9 Comments

  1. Chris R.

    Enjoyed the analysis Ian. I know in the recent past you haven’t been a Mike Stoops fan (well even us soooner fans haven’t been either) so it is encouraging to read that you think things may be on the upswing. One thing that concerns me is injuries. We have litte depth at DB and LB right now. Jordan Parker out for season. Will Johnson is going through concussion protocol and he had concussion issues last year. Can’t afford anymore serious injuries (especially to S Parker and Obo). On the positive side we will get Amani Bledsoe back by the Texas game. That will really bolster DL play.

    • ianaboyd

      I have a theory that teams who have extra physical practices can shore up depth better because the younger guys learn how to play at the college level faster and don’t have as steep a learning curve in learning things like “how do I take on blocks now that the OL are 100 pounds heavier than me and not 20 pounds lighter?”

      Losing Will Johnson would be tough but yeah, Obo and S Parker are the crucial components. I would be shocked if OU won out again in the Big 12 either way, it’s a really tough league this year.

      • jobhr

        “I would be shocked if OU won out again in the Big 12 either way, it’s a really tough league this year.”

        Here are a few reasons I disagree with that statement:
        1. The next four weeks OU’ll get a pass because of weak competition. They SHOULD use this as an opportunity to get reps for young DL, LB, and DBs.
        2. There are only four team who’ll threaten the Sooners this year: UT, @K-St, @Ok St, TCU. Other than the home-away split, OU’s schedule actually sets up pretty well. Three first three of these teams important play non-conference games on the road this week.
        – UT: Herman knows the importance of the RRR, but UT’ll get my attention if they stay within 2 TDs or 1 yd/play of the Trojans on offense and defense.
        – K-St: Vandy’s defense is legit. If K-St puts up big point numbers on > 6 yd/play in Nashville, The Wizard will get my attention.
        – Ok St: The Cowboys will get a dispirited Pitt team who just lost to their rivals. They need to put 50 on the board against them.
        3. NO ONE in the Big12 has the DL to prevent OU from running 300 yds a game against them. This run game efficiency is key to taking the steam out of tempo attacks that the OU defense may still struggle to defend.

        • ianaboyd

          1. Four weeks? I wouldn’t be so certain that Texas will be weak competition for the Sooners.

          2. Ah, and here you mention Texas as tougher comp. The stretch is kinda tough when OU plays Texas, @KSU, Tech, and then @OSU. There’s real potential for wear and tear.

          BTW, there are other things to watch for in the UT/USC game. Like who plays QB for Texas and whether that guy plays QB for Texas in the RRS.

          3. There’s no way that’s true. 300 yards????

          Texas, K-State, OSU, and TCU all have DL that are respectable or better.

          • jobhr

            1. The four weeks includes a bye (1 Tulane, 2 Baylor, 3 bye, 4 Iowa St–I said KU before).
            2. RE: things other than point & yds/play in UT-USC. Agreed. Other than OU, I watch football after it’s condensed to 40 minutes on youtube. This game will be the first I look for on Sunday 🙂
            3. I’ve bought into the hype about Ohio St’s DL and LBs, and I was impressed by OU’s running game against the Buckeyes. 300 yds is hyperbole, but I think OU’s OL may be able to dictate games when coupled with the Sooners obvious proficiency passing the ball.

          • ianaboyd

            I think OU will need to find a top WR for B12 teams that won’t be as easily caught and abused with the FB play-action stuff. Maybe that stuff is adequate for constraining the run game but they probably need to attack outside as well to make the most of the run threat.

            Looks like Ceedee Lamb might be the guy. Like you note, OU has four weeks to figure out some other ways to bring all of their offensive skill talent together to build gameplans that over stress defenses. I doubt anyone is betting against Lincoln Riley figuring it out at this point.

  2. jobhr

    2016 Buckeyes, vs OU: 45
    2016 Buckeyes, vs Clemson: 0
    2017 Buckeyes, vs OU: 16

    OU’s extreme vulnerability vs Ohio St last year was caused by four factors in declining order of importance:
    1. No CB2
    2. Inability to adjust to unbalanced line
    3. Great game by Noah Brown
    4. Subpar DL play

    For the Ohio St, after this game, their ability to pass the ball regressed. With that, Michigan and Clemson laid out the blueprint on how to defend them. No WR emerged for the Buckeyes. Ohio St’s still going to score a lot of point with Barrett and Dobbins in the backfield working with short fields due to their dominant defense and kicking game. Rumors of their demise are greatly exaggerated, but Kevin Wilson is buying resume paper. Meyer isn’t listening to him, and Meyer is a jerk.

    In Norman, a CB2 emerged. Mike Stoops showed some humility. The DL play has gotten better. Undoubtedly, Stoops conferred with Venables about defended Ohio St.

    You are right to question the relevance of this result for the Sooners defense in the Big12. For OU, the the biggest benefit is now time. OU now has four easy weeks until going to Dallas to face the Horns (three weak teams plus a bye). For the DL, this means getting Bledsoe back from suspension and getting Lampkin in shape. For the LBs, this means getting more reps for Murray. For the DBs, this means more reps for Haughton and Barnes and possibly getting Johnson back. Johnson was playing great but concussions have been an issue for him.

    • ianaboyd

      Great stuff as always! Totally agree on tOSU. They have real issues as an offense…but they’re also issues that will likely only matter against teams of a certain caliber.

      I hope Urban goes down, I’ve always considered him to be sort of a snake but an excellent coach. After he started poaching Texas kids and trying to take cheap shots at Tom Herman to keep the pipeline open I’ve become intrigued by the possibility of his decline.

      I think I’d like to see more of him vs Harbaugh though. Football is fun around here if Michigan vs Ohio State is a big time game.

      • jobhr

        In my experience, oftentimes, leaders are jerks. It comes with power. Of those that are jerks, some hide it better than others. Meyer makes no attempt to hide it. As an aside, Herman isn’t warm and fuzzy either. He belittles his players and didn’t show much accountability for an obviously terrible coaching job vs Maryland.

        The big problem is talent drain from the Big12 footprint, specifically Texas. This is worse on defense. From 247, in the 2017 class, 16 of the top 50 players in Texas played defense (interesting split; Rivals had 15 of 50). Only three of those 16 went to Big12 schools. Meyer and Saban in addition to the drain from A&M and LSU are responsible for this. I don’t know what the solution to this is.

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