Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:05 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Things may have gotten off to a slow start in Stillwater on Saturday night, but Bedlam picked it up in the second quarter, and at halftime Oklahoma leads Oklahoma State 24-17. Both teams have made their share of mistakes, particularly Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden. Jones has thrown two touchdowns for the Sooners, but he's also thrown one for Oklahoma State, as one of his three interceptions was returned for a touchdown by the Cowboys' Shaun Lewis -- one of two Lewis interceptions in the half, though his second came courtesy of a fantastic play by Broderick Brown.
Jones came into the game having thrown only 7 interceptions all season.
Though, as troubled as Jones has been in the first half, Weeden has been worse. He's completed only 10-of-21 passes without a touchdown, and two interceptions of his own. A big reason for his struggles has been the fact that Oklahoma's secondary isn't letting Justin Blackmon find much room. Blackmon only has 3 catches for 62 yards -- which leads Oklahoma State -- but 45 of those yards came on one grab late in the second quarter.
A catch that helped set up freshman Jeremy Smith's second touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 21-17 with just over a minute before halftime. Oklahoma would then put together a nice drive in the final minute to set up a 29-yard field goal as time expired to put the score where it is now.
In other words, both teams have made mistakes, and both offenses seemed to be finding their groove towards the end of the first half. Hopefully they can keep it up in the second half, and the shootout we were hoping for continues.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 8:56 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's already been a pretty weird day inside the Big 12. Oklahoma State blew Baylor out this morning, and then this afternoon Nebraska barely escaped against Iowa State in overtime and Kansas -- KANSAS! -- scored 35 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to come back and beat Colorado. So, in other words, no matter what happens in the night game, none of us should be all that surprised.
If Kansas can score 35 points in a quarter, even if it's against Colorado, anything is possible. So maybe we shouldn't be all that surprised that Oklahoma currently trails Texas A&M 12-0 at halftime. Oh, and that's not on four field goals or anything like that, the scoring actually started in this game on a safety. Which, given the way things have gone today, should be expected.
Still, no matter how insane things are today, Texas A&M's defense should still be Texas A&M's defense, but that hasn't been the case. When Landry Jones goes to sleep tonight, he's going to have nightmares about Von Miller, who has been in his face all night. Jones has completed only 14-of-24 passes for 101 yards and an interception in the first half. Even the passes he has completed have looked a bit off, which has to be rather worrisome to Bob Stoops and the Sooners.
On the other side of the ball, Ryan Tannehill isn't playing spectacular football, but the important thing is that he's not playing like Jerrod Johnson either. He's completed 11-of-17 passes for 122 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Still, for as bad as Oklahoma has looked during the first half, they still only trail by 12 points, so it's not like this one's over by any stretch of the imagination. Oklahoma's offense is just too explosive to be held down over a full 60 minutes, so I figure the Sooners will make this a lot more interesting before its over, but if I've learned anything today, it's to expect the unexpected.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:11 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback, announced its 16 semifinalists for the award today. The list is as follows, in alphabetical order:
All in all, this is a pretty thorough list of the quarterbacks who might end up being the top quarterback in the nation once December rolls around, but it certainly does seem as if there was one glaring omission: Northwestern sophomore Dan Persa . Persa currently leads the nation in completion percentage, is eighth in passing efficiency and is fifth in total offense . Oh, and Persa also leads his team in rushing yards (341) and rushing touchdowns (six) -- each by pretty substantial margins over the nearest teammate.
Of course, it certainly merits mention that Northwestern is currently on a two-game losing streak, and that the Wildcats hadn't really beaten anyone of merit before the streak either. But in the Wildcats' losses to Michigan State and Purdue -- neither of whom have lost a Big Ten game yet, for what it's worth -- Persa was hardly "at fault" for the losses; he averaged 281 yards of total offense in the two games and scored four touchdowns to just one turnover.
It's hard to say who should be bumped for Persa's sake, though; every one of the top 16 semifinalists has a legitimate claim to deserving some sort of accolade. It's also worth pointing out, however, that until Missouri and Oklahoma faced each other this past weekend, Dalton, Gabbert, and Jones were all quarterbacking undefeated teams, and that's probably the only reason they're on the list; Jones and Gabbert, in particular, aren't even close to the top 16 of passing efficiency in the nation (34th and 39th, respectively). None of the three are terribly gifted runners, either, while Persa's been forced to anchor the woeful Northwestern ground game.
