It was another grind for the Sooners on Saturday night as we waited until the last four minutes of the game to get it together…the good news is that Spencer Rattler orchestrated that final drive and did so flawlessly. It is that drive that gives us hope moving forward.
Of course, OU fans were fuming mad that it took so long, but then again, I have to ask those fans…would you rather have lost and be 3-1. Here’s the scary thought. A lot of OU fans would answer that question in the affirmative. They want to force Lincoln’s hand at quarterback. For those fans, they can forget it…that ain’t going to happen.
In this case Lincoln is right…can you imagine inserting a true freshman quarterback into the lineup with this offensive line and this anemic running game? Those same fans would be jubilant at the sight of Caleb Williams trotting onto the field, but just as quick to condemn the move when it failed.
Okay, while I am not a football coach, I do play one on t.v. so these are my suggestions moving forward. The offensive line is still a big-time work in progress. We need to find one thing that these guys can do well and focus on that area. We simply must establish a run game which will in turn make the passing game more efficient. I believe that we still have the necessary parts to make this happen, so we just must stick with it.
The second thing is that Lincoln Riley must spend a lot more time in the film room this week. His play calling on Saturday was abysmal. A reoccurrence of this fact in Manhattan next Saturday will be a killer.
Each week, we think this is the week where we break out, but next Saturday may be our last chance to make it happen. We are running out of time before the OU-Texas game so creating confidence before we roll into Dallas will be huge.
As Taylor said, there may be only one team in America that can hold the Sooners to one touchdown and that team is OU. On another hot, sweltering day we were witness to two things…an offense that is not clicking on all cylinders and a bunch of fans, not conditioned for that kind of heat that should not have been anywhere near that stadium on Saturday. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about either one.
As for the football side of this dilemma, it may be time to stop saying that our opponent is better than people think and face the reality of the situation. We may not be as good as we thought. We’re three games into the season and our offensive line is not any better than it was going in. Granted, Spencer Rattler has his own set of problems, but he nor Caleb Williams can block and throw at the same time.
On Saturday, he spent most of the day running for his life. At the same time, when he did have time, he threw into double and triple coverage. He is also not a running quarterback and even if he were, he needs to get down before taking a hit…seriously…
The good news is that the defense continues to improve at warp speed. In reality, we held Nebraska to nine (9) points on Saturday. That late score would never have happened if DJ Graham had batted his interception away instead of hauling it in at the three. Then again, if he had batted the ball away, we would not have witnessed one of the greatest interceptions of all time.
Long story short is that we still have a lot of work to do and secondly each game is going to be a grind this year…those traditional blowouts may be few and far between. Here’s your good news…if our defense can continue to play at this clip throughout the season, we’ll be okay, maybe not great, but possibly good enough.
Here’s more good news…parity to college football may have finally arrived, and the top dogs may be beatable this year. We also have two thirds of the season left to work out the kinks so don’t give up the ship just yet…
Back in the day my Edmond North Huskies could not score a touchdown much less beat Edmond Memorial in football. For someone as competitive as me, this was like being sentenced to the world down under. With the help of an equally competitive staff of teachers, we took it upon ourselves to create a paradigm shift. If not football, possibly academics held the key.
With information from College Board (AP) and US News and World Report we did just that. Almost immediately, we used players recruited via the academic route to beat Memorial again, and again and again. Under my watch, we never lost to the Bulldogs after that.
To this day, I love examining the high school rankings to see how my former high schools are doing. I also love comparing local high schools to their district counterparts. Comparing football powerhouses on the east to those on the west side of the state can be equally satisfying. It is my belief that high schools can and should aspire to be the best in both areas.
I have highlighted some of this information below. For a more in-depth view you can go to usnewsandworldreport/rankings/highschools/Oklahoma
US News and World Report High School rankings…
Edmond North (4)
Edmond Memorial (5)
Edmond Santa fe (7)
Moore High School (27)
Norman North (8)
Norman High (13)
Broken Arrow (41)
Note: As you will see from the master list, the top three Oklahoma high schools on the academic list are magnet or charter schools. Those guys play by a different set of enrollment rules…sort like Tulsa schools in football.
In 2018 OU played Army and ended up beating the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime. That was an ugly win, but a win none the less. I remember thinking when that game was tied at 21-21 that we simply needed to win the game and move on. We won the game and we moved on…
Things can always be worse…remember how we felt after losses to Kansas State over the past few years. Those were ugly losses that we never fully recovered from. A win is always better.
It is also important to put the Tulane game in perspective. Tulane was a well-coached team that hung around just long enough to make things interesting. The game setting resembled a spring game with no band, no student section and only a smattering of fans played in 100-degree heat. This was an upset in the making.
We won the game and as a result, we still have all our goals ahead of us. The good news is that the defense will be better this year. We still have Spencer Rattler who threw for over 300 yards on Saturday. We also have the greatest backup quarterback (Caleb Williams) in America to back up Rattler.
Granted the loss of wide receiver Theo Weese will hurt, but maybe he will be back sooner than expected. Regardless, we still have a bunch of topflight receivers to turn to. We also have a reborn Kennedy Brooks and stud transfer Eric Gray as running backs.
The truth of the matter is that by the end of the season, this ugly loss will be forgotten. The players and the coaches will get wake up calls that will help prepare the team for tough outings down the road. This learning curve will help us immensely as we prepare for games in Manhattan and Dallas in weeks five and six.
Like I said. A win is a win is a win…we’ll take it. Time to move on.