Posted on: September 25, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: September 25, 2011 12:10 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA WON. There would be no upset over the top-ranked Sooners for Missouri this season, though it seemed it was possible early on. Missouri took a 14-3 lead on Oklahoma in the first quarter, but the Sooners responded with 28 unanswered points before finishing the night with a 38-28 victory. The Oklahoma offense had a much better night this week than it did against Florida State, even without Kenny Stills and Trey Franks around. Landry Jones finished the night with 448 yards and 3 touchdowns, though he also threw 2 interceptions. That gives Jones 4 interceptions on the season and only 5 touchdowns. Compare that to 2010 when he threw 38 touchdowns and was only picked off 12 times.
As for the rest of the Sooners offense, Ryan Broyles didn't seem to mind not having Kenny Stills around to divert attention, finishing the night with 13 catches for 154 yards and all 3 of Jones' touchdowns. Then there was running back/Subway sandwich artist Dominique Whaley who finished the night with 150 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Somebody get that kid a scholarship already.
HOW OKLAHOMA WON. One reason that Missouri beat Oklahoma last season was that the Tigers gashed the Oklahoma defense on the ground. Missouri had similar success on Saturday night, rushing for 233 yards, but Oklahoma was able to limit the big plays and keep Missouri out of the end zone. A couple missed field goals by Grant Ressel hurt Mizzou as well, as those 6 points could have played a role in the final quarter. Most important for the Oklahoma defense, it got off the field on third down, as the Tigers converted only 4 of their 13 attempts on third down.
WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Missouri would add 14 points in the fourth quarter to make this game look a lot closer than it really was, but when Dominique Whaley broke loose for a 30-yard run and then pounded it in from 3 yards out for the score on the next play to make it 31-14 in the third quarter, you kind of got the feeling that Mizzou wasn't coming back. Still, you could say this wasn't officially iced until Jones and Broyles connected for their third score in the fourth quarter to make it 38-21 after Mizzou had cut it to a ten-point lead.
WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners got some revenge for last season, which is nice, but more importantly this win kept the Sooners on track for a possible Big 12 title and national championship berth. There are still some big roadblocks in Oklahoma's way, but so far this year the Sooners are passing every test they've faced.
WHAT MISSOURI LOST. Missouri is not good enough to win the Big 12 this year, that much has been made clear through the first month of the season. That being said, I'm not sure Missouri really lost all that much in this game. This is a team that's likely looking at an 8-win regular season at best, and the Tigers still have a chance to do that. Though if James Franklin can become a more consistent passer, then the Tigers could surprise a lot of people.
THAT WAS CRAZY. As I said above, James Franklin has not been a consistent passer this year. Yes, he threw for 291 yards against Oklahoma on Saturday night, but he completed only 16 of his 32 passes. What is crazy to me, however, is the way Gary Pinkel ran the offense at times against Oklahoma. I can't remember how many times Mizzou faced a 3rd and long and ran the same quarterback draw play. Oklahoma knew it was coming, and stopped it repeatedly. Then in the fourth quarter, down 17 with under 5 minutes to go, Missouri kept calling the draw play or the read option. You're down three scores with less than five minutes to go! Your odds of winning aren't good at that point, but if you run out the clock they're non-existent!
Posted on: September 12, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Missouri's overtime loss to Arizona State on Friday night was filled with more than its share of exciting moments, as Missouri overcame a 30-16 deficit in the final quarter to force overtime. Of course, the end of the game also had one head-scratching moment as well.
With the game tied 30-30 and 17 seconds remaining, Missouri kicker Grant Ressel lined up for a 48-yard field goal attempt to win the game. Then, as you would expect in this situation, a timeout was called. Only, it wasn't Dennis Erickson and Arizona State who called the timeout, it was Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel.
Making matters even more confusing, after the first timeout, when Ressel and Mizzou lined up once more to kick the field goal, Pinkel called another timeout.
Ressel had been iced by his head coach twice. Why? Well, according to Pinkel, he was trying to get Arizona State to jump offsides so Ressel could attempt a 43-yard field goal instead.
