1. Joey

    I think OUs front 7 has played a lot better this year, but I just don’t see how that small secondary will hold up against Texas on the perimeter. Safety spots are such a glaring weakness for OU.

    Plus, Ehlinger seems to be completely comfortable in the offense right now. Reminds me of Mayfield his last year at OU in his command of the offense. It’s hard for me to believe that Grinch will be able to scheme up something that will confuse him for more than maybe a quarter.

    • ianaboyd

      Yeah, maybe a quarter is enough though if Riley has a dynamite offensive plan. I do think Texas is well situated to compete in the conference this year though. Their most glaring problems on D tend to relate to the spread passing game and not attacking spread run/play-action systems like Oklahoma runs. We’ll have to revisit that last point after this Oklahoma State game though.

  2. Brandon

    I’m not so sure that UT and OU are that far ahead. I’ll credit UT with a wonderful offensive outing against LSU, but OU has truly played no one.

    Haven’t watched much UT football but when I watch OU I see signs offensively that Big 12 defenses will have some hope of competing. The line is clearly not as dominant as the last two seasons. At least not up to this point. And while Hurts has put up video game statistics I am not yet impressed with his ability to command the passing game and make quick/sound decisions under pressure/when forced to drop back and go through the progression.

    That’s something that doesn’t really show against UCLA and Houston, but in competitive big 12 games where you really need to complete that 3rd and 8 against Texas, Oklahoma State, KSU, Baylor, TCU etc. that certainly projects.

    I get some weird vibes watching OU. I think it’s easy to think they’ll run roughshod over most of the Big 12 but I could actually see them dropping two conference games, and maybe even a third. There’s a lot of unknowns about a lot of teams this year. I’m ready for conference play.

    Side note – I’m curious to see what UT chooses to give up: throws to Wallace (including willingly committing PI on every deep throw), Chuba Hubbard, or “the other guys”.

    • ianaboyd

      Should be “the other guys.” I’ll be appalled if they come to a different decision.

      OU has certainly feasted on some overmatched opponents but of course their run game and play-action attack can improve and thrive this year if Hurts stays healthy enough to run the ball 12x a week. They may not be able to outscore everyone as easily as last year but even then they might still sneak into the B12 championship game.

    • GTR

      I have discomfort this year with OU as well. Defense has improved but the safeties are not playing P5 level football

      Hurts has indeed put up Heisman level numbers but the eye test says OU is not playing to the level they have been, even this early

      The worry is that OU will not be quite where they have been offensively and the defense has not grown enough to cover the gap

      OU will not know anything until Dallas…

      • ianaboyd

        Well that was my expectation all offseason. I think maybe our starting points are different. I was curious whether OU could put enough together to beat the 10.5 over on win total and win another B12 title. I guess the starting point for the typical OU fan was whether they could push through for a playoff run or not. I never thought that was very likely, I’d say it looks likelier now than it did in the preseason given how weak their schedule has turned out to be.

        That OU’s safeties wouldn’t be very physical or effective tacklers was essentially a given.

    • Clay

      I think Texas wins next week because I don’t see Oklahoma State having the defensive playmakers to slow Texas down enough. Texas had better develop a bit more of a run game though – at least my opinion. At some point for an extended stretch the passing game won’t work, whether it’s defensive scheme, bad weather, or because Ehlinger gets banged up because he’s still running the ball a bit too much.

      Totally agree that Texas will have to pick their poison on D. But they should get enough stops to put away Oklahoma State reasonably comfortably.

      I haven’t heard/read any news about Shackleford – that would be a big loss for the O-line if he’s out for long.

      • ianaboyd

        Texas’ run game is fine, it’ll get better but they don’t need much more from it. So long as they can keep the chains moving and punish teams that go light to counter them in 11 personnel.

        Shack seems to be okay, or at least not debilitated. The back-up center is very good, only problem is that he’s the starting RT and the back-up RT does present some drop-off. At least in protection.

        You watched Ehlinger much this year? For the most part he’s really avoided running the ball or drawing much contact, save for in the LSU game when he ran a lot because they needed it.

        • Clay

          I have watched some, not religiously. The key statement is that “when he ran a lot because they needed it.” While none of the conference defenses will be mistaken for LSU, there are a few matchups where they are going to need him in the running game, at least if they continue to not get the sort of production you’d expect from Texas running backs.

