There might not be a more enjoyable one of these than the one we're about to start. I certainly didn't need an excuse to re-watch this game yet another time, so hopefully you'll enjoy another viewing/review with me. No reason to waste any time, let's just get right into it.
* First play of the game, big gainer to Broyles (I know you all remember). First of many times they pick on the true freshman Diggs, who was seven yards off to begin with and at the snap immediately starts the back pedal. Broyles runs a simple out route and is wide open, Diggs over runs the play, and Broyles is off to the races. He just makes it look so damn easy.
* Very next play, ABC is late getting back to the game off a replay but you can still tell that Hanna gets killed in his attempted block of Okafor who blows up the play for a three yard loss.
* 2nd and 13, I swear I won't break down every single play. But this one bears mentioning because it's such a little thing that Broyles does it would normally go unnoticed. Just a simple swing pass to Whaley out of the backfield and Byndom comes up looking to stop it for a short gain. However, Broyles gets a great block and takes him off his feet allowing Whaley to get almost 10 yards. Without that block it's probably a gain of just a couple. Just a great play by Broyles that he won't get credit for outside of here and their film room.
* 12:21 1st Qtr, 3rd and goal. This is the attempted fade route to Stills that Landry basically throws away. It was mentioned at the time, in the game thread, that Hanna was WIDE open on this play and seeing this again for at least the fourth time he's still WIDE open. Nobody on Texas even touches him and Landry could have thrown it left handed and still had the easiest TD pass of his life. He has zero pressure, so he had more than enough time to make a second read but fails to do so and OU has to settle for three. 3-0 OU
* Texas' first possession, 3rd and four from their own 24. SUPER late flag on Jefferson for PI and T-Lew goes berserk when he sees it. I thought it was a pretty cheap flag considering he and Shipley just got their feet tangled up, he didn't even touch him otherwise before the ball got there. To make matter worse, there is a ref literally two feet from the play and his flag stays in his pocket, but two idiots from at least 10-15 yards away both throw their flag. How can the guy two feet from the play not overrule the other two morons since he clearly had the best angle and didn't throw a flag? Would make too much sense I guess.
* On the very next play, Fleming played a great game but this is one of the few times he did not make a play. Has contain on Whitaker on the edge, but he allows Fozzy to bounce it after taking a poor approach and Whitaker gets a big gain.
* 9:39 1st Qtr, 2nd and 14 from UT's own 40. Our first of five TOs. One of a plethora of great defensive calls as Venables loads up with the blitz to the QB's right. They don't even need it though because Casey Walker DESTROYS Espinoza (UT center), just tossing him aside like a rag doll. He flattens McCoy, while Nelson and Colvin celebrate around him not even realizing the ball came out (as do all of the UT linemen). Fortunately, David King and Alexander see it and pounce on the ball. Awesome shot of Venables after the play going crazy!
* Random note - It's still early in the 1st quarter, but there have already been a couple times (a sign of things to come) where Texas just tries to go for the big hit and OU guys bounce off them to get extra yards. Diaz might want to teach them how to wrap up.
* 2nd and four from the UT eight. This is one of a couple plays that prevented me from praising Ikard like some others did after this game. Here he gets worked by Randall, who actually breaks his tackle and another by a guy coming totally unblocked, and somehow manages to get positive yards out of what should have been at least a three yards loss. It's little plays like that where the Whaley doubters out there (seriously, what else do you need to see?!?) overlook IMO.
* 3rd and three now and I hate to harp on it, but on this play Ikard gets beat even worse than the one before. It's a designed roll out to Landry's right, but Randall beats Ikard so badly even with the roll out Landry doesn't have time and is forced to throw it away. If you still have the game on DVR, watch this play if you think I'm being too hard on the kid. Randall makes him look really, really bad on this play. Again, OU is forced to kick a FG. 6-0 OU
* Random note - It's beyond hilarious to re-watch this and listen to Mushberger and Herbie praise Harsin for all the things he's going to do to "confuse the OU defense" knowing how this thing plays out.
* Sorry, another random note - Texas has the SLOWEST developing run plays I've ever seen. Have fun with that Malcolm Brown and Jonathan Gray!