"We tried to get five more yards," Pinkel told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "They were jumping, (Vontaze Burfict) was jumping all over and blowing our guard up and timing it and going every time. And we thought just maybe we could get him to jump offsides and we'd have gotten the first down."
Of course Ressel would go on to miss the kick and Missouri would lose in overtime. As you'd expect, Pinkel's caught a bit of heat for calling those timeouts, especially because nobody but he knew the reasoning behind them. Still, even knowing now what Pinkel was trying to do, I'm still not sure it was the right move.
There's enough pressure on a kicker in that game-winning situation to begin with, and that pressure is magnified when you add the distance of the kick into the equation. Could that five yards have made a big difference? Possibly, but I'm not sure the difference in the length of the kick had as much of an impact on the extra few minutes Ressel had to stand around thinking about it.
Posted on: September 10, 2011 2:36 am
Edited on: September 10, 2011 2:48 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
ARIZONA STATE WON. It was a wild one in Tempe, with Arizona State picking up a 37-30 win in overtime over No. 21 Missouri. QB Brock Osweiler was a revelation for Arizona State, going 24-32 for 353 yards, three TDs, and no picks. Osweiler also made some big plays with his feet, finishing with five rushes for 34 yards and another score. The big quarterback's target of choice was wideout Aaron Pflugrad (seen at right in Osweiler's embrace), who ended up with eight catches for 160 yards and two scores.
WHY ARIZONA STATE WON: It's hard to pin the outcome of a game on one last-minute string of inadvisable coaching decisions when A) the outcome of the alternative is unknown, and B) the other 59 minutes of regulation gameplay featured 60 points scored. And yet, with 21 seconds left in the game and Missouri lining up for a go-ahead 48-yard field goal, Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel called time out. Then after the teams had gotten set again, Pinkel called time out again, icing his own kicker twice. Kicker Grant Ressel would push the field goal wide, sending the game into overtime, and Missouri's comeback would fail thereafter.
WHEN ARIZONA STATE WON: When Missouri QB James Franklin's desperation heave on 4th and 5 fell harmlessly to the turf. ASU looked ready to put the game away early in the 4th quarter after taking its largest lead of the game at 30-16 and forcing a quick punt by Missouri, but PR Jamal Miles muffed that punt and Missouri recovered, sparking the 14-point comeback over the rest of the quarter. ASU was fortunate to get to overtime, but once there, the Sun Devils squashed the Tigers.
WHAT ARIZONA STATE WON: This was a significant enough win for Arizona State that some fans stormed the field afterwards, and really, who can blame them? Missouri isn't exactly a Top-5 team, but the Tigers were still ranked No. 21, and the game featured enough emotional highs and lows that whichever team prevailed was going to have an enormous boost of confidence both in the locker room and in the stands.
WHAT MISSOURI LOST: This was a tough pill for Missouri to swallow, no doubt about it, and what makes it especially rough on Tiger fans is the fact that the game was nearly in hand. Missouri was on the edge of field goal range with a little under a minute left and two TOs in its pocket when Pinkel went conservative with the playcalling, keeping the ball on the ground and making no attempt at the sidelines, then saving the time outs for after Ressel lined up to kick. If anything, Missouri fans lost some confidence in Pinkel's endgame coaching acumen, though it's not terribly likely the players themselves share that sentiment. Still, better teams than Mizzou have gone on to lose their resolve and turn in a subpar season after a backbreaker of a loss like this, so it'll be key for Pinkel to make sure his players stay focused on the games in front of them.
THAT WAS CRAZY: The penalties. The penalties. The penalties. The two teams combined for 23 flags for 224 yards, and that's just the penalties that weren't declined. Defensive penalties routinely kept drives alive, and offensive penalties killed scoring chances. If only icing one's kicker were a penalty, though. Maybe then Pinkel would have thought twice. Still, this was one hell of a game, and it's too bad the last drive and overtime didn't reflect the quality of the rest of the game.
