And most importantly it looks like Colt trusts him enough to actually throw to him.
The defense won the game for us. Again. With no little or no help from our offense. Again. We're an SEC team at this point, but I'm okay with that. Defense and special teams will keep us in every game this year, and ours are good enough to win every game outright.
If you can take away the OU quarterbacks' first option, you'll be successful. At least that's what ChrisApplewhite tells me. We did that for the most part. Landry Jones had to look for his second receiver too many times, and he didn't have enough time or experience to do it. We basically gave up two big plays because we failed to tackle. That was it. OU's only hope was to get their running backs on our linebackers, and they did a pretty good job of it for the most part. But Keenan Robinson got better as the game went on and was nails in the second half.
There were some individual standouts. Earl Thomas is first team All American. He's ridiculously good, a complete player. PBUs, TFLs, interception, forced fumble. I can't say enough about him. Sergio Kindle had four TFLs and the important pressure that caused Landry Jones to throw the interception. Aaron Williams shook off a bad play on the touchdown (left his feet on the tackle, didn't use the sideline) to make the great interception. He also knocked out Sam Bradford on a sack and forced a holding penalty on a running play.
Offensive players of the game: Goodwin and Whitaker
Defensive player of the game: Thomas
Special teams players of the game: Hunter Lawrence and Antwan Cobb