This was a mixed bag of a performance for the OU offense against Cincy on Saturday night. If you haven't already realized, I tend to have a pretty emotional reaction to these kind of games regardless of the ultimate result. So let's go ahead and get this out of the way from the get go, we won and that is always a good thing. So that said, just because you won the game doesn't mean there aren't still issues. And make no mistake, this team has issues. I've got your offense and CC will have the defense, so let's get it started.
- Might as well and start with my biggest issue in this game, Kevin Wilson. During the first half of this game, I found myself wondering what imaginative, creative being has possessed our offensive coordinator. The play calling was almost as good as the FSU game and I specifically recall seeing several new plays. The offense also threw the ball down field more than they had in any other game which was another thing I had hoped to see. Then the real Kevin Wilson showed up in the 2nd half and the OU offense reverted back to the predictable offense we've all come to know and hate. A screen pass on 3rd and 15 probably isn't going to work Kev. A high school defense will eventually catch on to the same swing pass to the RB after you've called it for the 15th time in one game. How does it make sense to run that same swing pass to the short side of the field and essentially give the defense an extra defender in the side line? His decision to run the ball late in the 4th quarter on a 3rd and 7 was one of the worst play calls I can ever remember him making and that is really saying something. In my opinion, he coaches the game with "try not to lose" mentality as opposed to coaching to win. We had so many give up drives thanks to his terrible 2nd half play calling that we repeatedly handed the momentum to Cincy as if he wanted to lose the game. Now clearly we know he wants to win the game, but it would be nice to see him call a full game with that kind of mentality rather than simply trying to hold on and run out the clock.
- For as bad as Kevin Wilson was, I was very impressed with Landry Jones. If you complete 70% of your passes on the road with 370 yards and only one turnover, you're very likely putting your team in a position to win the game. Landry had some minor issues in this game at points missing some throws, but the positive far outweighed the negatives. I thought there were a couple times that Landry showed an improved pocket presence, which was a significant development based on earlier results from this season. I'd still like to see him tuck it and run on occasion as I think he is capable of getting positive yards rather than simply throwing the ball away. In addition, Landry did have a really bad INT but he didn't let it affect the rest of his night and again that is a positive sign.
- Ryan Broyles was Ryan Broyles, nuf said.
- As long as we're on WR, I'm sorry Cam Kenney but there is no way you should be in the WR rotation any longer. Kenney dropped a wide open TD pass and after his multiple drops last week, there is just no conceivable argument for him at WR. I hate to bag on the kid, but at this level that is just inexcusable.
- If Dejuan Miller didn't earn Cam Kenney's starting spot tonight then these coaches are blind. Miller had multiple catches of the HUGE variety and most importantly he had zero drops. Start Dejuan Miller against Texas!
- Kenny Stills is rapidly developing into the 2nd threat at WR this offense desperately needs. Stills had his best game yet from a yardage perspective and will be a significant weapon next week in Dallas. Oh, and he also had what will prove to be one of the best catches by a WR all year with his tip toe snag along the side line (I'm quite sure you all know which catch I'm referring to). That catch was big time (as was that throw from Landry).
- Where the heck did Trey Franks come from?!? Was that the true freshman I saw on a WR sweep play? Franks played very well, making several contributions to the offense. Welcome addition and one which I hope Kevin Wilson is smart enough (cough, yeah right) to actually keep involved in the offense.
- The running game tonight, not impressive. I'm taking out the sack yardage because I've always thought that was one of the dumbest rules ever. So removing that, we had 107 yards on 38 carries for an average of 2.8 yards per. That is Texas bad and after today the level of suckitude that illustrates should be pretty evident. DeMarco Murray did not look explosive at any time on Saturday and that is concerning against a below average Big East defense. Hopefully it was just an off night for Murray and the run game, but they were very underwhelming against Cincy.
- This offensive line is nowhere near as bad as they were last year, but they still have a ways to go before they dictate the game at the line of scrimmage. They don't seem to have issues with pass protection, but they are inconsistent at best in opening up running lanes for the RBs.
- I'm not sure this offense should ever call a run play without Trey Millard in the game. This kid is a monster blocker and should be even more involved in the offense. He can catch, he can block, and I'd like to seem him get a couple carries a game as well. Hard to believe he is a true freshman.
it's only natural to project the issues on offense tonight to the game in Dallas next Saturday. Running the ball, controlling possession, and getting an early lead will be essential against UT. We all saw today they are not an offense that can play from behind, so we need to get up early and then show we are capable of running the ball to keep the chains moving. If UT is able to stuff the run (incredibly hard to believe after today) and make this offense one dimensional, OU could be in trouble considering the strength of the UT defense is the secondary.
The pressure is squarely on Kevin Wilson to develop a game plan that will challenge the UT defense. The status quo won't cut it in Dallas and it's about freaking time we start a streak of our own!
Let us hear what you think in the comments below. Do you think I'm off base in my criticism of Wilson? Did I miss something on offense you saw? Jump on in and we'll keep the discussion going.