BONUS THAT WAS CRAZY: Ressel also had a 54-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half. Like the game-winning attempt, this one also failed. It did, however, connect with the face of one unfortunate photographer (GIF via @HuskerLocker):
Posted on: August 16, 2011 12:10 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As part of the CBSSports.com season preview, here are my choices for the Preseason All-Big 12 team.
Landry Jones, Junior, Oklahoma
This is the rather obvious choice, as while there are some good quarterbacks in the Big 12, there's only one who plays for the team many see as a favorite to win the national title, and one whose name comes up in the Heisman Trophy discussion. That would be Landry Jones, and he deserves the hype. In his first two seasons with the Sooners, Jones has thrown for 7,916 yards, 64 touchdowns and only 26 interceptions.
Also watch for: Though he didn't claim the starting job until half the season had passed, Ryan Tannehill was a big part of Texas A&M's strong finish in 2010. There's also the supremely talented Robert Griffin III at Baylor, and you can't forget about Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State.
Cyrus Gray, Senior, Texas A&M
While the Aggies deployed a two-headed monster at running back last season, Cyrus Gray was the most productive of the bunch. Gray rushed for 1,133 yards in 2010 and had 12 touchdowns. I wouldn't count on seeing Gray's production drop off at all as he enters his final season in College Station.
Roy Finch, Sophomore, Oklahoma
Finch didn't get a lot of playing time last season, but now that DeMarco Murray has moved on, the speedy back is going to see a lot of action this season, and in an offense as potent as Oklahoma's, that means we're likely to see some big numbers from the little man.
Also watch for: Christine Michael was part of Texas A&M's dynamic duo with Cyrus Gray last season, and he's going to have a big role in 2011 as well. There's also Eric Stephens at Texas Tech who could open some eyes with Tommy Tuberville implementing a more balanced attack and five returning starters on the offensive line. There's also Bryce Brown at Kansas State, and if Brown can live up to all the hype he had coming out of high school, then he may end up being the best back in the entire conference. Texas will be hoping that Malcolm Brown can be the feature back it's been looking for as well.
Justin Blackmon, Junior, Oklahoma State
It's going to be hard for Justin Blackmon to match his 2010 numbers in 2011, but the fact is that his production was so insane last year, that he won't have to. Take away 500 yards and 5 touchdowns from his total last year and Blackmon still finishes with 1,282 yards and 15 touchdowns. The craziest thing of all, however, is if he surpasses last year's numbers, nobody will be all that surprised either.
Ryan Broyles, Senior, Oklahoma
Broyles could have left for the NFL last year, but he decided to return for another season in Norman and Landry Jones couldn't be happier about it. Broyles is coming off his second consecutive 1,000-yard season with at least 14 touchdowns, and a third straight year with those numbers is likely on its way.
Also watch for: The Big 12 is not hurting for strong wide receivers. While Broyles and Blackmon will get the most attention, Kenny Stills and Josh Cooper are excellent second options for their respective squads. Then there's Kendall Wright at Baylor, Ryan Swope and Jeff Fuller at Texas A&M, T.J. Moe at Missouri, and don't forget about Mike Davis at Texas.
Michael Egnew, Senior, Missouri
Egnew is listed as a tight end, but realistically, he plays more like a wide receiver. Egnew caught 90 passes for 762 yards last year with five touchdowns, and he should see plenty of balls coming his way again this year as James Franklin looks to fill Blaine Gabbert's shoes.
Also watch for: While wide receiver catch most of the balls in the Big 12, there are some solid tight ends. Keep an eye on Oklahoma's James Hanna, Nehemiah Nicks with Texas A&M and Tim Biere at Kansas.
Center Ben Habern, Junior, Oklahoma
After redshirting in 2008, Habern has started 24 games at center for the Sooners over the last two seasons. He led Oklahoma with 123 knockdowns in 2010, including 16 against Colorado and was an honorable mention on the All-Big 12 team last season.
Guard, Lonnie Edwards, Senior, Texas Tech
Edwards is a key part of the Texas Tech offensive line that returns every starter this season. He'll play an even larger role this season as Texas Tech will likely run more than we've seen in the past. The 6-foot-4 320 pounder has started 23 games in Lubbock and was an All-Big 12 second team selection in 2010.
