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Following every OU football game, we all gather round the campfire to rewatch Saturday's game and point out things that stand out. These are those things.
A pleasantly surprising first half followed by an equally as pleasant second. Sure, maybe they didn't use the run game enough with a big lead. And sure, maybe they didn't put in the offensive backups until there was less than a minute remaining in the game. But why focus on the negative, right? Wait . . . that's what we (and by we, I mean me) do here, you say?
Oh, well okay then, let's get to it then.
* OU starts the second half on defense and Tom Wort is back out there after not playing much in the latter part of that second quarter. If the postgame radio was any indication, the talk all week is going to be about how Frank Shannon should play and/or start over Wort this Saturday. I have to worn you, if that's what you are expecting OU to do against Texas you're going to be disappointed.
Shannon played a lot in this game because Tech lined up in four wide sets and he's much more athletic than Wort, so the coaches obviously thought that was an advantage for them in this game. Texas isn't likely to run many four wide sets, or at least not nearly as many as Tech (and others) do, so that's why I say don't expect to see as much of Shannon in Dallas.
I'm not saying I agree with it and I could very easily be proved wrong, but that's my expectation for what we see in the Cotton Bowl.
* Wow. As blatant as the Broson Irwin hold was we mentioned in the first half, Tech just got away with one that might have been even worse. Allows a short screen pass to go for a big gain and only avoids being a likely long touchdown thanks to a Tony Jefferson tackle.
* 3rd Q, 12:25 - 4th and 5 for Tech from the OU 36. Here Shannon is in for Wort again as OU is in their dime package, except with just a three man defensive line here. Shannon comes on a bit of a makeshift stunt, curling around both David King and Corey Nelson. He runs through the attempted hold of Tech's right guard and right past their running back, who does a horrible job failing to even put a hand on Shannon, before blowing up Doege.
So that's how a blitz is supposed to work, huh? I'm just so used to seeing OU defenders blitz only to act as if their purpose was to take on a block, not avoid one and sack the quarterback. Interesting.
Best part of the whole thing? They cut to Mike Stoops after the play and based on his reaction you'd have thought OU just gave up a touchdown. He's livid about something my amateur lip reading abilities tell me appears to be 'Storm.' Not sure exactly what it means, but whatever it is somebody didn't do it right and yet OU takes over on downs.
* 3rd Q, 11:48 - 2nd down and 11 for OU from their own 45. Again, another play that cannot be stressed enough. Here OU is in the shotgun, three wide set, with Williams and Millard on each side of Jones. Daryl Williams is beaten, to his outside shoulder, immediately off the snap. He does his best to impede the Tech rusher, but it's minimal at best and looks like a for sure sack of Jones.
Much to my amazement however, Landry does not freak out instead calmly shuffling his feet to avoid the guy at his ankles while actually stepping up into the pocket. Tech does a good job of covering the downfield routes, so Jones comes back once again to his check down outlet. He makes an absolutely perfect throw, while about to take shot mind you, over a Tech defender into the waiting arms of Damien Williams.
Williams breaks it off for a 38-yard gain all the way down to the Tech eighteen yard line. Just an absolutely beautiful play on so many levels.
* 3rd Q, 10:12 - 1st and goal for OU from the Tech 2. Again, we talked about it in the first half but another instance here where Blake Bell vultures a touchdown. Williams just had a terrific run to get it to the two yard line, after the previously mentioned 38-yard gain, and yet out of the game he comes. I mean if there was ever a drive where you reward your guy by letting him finish things off it's this one. Maybe I'm making more out of it than is actually there, but if that we're me I'd be pissed off. Regardless, Bell punches it in behind a crushing Trey Millard block to make it 31-13 OU
* I will say, Bell needs to work on his touchdown celebration before next season. He little arm pumping action, like you used to do when you were a kid and drove by a semi-truck asking them to honk their horn, it needs some work.
* OU comes back out on defense and again, no Tom Wort.