Of course, the O'Brien Award probably wants to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to even nominate a title contender's quarterback as a finalist, and with two conference losses, it's extremely unlikely that Northwestern will represent the Big Ten in Pasadena, much less make a run at a spot in the Top 10. Persa and his Wildcats aren't high-profile, and that's enough to leave him off this list. Inclusion's academic either way, since this is clearly Cam Newton's to lose, but it'd be nice to see a quarterback like Persa rewarded for putting together one hell of a season so far even when he doesn't have the supporting cast to win 11 games in a season.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Blaine Gabbert, Boise State, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Dan Persa, Darron, Davey O'Brien Semifinalists, Denard Robinson, Iowa, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Mountain West, Nebraska, Nevada, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-10, Purdue, Ricky Stanzi, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Mallett, SEC, Stanford, Taylor Martinez, TCU, Terrelle Pryor, USC, WAC
Posted on: October 24, 2010 12:24 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. Missouri is for real. Okay, I'm convinced now, are you happy, Tigers fans? Missouri proved something to me on Saturday night be beating Oklahoma 36-27. Still, what impressed me the most was Missouri's defense. Landry Jones was pressured by the front seven all night, and though they gave up some yards and 27 points, they made a play everytime they needed to and forced a couple of big turnovers. I also learned that Gary Pinkel likes to go for the throat, because a lot of teams might have gotten a bit too cautious down the stretch, but not Pinkel. Pulling out the hook and ladder, along with throwing the ball late in the fourth quarter, and converting. Kudos to you, sir.
2. Bob Stoops makes some very questionable decisions. It all started with Stoops' decision to go for two after the Sooners had cut Missouri's lead to 36-27 late. Obviously, they didn't convert, but even if they had it's still the wrong decision. There's no point in going for two so early because if you do convert it's still a one-possession game, and if you don't it's a two-possession game. That affects your playcalling ability because you can't afford to run the ball anymore. And don't even get me started on Stoops' decision to punt on fourth down, down nine, with three minutes left and no timeouts. Just bust out the white flag and go home, why don't you.
3. Baylor is going bowling. Congratulations to the Baylor Bears for beating Kansas State 47-42 on Saturday night. The win means that Baylor has six wins already this season, and that for the first time since it joined the Big 12, Baylor will be going to a bowl game this winter.
4. Hi, my name is Texas and I'm a schizophrenic. What do we make of this Texas team? One week it's losing at home to an awful UCLA team, then it's knocking off undefeated Nebraska on the road. Then it follows up that win, which has us wondering if maybe the Longhorns have worked things out, by losing to Iowa State at home? Iowa State!? At least people in Texas have the Rangers to root for right now, because the Horns won't be providing much entertainment in November.
5. Oklahoma State's defense just isn't good enough. Okay, so I didn't really learn that this week, I've pretty much felt that way all season, but it finally bit the Cowboys in the butt on Saturday against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers put up 51 points and 540 yards of offense on Oklahoma State. Though the good news for Oklahoma State is that Oklahoma lost too, so they didn't lose any ground in the Big 12 South.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 9:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
If you were expecting Missouri to get run out of the stadium against Oklahoma tonight, well, you're finding yourself pretty surprised at the moment aren't you? The Tigers head to the locker room at halftime with a 17-14 lead over the top-ranked team in the BCS.
Mizzou got started right on the opening kickoff when Gahn McGaffle returned the opening kick 86 yards for a touchdown, and since then, while the offense hasn't been spectacular, it's been good enough to hold a lead.
Though Oklahoma has offered Missouri some help. The Sooners have two turnovers in the first half, and both of them came while Oklahoma was inside Missouri's 20-yard line. The first came when Landry Jones was intercepted by defensive end Aldon Smith on a screen pass, which Smith took back 58 yards to the Sooners 28-yard line to set up Missouri's second touchdown of the night. The second turnover came on the next drive when Mossis Madu caught a bubble screen and coughed up the ball.
If not for those two turnovers, you have to think that Oklahoma would have at least a 20-14 lead right now.