Guard, Lane Taylor, Junior, Oklahoma State
Taylor is the most experience member of the Oklahoma State offensive line, as he was the only returning starter in 2010. He's made 24 consecutive starts for the Cowboys, and aside from keeping Brandon Weeden off his back, Taylor was an first team academic Big 12 selection as well.
Tackle, Levy Adcock, Senior, Oklahoma State
They don't come much bigger than Adcock, and the 6-foot-6 322-pound tackle used his size awfully well in 2010. Adcock was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by both the coaches and the AP last season (a unanimous selection by the AP) after winning the starting job in August last year and never letting it go.
Tackle, Kelechi Osemele, Senior, Iowa State
Oh wait, they do come bigger than Adcock. Osemele checks in at 6-foot-6 and 347 pounds. Osemele got his start playing both guard and tackle in 2008 but moved to left tackle full time in 2009 and hasn't moved since, starting 30 straight games. This will be a name you hear called early in the NFL draft next spring.
Also watch for: Offensive lineman may spend most of their time living in anonymity and working as a unit, but Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Oklahoma State's Grant Garner are a couple other names you should get familiar with. Missouri's Elvis Fisher definitely would have made the list if not for his season-ending knee injury.
DE Frank Alexander, Senior, Oklahoma
Alexander only started in nine games for the Sooners last season, but still managed to finish second on the team in tackles for loss (13) and sacks (7). In other words, he spends a lot of his time in backfields disrupting plays before they even get a chance to start.
DE Brad Madison, Junior, Missouri
Madison had a break out season in 2010 and proved to be one of the top playmakers on Missouri's defensive line. Madison ended the season leading the Tigers defense in sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (11). He was named to the All-Big 12 second team for his efforts, and now that he'll be replacing Aldon Smith his name is one that many opposing quarterbacks will have drilled into their brains as they prepare to face Missouri.
DT Kheeston Randall, Senior, Texas
An anchor on the defensive line for the Longhorns, Randall was an honorable mention for the All-Big 12 last season. This year I believe he'll be moving up the ladder and having an even bigger impact. Randall finished second on the team with 13 tackles for loss in 2010, and also had a big impact on special teams, blocking two kicks.
DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, Senior, Texas A&M
In Texas A&M's 3-4 defense, Jerod-Eddie sees a lot of time at defensive end, but he's a defensive tackle in purpose. Think of Marcell Dareus at Alabama last season. While Jerod-Eddie doesn't spend a lot of time in the backfield blowing up plays, he uses his size and strength to stuff the run at the point of attack and allow Aggie linebackers to flow freely to the ball.
Also watch for: Oklahoma's Ronnell Lewis only started the final four games for the Sooners last season, but he was incredibly productive in those four games. Starting all season could see him put up some ridiculous numbers. Jacqueis Smith of Missouri combines with Madison to give the Tigers a big push on the edges.
Jake Knott, Junior, Iowa State
There weren't many plays run against the Iowa State defense last season in which Jake Knott wasn't in on the tackle. He led the conference with 130 tackles last season and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection because of it. He'll be bringing that same nose for the football back to the Iowa State defense this season, and though he broke his arm in spring camp, he should be good to go when the season starts.
Garrick Williams, Senior, Texas A&M
Williams tallied 112 tackles in 2010, and now that Michael Hodges and Von Miller are no longer in College Station, he'll be playing an even larger role in 2011. I'm not sure Williams will be able to completely fill Von Miller's shoes in the Aggie defense, but he may end up being just as important to the defense as Miller was.
Keenan Robinson, Senior, Texas
Robinson was all over the place for the Longhorns in 2010. He finished the season with 113 tackles, 2 for a loss, and also had 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and a touchdown. Oh, and he's also a standout on special teams. He is literally all over the field on defense, and he's poised for another big season in 2011.
