Even now, I'm still in a state of disbelief. I can almost guarantee, even knowing the end result, I'm going to be on the edge of my seat as I go through this entire process.
Again, much like last week, I'm going to attempt to avoid any unnecessary rehashing of the obvious. Oklahoma was dominated at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in this game, but this isn't some kind of new development so spending time focusing on it is basically pointless. It's a problem, we're aware of it, 11 games into the season it's obviously not getting fixed. Having put that out there, here we go.
Taking my newly acquired heart medication and hitting play . . . . . now.
* Saw some OSU moron on Twitter prior to the game say that "OU's entrance sucks." Guess we need to install a cow gate to match up with their lofty standards.
* Landry Jones comes out throwing lazers, offensive line with solid pass protection, run game is moderately effective, and OU is immediately in the OSU side of the field with everything clicking.
* Then Josh Heupel tries to outsmart himself. To be fair, it's easy to say that after the fact when the move to bring in Blake Bell does not work and seemingly stalls the drive, but it's also not the first time we've seen him do this type of thing. In theory, I can see what he might have been thinking but when you're moving the ball as easily as they were no need to try and be clever.
Also, Justin Brown had beaten his man on the third down throw that Landry puts too high so again, if that's on target this is all irrelevant. Obviously the ensuing missed chip shot field goal only makes it stand out more.
* Nice early three and out for the OU defense. The Sooners were in a 4-1-6 formation for all three downs with Frank Shannon being the lone linebacker on the field.
* Pretty easy to tell Landry was amped up for this one early, which was certainly understandable. Most of his throws missing high.
* 1st Q, 9:24 - 2nd & 8 OSU from their 46. This is hard to watch. Mainly because it shows just how easy it has been to beat this OU defense in recent weeks. Here, OSU is lined up in a three wide set with backs on each side of Clint Chelf. Just prior to the snap, the back to his left motions out in that same direction, to which the OU middle linebacker (Tom Wort on this play) immediately follows. This, obviously, has created a gaping hole in the middle of the defense which Chelf proceeds to run directly through for 30+ yards.
* I'm sorry, but watching him move laterally and, more importantly, shed blocks, there simply is no argument to be made that Shannon should not be the every down middle linebacker.
* 1st Q, 8:30 - 2nd & 9 OSU from the OU 14. No motion here to draw the MLB out, but a similar result nonetheless. This time however, OU only rushes four and drops seven into coverage but leaves no one in the middle of the field to account for Chelf (who just a couple plays ago ripped off a 30 yard run). To his credit, Chelf recognizes it once his initial read is not open and quickly takes off up the middle for another nice gain. Once again, OSU's domination up front is what makes this possible and Mike Stoops should know better as this OU front four hasn't fared well in these types of situations all season. Joseph Randle scores two plays later. 7-0 OSU
* The decisions to go to replay early in this game were equal parts ridiculous and unnecessary.
* I'm not the first person to say this, but that doesn't make it any less valid. Where on earth would this team be without the two wide receiver transfers?!?
* 1st Q, 6:18 - 1st & 10 OU from their 49. I don't really see much point to spending a bunch of words trying to describe just how horrible this Landry interception actually was. You saw it, I saw it, we've all seen it before. It was bad. Thankfully, he was able to move past it and have a huge game. We cool to just move past it?
* This Josh Stewart kid is going to be a BIG problem the next couple years. Wow, is he good!
* 1st Q, 5:31 - 2nd & goal OSU from the OU 4. I hate to even bring this up for any number of reasons, but it's scary how similar the end result of this Randle run is to the infamous one where Bo Jackson plowed over The Boz. Here, Wort is the unlucky recipient. To be fair (to both guys), the running back has all the forward momentum on the play, but if you meet a guy, unblocked, in the hole obviously the goal is to not finish the play on your back. 14-0 OSU
* Look, I'll simply say this. Throwing the ball 70 times in any game is ridiculous. That said, Oklahoma had no other choice in this game and (not that it matters in any way) I agree with Heupel's decision to do so. They could not run the ball, plain and simple. Why bang your head against a wall by continuing to do so and expect a different result?