* 2nd and two for UT from their own 32. Just wanted to point this out because I think it shows how much he, Tom Wort, has improved and how well he is playing right now. A simple sweep play to the left that should be a first down, well against a normal defense anyway. There are actually two guys pulling for UT (a center and guard), Wort takes on the guard and keeps his feet just pancaking the guy, the center tries to help but Wort dips his shoulder and brushes off the block, then assists on the tackle of Brown with several other OU defenders. I can guarantee you this is not a play he makes last year. He probably gets taken out by the guard, but here he basically sheds two blocks and still gets in on the tackle. Very, very impressive play for a kid who looks to really be coming into his own.
* "McCoy is the QB now, you can recognize him by the long white sleeve he wears on his right arm." Classic Mushberger. Really Brent? How about one is #6 and one is #14, would that maybe help me recognize who is in? Maybe?
* Texas has some success running the ball, no thanks to some poor tackling by OU, but the drive stalls when Corey Nelson knocks down a 3rd down pass attempt by McCoy. 6-3 OU
* The first of several shameless plugs for the LHN with Mushmouth and Herbie just embarrassing themselves going over the top, begging people to call their cable providers. Absolutely pathetic.
* 3rd and eight from our 37. A little crossing route for Jaz who was matched up on a LB (thank you very much) and as he cuts across the field trying to get the first down, you can just feel Stills lining up Gideon for the kill shot. Glorious!!!
* Random note - We kind of did it a little more at times in this game, but I still don't feel like Heupel is really running the hurry up. At least not what we've come to expect anyway. Not sure why or if you all agree, but I'm at a loss as to why he's chosen to slow things down?
* Still 6-3 OU as we open the 2nd quarter, OU with the ball on the UT 19. Finch in the game at RB, motions out in the flat as the ball is snapped, while Stills and Broyles are stacked to that same left side. At the snap, UT's Robinson goes with Finch, while Landry gives a little shoulder pump drawing the safety up on Broyles who is running an underneath route off Stills' very slight out-and-up route. As the safety, Gideon (shocker!) bites hard, Stills is WIDE open in the end zone for OU's first TD of the day. Perfect throw and even better play call/design. 13-3 OU
* 3rd and eight for UT from their own 32. UT in a three wide set, with 2 RBs, and Ash in the gun. Very interesting defensive front for OU on this play, all four guys are DEs (Ronnell, King, Big Frank, and R.J.). They run a double stunt, which doesn't initially get pressure but by the time Ash is about to throw Big Frank is bearing down on him. Ash throws it behind his intended WR, who has again gotten unintentionally tripped up, and Jefferson does the rest. Even if Shipley doesn't get tripped up, he was throwing into double coverage and likely to have gotten Shipley laid out by Colvin who was just waiting to deliver the blow. Man if you thought Venables was going crazy on that first TO, he definitely tops himself on this one. Full maniac mode and I LOVE IT!
* 1st and 10 for OU from the UT 20. I said it Sunday night on the podcast and I'll say it again, the offensive PI call on Stills was absolute chicken bleep. It's a savvy play by a polished WR (kind of crazy to say about a true soph) that never gets called, except here of course. Usually if they ever call offensive PI, it has to be really obvious or blatant. This was neither. Subtle push at best and Stoops was more than justified to rip the refs a new one which they showed him doing. Remember this as well, this is the second TD OU has had called back because of penalties. And yet who was the dumba$$ during his halftime interview trying to spin that Texas had all the penalties and OU had none? You know the answer.
* Landry misses Stills on what looked like two easy completions (first one is on Stills IMO while the second is just a poor throw by Landry), setting up the now well known 3rd and 25. Looks like Landry checks into a play late in the play clock (good call) with Jaz lined up one-on-one at the bottom of the screen with Diggs. The true frosh just lets Jaz run right by him, untouched, and Landry makes a perfect throw putting it on the money before the safety can get over to help. Huge play and great recognition of the mismatch against the true freshman.
* 11:54 2nd Qtr, 2nd and goal now from the UT five. There were a lot of cool things that happened in this game for OU fans, but if you want to see one of the coolest fast forward to this play. It's not the play itself, a pass to Stills in the end zone that is knocked away after a good defensive play by Byndom, but what happens after it's over. After jumping to try and make the catch, Stills falls to the ground and Byndom graciously offers him a hand to help him up. Endearing himself to Sooner Nation for the rest of eternity, Stills refuses his help, waving him off not once but twice. I loved this kid well before he did that, but that cemented him as one of my favorites of all time because it showed that he "gets it" when it comes to this game and the rivalry with Texas.