          I know schematically they want to do what you say, and maybe they’ll get by with just Ingram and Johnson. But as thin as the running back room is there’s a risk at some pont of them not having that sufficient threat in the running game without him.

          And that turns into a trade of some portion of his health for first downs. That was the kind of Faustian bargain K-State QBs made for the past decade.

          • ianaboyd

            They have 3 RBs now, and really the run game has been fine. Ingram looked healthier against Rice, I don’t see this as being an issue currently.

  3. System Poster

    That Cy-Hawk game was indeed bizarre. I didn’t catch the whole thing because I was flipping between different games, but every time I had it on, ISU was moving the ball and looking pretty dynamic on offense. I even saw some (relatively) explosive plays from the running backs. When Iowa had the ball, they turned it into a slog, but like you mentioned, Iowa is perfectly at home in that kind of game. Seems like a few freak plays kept ISU from winning (Purdy’s fumble, the Purdy slip as they were driving at the end of the game). People are writing them off, but I agree with your take. I could see them improving over the course of the season and slipping into the championship game if things get messy.

  4. Andrew

    I have to agree with Brandon here. Projecting OU for a spot in the CFP right now given the lack of true opponents is a tad too soon IMHO. They do have a good offense, but is it up to par compared to the prior 2 years? I think not and with Jalen going against teams in the B12 that are better suited to defend the OU style of play compared to OOC opponents, it’ll be revealing for sure. He may have improved under Riley, but are we talking about marginal or quantum leap level improvements? I’m going with closer to marginal, maybe a bit more. Ian has discussed the lack of D being overshadowed by their previous awesome offenses. They’ll still win a lot of games, but I’m thinking losses will be in the 2-3 range rather than 1. If Grinch continues to try to fit their athletes to his D preference, it’ll be a tougher year with a couple of programs on the rise again. Maybe he’ll learn to change sooner rather than later, but it seems the DCs in the B12 take a couple of seasons before they are forced to change or head elsewhere.

    Texas put up a ton of yardage against a vaunted SEC D. Not sure if it was due to LSU’s planned willingness to engage in a shootout with Texas or if it ended up that way. However, even through the end of the 3rd quarter the game was close. Ehlinger had to be used in a more buzz saw offensive scheme like in previous years. I have to wonder how much he can take going through this season if the schemes continue to use him more liberally. Remember, he got taken out by Baylor last year if only for a bit. Hopefully his backup is ready to take over, if not the season is in jeopardy.

        • Clayton Davis

          I know the evidence is against inferior competition, but I am less worried about both of those now. Obviously facing Texas will be nerve wracking, because of the challenges that particular Texas offense is going to present any defense.

          • ianaboyd

            Just call to mind where things were at this point in the season a year ago. Everyone was deriding my claims that OU’s defense was still bad, Iowa State hadn’t even played PFPurdy yet, and Texas was barely starting to get rolling after beating a USC team that turned out to not be that good anyways.

        • Andrew

          This year: I would add TCU, since their D is always stout, even though their O is hot trash right now. Patterson is cagey & always plans well, though the team’s execution may not go according to plan. I’m hoping Baylor’s change in D scheme can cause him some fits, though a W would be out of reach right now IMO. Texas has the athletes, but their lack of experience & new schemes will be a factor on putting it all together prior to bowl season. Iowa cause their D seems to have some answers for OU whenever they play.

          Basically, any team that is capable of making him think too much & cause him some hesitation.

          • ianaboyd

            Yeah, I should have mentioned TCU. I think Gary Patterson has been looking ahead to this game for a while now, basically ever since halftime of the OU game last year.

  5. Andrew

    (Phone restarted on me)

    The big Q is will Texas be able to come together soon on D. They have excellent athletes, but inexperienced as a whole. The other issue will be if their DC decides to make adjustments to impact the game more. We shall see, even Rhule and Snow changed the Baylor D for this year. Not sure how long Texas will continue to remain patient. Maybe this new crop of athletes is better suited for his D schemes, if not I’m not sure how long he’ll be allowed to remain in burnt orange…

  6. Philly Frog


    “The púca (Irish for spirit/ghost; plural púcaí), pooka, phouka, phooka, phooca, puca or púka is primarily a creature of Celtic folklore.[1] Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural and marine communities. Púcaí can have dark or white fur or hair. The creatures were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of horses, goats, cats, dogs, and hares. They may also take a human form, which includes various animal features, such as ears or a tail.”

    I believe the thing about the ears.


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