OU vs. Air Force defense recap - What the heck was that?

458 total yards allowed, 351 rushing yards allowed on 63 attempts for an average of 5.6 per, 11-18 3rd down conversions, I could go on but you probably watched that game so why subject you to any more punishment.  Look we all knew that Air Force was going to be a tough match up.  We knew that they would come in here and have some success running the ball, but those stats above aren't "some success" they are domination.  OU had a massive size advantage along the line of scrimmage and yet they were thoroughly man-handled for nearly the entire game.  The defense was out of position on countless occasions and I quit keeping track of missed tackles after the first half.  You can give the defense somewhat of a pass, unlike the Utah State game, because of the difficulty in defending what AFA does but not to the extent of what happened on Saturday.  All that said, major props to Air Force for playing an excellent game and if it weren't for that one fumble we could be having a very different conversation right now.

So let's move on to some more specific topics and areas of concern:

  • Where the heck is Ronnell Lewis?!?  This kid was genetically created in a evil genius's underground lair to stuff the run and he can't get on the field on Saturday?  Makes absolutely no sense and now Stoops is quoted post game saying that they're working him at MLB?  First he was SLB, then he was a DE, and now apparently he is a MLB?  What the heck are they doing with this kid?  In my opinion, it is absolutely unacceptable for the coaches to have kept this kid off the field for a majority of the season thus far.  I could write an entire post about this, I just cannot understand what they are doing with this kid right now.  To be fair, just because the kid can cover kicks like The Terminator doesn't necessarily mean he'd be a great every down LB but I'm going to have to see him fail before I believe it.  
  • I'm going to need someone smarter than I am to explain to me how it makes sense to play in a nickel base formation against a team that you know is going to run as much as Air Force does?  How it makes sense to play that same formation against a team that can hand it off to the FB and get four yards a clip at will all frickin day long?  Play that same formation against a team that will hand off on 3rd and 15 and still convert?  Okay, that last one really doesn't apply but still how the heck does that happen?
  • Maybe you guys saw something different, but I thought Tom Wort struggled mightily today.  It is understandable for a first year guy to struggle against that AFA offense, but wrapping up and not just arm tackling isn't really something you need to be a senior to know how to do.  I was super excited about this kid's potential and still am, but I think when Box is back he takes the MLB spot back.
  • CC and I both thought the secondary would have to play well and with the exception of Jon Nelson, i think they did play well.  At one point Nelson was pulled in favor of Javon Harris after getting burned on a long AFA pass play.  It was reported at one point by side line doofus Jim Knox that Nelson had hurt his knee, but he came back in the game later on and appeared to be just fine.  
  • True freshman Tony Jefferson continues to impress.  He made several nice tackles and a couple big hits as well.  Another true freshman who saw some pretty significant playing time was DT Daniel Noble.  Noble handled himself quite well and had one of the better plays by a d-lineman in the entire game, shedding a block and getting down the line to make a nice play on the AFA RB for a zero yard gain.  Not a big deal I realize, but I am surprised they let him have #93.

You'll hear plenty of excuses  reasons why the defense struggled and how they'll never face a system like that again and while that is true it should in no way excuse that performance.  However, as we learned against Utah State and win is a good win and in the grand scheme of things it might not have been a bad thing for this team to have to win a close game in Norman.  I'd like to again salute (no pun intended) Air Force for an outstanding game and for their service to our country.  They proved themselves to be a VERY worthy adversary and think most if not all OU fans respect the heck out of those kids.

I'm anxiously anticipating CC's take on the offense as they surely didn't impress either.  As always, feel free to jump in on the comments if there's anything you think I missed or if you just need to vent like yours truly.

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