Also watch for: It was hard to pick just three linebackers in this conference, as there are plenty of other good options. Names like A.J. Klein (Iowa State), Arthur Brown (Kansas State), Caleb Lavey (Oklahoma State), Emmanuel Acho (Texas), Sean Porter (Texas A&M), Zaviar Gooden (Missouri) and Huldon Tharp (Kansas) are some of those options. Also, if it weren't for an injury that is going to keep him out for eight weeks, Oklahoma's Travis Lewis would have been an easy selection to the team. However, due to that injury, Lewis' replacement Corey Nelson is another name to watch out for.
CB Jamell Fleming, Senior, Oklahoma
Big 12 quarterbacks will test Jamell Fleming at their own risk in 2011. In his first full season as a starter last year Fleming had 5 interceptions, and proved himself quite the playmaker in the Oklahoma secondary. He's also not afraid to create some contact, tallying 71 tackles with 8.5 for a loss. He's a very good player in what may be the best secondary the Big 12 has.
CB Coryell Judie, Senior, Texas A&M
Judie finished second in the Big 12 in interceptions last season behind Fleming with 4. He also broke up 4 passes and made 57 tackles for the Aggies. His impact is also felt on special teams, as he proved to be one of the most explosive kick returners in the conference last season, averaging over 30 yards a return with 2 touchdowns.
S Markelle Martin, Senior, Oklahoma State
This is not a man that wide receivers want to have a rendevous with over the middle of the football field, as Martin can bring the wood with the best of them. What makes Martin more dangerous, though, is that he improved his coverage skills in 2010 and picked off three passes. He's the type of safety that can separate you from the ball physically, or just take it away from you in the air.
S Tony Jefferson, Sophomore, Oklahoma
2010 may have been Jefferson's first season of college ball, but you couldn't tell by watching him play. The Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year started 9 games for the Sooners in 2010 and finished the season with 65 tackles (7 for a loss) with 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and 7 passes broken up. I expect those numbers to improve in 2011 as this kid is only beginning to tap into his potential.
Also watch for: Oklahoma's Demontre Hurst could have been on my first team and given the Sooners secondary three of the four spots, but just because he didn't doesn't mean he's somebody quarterbacks should test too often. Keep your eyes on Blake Gideon (Texas), Trent Hunter (Texas A&M), Leonard Johnson (Iowa State) and Prince Kent (Baylor) too.
K Grant Ressel, Senior, Missouri
P Quinn Sharp, Junior, Oklahoma State
KR Coryell Judie, Senior, Texas A&M
PR Ryan Broyles, Senior, Oklahoma
Tags: A.J. Klein, Aldon Smith, All-Big 12 Team, Arthur Brown, Baylor, Ben Habern, Big 12, Blaine Gabbert, Blake Gideon, Brad Madison, Brandon Weeden, Bryce Brown, Caleb Lavey, Christine Michael, Corey Nelson, Coryell Judie, Cyrus Gray, DeMarco Murray, Demontre Hurst, Elvis Fisher, Emmanuel Acho, Eric Stephens, Frank Alexander, Garrick Williams, Grant Garner, Grant Ressel, Huldon Tharp, Iowa State, Jacqueis Smith, Jake Knott, Jamell Fleming, James Franklin, James Hanna, Jeff Fuller, Josh Cooper, Justin Blackmon, Kansas, Kansas State, Keenan Robinson, Kelechi Osemele, Kendall Wright, Kenny Stills, Kheeston Randall, Landry Jones, Lane Taylor, Leonard Johnson, Levy Adcock, Lonnie Edwards, Luke Joeckel, Malcolm Brown, Marcell Dareus, Markelle Martin, Michael Egnew, Mike Davis, Missouri, Nehemiah Nicks, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Preseason All-Big 12 Team, Prince Kent, Quinn Sharp, Robert Griffin III, Ronnell Lewis, Roy Finch, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Swope, Ryan Tannehill, Sean Porter, T.J. Moe, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tim Biere, Tom Fornelli, Tommy Tuberville, Tony Jefferson, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Travis Lewis, Trent Hunter, Zaviar Gooden