* 3rd Q, 8:53 - 1st and 10 for Tech from their own 35. I'm reminded of something my father said to me shortly after this play happened. There's just something different about watching your team run back a pick six. It's just a uniquely awesome feeling when it happens, right?
Decent pass rush here from the OU front four, but not great though Casey Walker does appear to get some pressure in the face of Doege. Which certainly could have been what caused his throw to be a little high of his intended target. That coupled with Aaron Colvin's blanket like coverage leads to a tipped ball and an easy interception for Javon Harris. The OU safety really has to avoid just one guy before taking it to the house. 38-13 OU
* 3rd Q, 7:34 - 3rd and 7 for Tech from their own 28. Nelson gets credit here for what should go down as a coverage sack, but credit to the defense for getting pressure off the blitz and to Nelson for making a nice move behind David King who draws a double team.
* The Texas Tech running backs have done an atrocious job in pass protection.
* Damien Williams has speed, he has power, but I think what he doesn't get nearly enough credit for is his patience. It really stands out when you go back and watch games like this.
* A Michael Hunnicutt 42-yard field goal makes it 41-13 OU. On that note, does anyone else find it humorous just how quickly we've taken this guy for granted. We don't even sweat out kicks like this anymore, where just a couple years ago we would have been gnawing our fingernails off as our kicker lined up for a similar kick.
* Wow, really impressive play by Shannon here. He doesn't even have to shed the block of Tech's right tackle, who gets to the second level much too easily but we won't go there, because he just slips right by the guy. He easily tracks down the running back for no gain. Not to be a hater, but I'm not sure I've ever seen Wort make a play like that.
End of three, OU still holds a 41-13 lead.
* OU's first time on defense in the 4th quarter and Wort is back out there. First time he's played since very early in the 3rd quarter though. Sadly, this play is not one of his finer moments.
To his credit, he recognizes his man, the Tech RB out of the backfield, very early in the play and immediately breaks towards him. He has him stuck for a five or six yard loss, but fails to wrap up as the back spins off his initial hit. Instead of the loss, it's a three yard gain which isn't a huge deal necessarily but a perfect example for Wort's critics.
* Up by four touchdowns, in the fourth quarter, a little over eleven minute remaining, with a huge game next weekend seems like a good spot to get your backups into the game, right? Obviously, you do not know Bob Stoops.
* Watching the play where Nila Kasitati got hurt, it's really hard to tell what happened. He's almost seven yards down the field blocking on the play and does not take any contact to his knee (believed to be the injury). While engaged with his block, he does have to hop on one leg over one of his teammates then falls to the ground favoring that knee. The fact that he went down with no contact makes me very worried it could be a ligament. Hoping beyond hope that I'm wrong.
* Actually, I just watched as they came back from commercial and I'm 99.9 percent positive a trainer comes up to Bob and says "He tore his ACL." You can tell from Bob's reaction it's not good news whatever it is as he looks to be upset about what he's just heard. Again, I cannot stress enough how much I hope I'm wrong.
* P.L. Lindley just came clean off the edge and absolutely planted Doege. Wow, where did that come from!
* Just priceless to hear the announcers saying how they're surprised how OU is still throwing and Landry Jones is still in the game here with six minutes remaining.
* Good to see some things didn't change with the transition from Brent Venables to Mike Stoops. The ol' standby Pre-Venables defense put into full effect here as Tech is about to drive down for a garbage time touchdown. Corners playing about 20 yards off the line of scrimmage (only slight exaggeration there).
* Day-umn, Frank Shannon that's how you fill a hole! Picture perfect form tackle, stood the Tech back up, drove him back, and planted the guy in the turf.
Alright, that's a wrap. Solid 21 point win for the Sooners while exorcising some of those Lubbock demons.
Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that it's six o'clock in the a.m. at the time of this post and the early morning hour in now way whatsoever changes the fact that TEXAS STILL SUCKS!