* 3rd down now and why not go back to the Quandre Diggs well one more time. Diggs, inexplicably gives a massive cushion considering they were on the five yard line, and even backs up giving Broyles plenty of room to camp out just inside the pylon. The fact that Broyles was able to keep his feet in on that play and never go out of bounds is why he's Ryan Broyles and everybody else isn't. 20-3 OU
* 10:58 2nd Qtr, 2nd and 3 for UT from their own 36. One of several failed "trick" plays courtesy of The Sharks. Colvin comes on a blitz on what initially looks to be the backside of the play, but Harsin outsmarts himself and the reverse runs right into where the pressure was coming from. Colvin doesn't overrun the play, avoids a pathetic attempt at a block by McCoy and blows it up for a 13 yard loss. Comes up and gives a big Horns down, which is always one of my favorite things in this game. I LOVE when the players do this, LOVE IT!
* 1st and 10 for OU from the UT 49. Another brilliant play call with the throw back screen to Haywood. He's got three linemen out in front of him. If Stephenson can block the only guy left, it's another six points and Haywood's first career TD. Unfortunately he misses and instead it's just a nice 19-yard gain.
* 3rd and seven from their own 18 and again OU is in the four man front with all DEs. Ronnell blows past the RT, who holds/tackles him (no flag of course) and Big Frank easily fights off Whitaker's attempt at a block and sacks Ash who had no chance to get rid of the ball.
* 2nd and six and Casey Walker again just obliterates the UT center. Blows the play up for a two yard loss.
* After a nice play by Ash to scramble away from pressure and get UT a first down, they have it from their own 47. Single back set, they go with play action to Brown, as Ash prepares to roll out to his right off the play fake. However, what he fails to see because his back is to the LOS is that Colvin has come on a blitz to exactly where he is about to roll out to. To his credit, once he finally does get his head around, he sees Colvin and makes a nice little move to elude him. But that pressure was apparently enough to make him rush his throw, doing so off his back foot and kind of jumping at the same time. Which causes the pass to sail wide of his intended receiver and right into the waiting arms of Mr. Demontre Hurst. Hellllllllo, pick six! Wort gets a nice little shove on Ash as he clears things out for Hurst on his way to pay dirt. Several classic shots of stunned Horn fans, well done ABC. 26-3 OU
* Do I really have to acknowledge this kickoff that is about to happen? From the angle they used to show the replay, just terrible coverage. He takes it right back up the middle and it looks almost as if we had half our team on the left and the other half on the right with nobody to defend the middle return. Well, except O'Hara I guess who had a shot but for some reason tried to go up high and was easily shrugged off. Next time, sweep the leg Patty!
* OU takes over on their own 22 and I have to assume most of you, like myself, thought that Stoops would be happy with the lead and just try and run out the clock here (2:38 remaining). Thank goodness we were wrong :)
* Not the best start in the world, after a nine yard gain to Broyles on first down it takes two attempts (the hurry up run play up the middle sucks! It never works!) just to get the one yard for a first down. And now the clock is under two minutes and we have no timeouts, having burned them all earlier in the half.
* Never fear though because in the span of about three plays, we're about to go 66 yards and make it look ridiculously easy. First, another perfect call by Heupel as Texas comes clean on a blitz but OU calls a quick screen to Jaz. He juggles the ball, but is able to bring it in for a 16-yard gain picking up an extra eight yards because another stupid UT defender tried to go for the big hit instead of wrapping up. Second, OU ball at the 50 now and let's pick on Mr. Diggs one more time. Broyles up the seam, wide open yet again, and then Mighty Mouse Diggs thinks he's going to come in and lower the shoulder (HA!) from behind. He bounces off Broyles like he just ran into a brick wall and #85 gets another 10 yards easy because of yet another stupid UT defensive play. And three, another perfectly thrown fade pass to Stills as he leaps up over his defender to easily haul in his 2nd TD on the day. It's really not that easy folks, we just make it look that way. 34-10 OU
* And UT can wave buh-bye to any momentum they might have thought they had after that KO return. That's what you call a freaking statement drive. Just crushing their spirit before they head to the locker room to get consoled by Macky.
Great, great first half to say the least. As you know, the 2nd half won't be quite as much fun as Stoops called off the dogs. But that doesn't mean there won't still be some things to watch for. We'll be back tomorrow to review the second half.