Still, considering the mistakes, the Sooners can't be all that upset about being down three points on the road against a Missouri team that's proving itself to be pretty good on national television tonight.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 5:53 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that South Carolina would fail to score a point in the second half against Kentucky a week after knocking off the Tide? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week . Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
Highly UnlikelyPlaying at home for interim coach Jeff Horton and that until-now foreign concept known as pride, Minnesota surprises Penn State and their ever-creaky offense with 17 first-half points, then hold on for a 17-13 upset. After the game, Joe Paterno offers up something even more surprising, issuing his resignation effective at the end of the year to ESPNU's speechless sideline reporter. To drive his point home, Paterno leaves his trademark glasses at the edge of the TCF Bank Stadium field, a la an Olympic wrestler leaving his shoes on the mat. ESPN issues a press release promising to include footage of Paterno's gesture in every college football montage from now until 2024.
Severely UnlikelyAt halftime of the Missouri -Oklahoma game, the visiting Sooners hold a commanding 24-3 lead. Just before the break, Gary Pinkel is spotted pushing a button on some kind of radio-like device on his belt. A few minutes later, Bob Stoops is just about to begin his halftime team talk when there's a knock on the locker room door. It's Mizzou alumnus Jon Hamm , dressed as his famous Mad Men character Don Draper . He introduces himself as Draper and asks if he could speak to the team for a minute. Stoops, a huge Draper fan, is awestruck and concedes. Hamm/Draper has a lackey wheel in a wet bar and offers Stoops and the rest of the Sooner staff a stiff drink as he begins to pitch the rest of the Sooners on what he calls a "revolutionary" sports drink called "Gator-ade." Too polite to decline, Stoops and his staff are severely tipsy by the end of the break. 12 different second-half double-passes back to quarterback Landry Jones later, Missori escapes with a 27-24 win.
Completely LudicrousWashington State goes on the road and defeats No. 12 Stanford.
Posted on: October 2, 2010 6:10 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's still "only" the third quarter, but if Texas wants to complete their comeback, they'll have to shore up the mental errors and force them on Oklahoma instead. And have there ever been errors.
After a delightful fake punt and a long pass, the Longhorns had a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line. Their drive petered out there, though, a fizzle punctuated by Garrett Gilbert and his terrible idea to roll out of his protection, then stand still; the resulting tackle sent Gilbert skyward, and he landed on his head. He's lucky to be all right, and he didn't miss any time. Texas settled for a field goal.
Worse, however, was on Oklahoma's ensuing drive: the Texas defensive line forced Landry Jones out of the pocket, where he was sacked and stripped. The Longhorns recovered deep in Oklahoma territory, and they looked to have a short field to get within one possession. Yes, that was good, except the Texas defensive end on the other side of the play was lined up offsides. 3rd and 2, Oklahoma.
After the Sooners converted, the very next snap got by Jones, who was forced to fall on the ball 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. A 2nd and 20 would usually be a power position for the defense, but sloppy coverage by Texas let Jones find a wide-open Kenny Stills for 20 yards and the first down. The Sooners would punt, but not before getting to midfield and negating any field position advantage the Longhorns would have liked to gain.
All while this is going on, there's only 3 minutes and change left in the 3rd quarter. The Sooners would love to see this sloppy, undisciplined mess keep up at this pace; they're the ones with the 11-point lead here in the second half, after all.
Posted on: October 2, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 5:43 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Fans hoping for an exciting, 60-minute game out of Dallas in the Red River Rivalry might come away from this one a little disappointed. No. 8 Oklahoma is leading No. 21 Texas by the score of 21-7 (follow our LIVE GameTracker here), and that's, well, just about right.
Landry Jones has 158 yards on 19-28 passing, and he's got two scores to no interceptions. DeMarco Murray has looked his best against Texas since his freshman year; today, he's at 14 carries for 59 yards and a score, and three receptions for 12 yards.
Texas is not a bad team, but they're not very good, and they're certainly not as good as Oklahoma. Thus, they're not likely to rally and win this game unless Oklahoma starts making plenty of mistakes -- forced or otherwise. 30 minutes is a long time, and we're not exactly turning this game off, but it's hard to muster any confidence in an offense that can't even muster four yards per pass attempt, as Texas' has done thus far.