CC has got the offensive review this week, so I don't want to get too much into it but I do want to say one thing. If the take away coming out of this game is concerns about this offense then I'm even more confident in our Sooners than I was going in. I've got some major issues with the play calling last night, but this offense has way too many options and talent to not get much better than they were Saturday night. Not to mention that was probably the best defense we'll face all year, so it's important to keep that in mind as well.
However, back to the point and the absolutely stellar performance this defense turned in last night. Heading into this game and really the season, despite returning numerous playmakers, this defense was believed to be the "weak link" of a potential championship squad. What they showed last night, on the road in a hostile environment (understatement of they year by the way), was those doubters couldn't have been more wrong. It was a defensive performance reminiscent of the vintage early 2000's OU defenses. One of the most physical performances I can remember in several years at least. They were layin' the wood last night and sent a message to anyone watching. You may catch the ball in front of us or run the ball by us, but at some point we'll catch you and when we do, you're gonna feel it. Big time.
I'll have some much more in-depth analysis once I have a chance to watch the replay and do our Film Study post later this week. So for now, we'll do some quick bullets on stuff that stood out last night.
- There were so many of us here, and all over Sooner Nation, who knew deep down there was no way Travis Lewis was going to miss this game. it was one of the reasons he came back for his senior year. Sure he wasn't 100%, but you wouldn't know it from watching last night. He was already one of the All-Timers before last night, but making it back for that game and playing as well as he did, he just clinched it as far as I'm concerned.
- The defense as a whole was significantly impacted by Lewis' presence, but nowhere was it more noticeable than in the performance of Tom Wort. He was an animal, all over the field making plays. Easily the best game he's had in his career thus far. Understand, he wasn't perfect, but who is? What he was however was the beast in the middle that we've all expected him to be.
- Javon Harris continues to perpetuate his love/hate relationship with Sooner Nation. Making two gigantic INTs only to have another issue in coverage, again making a play for the ball instead of playing the man which directly resulted in FSU's only TD in the game. One way or the other, you can't say the kid doesn't make big plays.
- When you hold a team to 27 yards rushing on 26 carries, that's a pretty strong statement. If you take out the QB runs and sack yards, their RBs actually tallied four net rushing yards on 13 carries. They were dominant in run defense and clearly made FSU one dimensional from the outset. We knew going in that if the Noles were able to get things going in the run game it was going to be a long night, fortunately the defense took that possibility out of the equation early.
- 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, and consistent pressure which caused numerous holding penalties on the FSU o-line were all HUGE last night. Frank Alexander played well with the #12 jersey, but Ronnell Lewis had a borderline dominant performance. This kid is really coming into his own. It's scary, at least for our opponents, to think about just how good he can be as this year goes on.
- Tony Jefferson had a minor issues in coverage at times, but aside from that another outstanding performance from the young safety. He was actually moved back to free safety in some of the packages we ran last night, so with Harris' coverage issues and Lewis' return we may start to see some more of that.
- Didn't think it was one of Jamell Fleming's better games to be honest. Unusual from him as he's usually very reliable playing lockdown coverage, but he was off his game last night in my opinion. Didn't necessarily cost them in any huge spots, but it was noticeable.
As always, feel free to chime in with things you saw we might not have touched on. Still coming down off the high from last night, so this probably isn't my best work but can you really blame me!