16 Comments

  1. Steve Dixon

    Having the defense left on the shoulders of Jordan Thomas would be mistake. He did not go out this season for a reason. He still is not NFL ready. And to have the defense “funnel” to him will not work given his inconsistent play. I agree with you that Sunderland still needs to improve, but is this weakness about the athlete or the scheme(i.e. M. Stoops)? Motley turned and played the ball. Best CB play I seen in a while. I know S. Parker didn’t play, but would be interested in your assessment of him as a player.
    I thought Gumbs played well for a high school senior and he should get even better.
    One reason that JMT was able to make the tackle scrapping down the LOS was that the DL was able to stand their ground and not get pushed backed in to the pursuit lanes. Still a good play by JMT showing his athleticism.
    Excellent analysis. Thanks for breaking down some film.

    • ianaboyd

      I think Jordan Thomas was actually really solid last year. Everyone gets beat in this league because corners get isolated a ton.

      Sunderland’s issues aren’t related to either his athleticism or Stoops’ scheme, just being an underclassmen playing a position that for most guys takes a ton of time and experience to master. Motley was solid but they attacked him. Thomas was in a more vulnerable position and they didn’t attack him.

      I’ve been a big fan of Steven Parker since he was in HS. Totally agree on Gumbs, he’s just not ready yet. Agree on JMT, I thought about loading another GIF where he makes the right read and makes a nice tackle for no gain.

      • Steve Dixon

        I have seen J. Thomas take some plays off and get burned (Texas last year comes to mind). He made some mistakes against tOSU but the other CB play was so bad it wasn’t noticed that much. Agreed that all CBs will get beat eventually. Still looking for that shut down guy, which may not exist, but Motley has potential.

        Isn’t Sunderland a RS sophomore (this is his 3rd year right?)? Given the breakdown you gave and all the options I think a simplification of the scheme/reads might be in order here. I guess if he starts the experience will grow exponentially. But that may not bode well for the tOSU game.
        I am hopeful (I hate that word) that the 4 man front will increase pressure on the QBs and reduce pressure on the back end. Some INSIDE stunts and twists possiblilities increase with the 4 man front also. Your thoughts?

        I thought Will Johnson was poorly schemed last year by M. Stoops and his confidence has probably taken a big hit. What do you think they should do with him this year or is he beyond redemption?

        • ianaboyd

          Thomas hasn’t always seemed a standout guy but he usually plays really well and it’s hard to blame him for giving up some big shots, like against Texas, if they take like 10 shots at him.

          Sunderland is a third-year player but I doubt he’s used to playing these quarters schemes as much since cover 3 has been the greater emphasis up to now. Pressure will definitely be the hope for OU next year, and also perhaps the Parker-Johnson safety combo that I’m starting to see as the most likely outcome.

          Will Johnson as a strong safety with Parker on the boundary is probably the best coverage safety tandem in the league. Either of those guys can play man coverage on a slot.

  2. JObhr

    OU still has about half of spring practice to go. I really like organizing the spring this way. Players get a chance to see what they have to work on and get right to it.
    Offense
    1. OU’s OL, including depth, as to be among the top in the nation. The second team, save one tackle, would be better than They’ll play one front seven, Ohio St’s, who’ll challenge them.
    2. The WR and RB’s seem at least competent, if not more. Anderson and Lamb will be available in the Fall too.
    3. Kyler Murry fly-sweep – option pass anyone?

    Defense
    1. OU went into last year with one competent CB. This year they may have three.
    2. I agree that you have to figure that Will Johnson will be on the field someplace so that’ll shore up one S spot
    3. The LBs will grow or be burnt. Ohio St will test them mightily.
    4. OU’s got two possible grad transfers for the DL, one from Minnesota and the other from Clemson. Both played a lot over the years and would instantly improve OU’s prospects for next year.

    OU’ll be favored in eleven games next year. They project to be a touchdown dog in Columbus. Having 11-1 or 10-2 as your floor isn’t bad way to roll.

    • Steve M.

      “OU’ll be favored in eleven games next year. They project to be a touchdown dog in Columbus. Having 11-1 or 10-2 as your floor isn’t bad way to roll.”
      So now, zero or one more loss than predicted going into a season is your team’s FLOOR? Man, this college football projecting is getting easy!

    • ianaboyd

      “OU still has about half of spring practice to go.”
      Oh, haha I didn’t know that. Probably don’t need to be quite as worried about the LBs and Ss then although anytime you plug in youth at those spots in this league you have to worry some.

      1. Stoops’ ability to get huge athletes to play solid football year in and out on the OL is probably the hallmark of the Stoops era, even moreso than his defenses.
      2. I’m less worried on OU fan’s behalf than most of them seem to be about the WRs and RBs.
      3. Ha, that’d be fun.

      1. Yeah, looking much better there.
      2. A Johnson-Parker pairing is actually a wildly underrated combo.
      3. Ohio State will burn them, I’m pretty sure.
      4. Pagano would be a big addition, I don’t know anything about the Gopher.

      I bet OU will lose in Columbus and then also drop a B12 game or two that infuriates the fanbase but still have probably the best team in the league and possibly a really strong foundation for a better 2018.

    • Cameron

      Offense
      1) Is this intentionally provocative to Texas fans? If I was Longhorn fan, I’d interpret it that way.

      Defense
      3) They way the LBs played in the spring game, I think they’ll be burnt by a lot of teams. Looked pretty subpar at this stage, but it’s part of the process.
      4) Good to know.

      9-3 is probably the floor, but more to the point: Isn’t the annual betting line for the Big12 champion Oklahoma versus the field? I think the Sooners will be fine.

    • ianaboyd

      Like most other people on this planet, I’m not sure how much I want to dive into Tech’s putridity on display in their spring game. Maybe some, not to the extent that I did with Oklahoma though.

      • Conine

        I wouldn’t think fans of any particular school would want to watch the spring games of other schools.

        Heck, I barely care to watch the spring game of my own school. It just seems bizarre to single out Tech as compared to any other team in the bottom half of the conference.

        Either way, you lost a reader, especially with your dick-headed response. And it’s “anyway” not “anyways.” I don’t know how such a simple mistake has slipped by your SBNation editors for so long.

        • ianaboyd

          Texas Tech, unlike most other bottom half schools in this conference, televised their spring game and it’s now on youtube. So whether I would watch their game or not is actually relevant where it’s not with a school that didn’t televise their game.

          Safe travels.

  3. Philly Frog

    Dear Mssr. Boyd:

    I’ll bite: “…. but I can think of at least one notable exception.”

    Gotta be one of K-State, Okie State or TCU, right?

  4. […] I broke down the Oklahoma spring game looking to discern whether Caleb Kelly as a Sam linebacker was as risky a venture as I suspected and how OU’s number two cornerbacks looked. What I actually found was that Kelly moved quite well in space and the Sooner secondary seemed well set out wide with Parnell Motley playing well and offering competition to Jordan Parker for the spot opposite Jordan Thomas. […]

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