All that said, they sure as hell better figure out how to do so starting next year (this year is a wash). If this year proved anything, it's that you have to be able to line up and get those tough yards even when the other team knows it's coming. They cannot continue to get dominated up front on a consistent basis and expect to contend for national championships. Which last I checked, despite Bob's constant reference to all his Big 12 titles, was the standard at the University of Oklahoma.
* I can see the argument of those that said Kenny Stills should have made that touchdown catch at the end of the first quarter, it's fair. It's not a great throw from Jones, but it didn't require a super-human effort from Stills to haul it in either. Regardless, OU is forced to settle for a field goal. 14-3 OSU
End of the 1st Quarter, Oklahoma State leads 14-3.
* Only a handful of downs, at best, in that first quarter where Oklahoma was in anything other than a 4-1-6 formation on defense.
* 2nd Q, 14:56 - 3rd & 9 OSU from their 32. I'm obviously a Frank Shannon fan, but this play is inexcusable. He comes, untouched, on a perfectly timed blitz and has a clean shot on Chelf. Credit to Chelf however as he keeps his cool and calmly sidesteps Shannon to avoid the pressure, then takes off for an easy first down conversion.
Although, as I watch it again a couple times Jeremy Smith does come over at the last minute to get just enough of Shannon that it doesn't look quite as bad. But, still, you have to find a way to make that play on third down when you come clean like that. You can see several OU guys on tv just shaking there heads after that play.
* Saw it mentioned in the comments, both here and on a couple other OU sites that I frequent, and it was something that stood out as I'm going back through this game. The gap between where the Oklahoma defensive line sets up and the line of scrimmage/opposing offensive line seems very exaggerated. I've never really seen an explanation for it and I can't seem to think of a reason as to why it would make sense, but it's not something that just started in this game. Here is a quick screen grab to try (stress on the word 'try') and show you what I'm sure many of you already know I'm talking about.
For a front four that gets very little push as is, I wouldn't think lining up an extra yard or yard and a half off the line of scrimmage would make much sense?
* Admittedly, some of it was poor tackling but anyone not giving Joseph Randle his credit on several of those "missed tackles" is lying to themselves.
* 2nd Q, 11:34 - 3rd & 9 OSU from the OU 25. Solid push up the middle from Stacy McGee, who drives his man back into Chelf forcing an errant throw. Also, Geneo Grissom in the game here after David King went down (though never addressed by the announcers) and would wind up playing the majority of the game at defensive end. Seems impossible, given what we know now, to think he (Grissom) ever could have believed tight end was his best chance for playing time this season.
* Still not sure if that was an attempted onside kick from Quinn Sharp. Based on how OSU was lined up and how they reacted, you wouldn't think but it also did not look like he really slipped as the announcers tried to say he did. Ultimately meaningless, but was very bizarre at the time.
* Knew we had the advantage going into the game, but man alive did the OU wide receivers abuse the OSU corners.
* Captain Obvious moment here, but from the 25-yard line and in this Oklahoma offense is severely hampered by their inability to run the ball. Running those three and four wide receiver sets in that condensed space only makes it easier for the defense. I'm reminded of all the Missouri games I've been forced to watch (wife's an alum) with them lining up in four wide sets inside the five yards and my confusion as to just how stupid it is yet here "we" are doing the same thing.
* The Bell-dozer has officially jumped the shark. I'll definitely address just how impressive his touchdown run was in our second half breakdown, but it's working now strictly on physicality. And barely working at that.
* 2nd Q, 7:02 - 3rd & 1 OU from the OSU 15. Josh Heupel takes a lot of heat here (and elsewhere), but this is a fantastic play call. OU is in the Triangle, er Diamond with Damien Williams deep behind Landry. As Jones takes the snap, the entire offensive line crashes to their right as Williams carries out the play fake. Meanwhile, Trey Millard has slipped out on the backside of the play and is WIDE open. Jones, on a mini-bootleg, makes an easy throw and Millard does the rest, waltzing into the end zone untouched. Also, nice job blocking out in space by Justin Brown to ensure Millard easily finds pay dirt. 17-10 OSU
* 2nd Q, 5:07 - 3rd & 4 OSU from the OU 25. Really more right place, right time than anything on this Aaron Colvin interception, but credit for making a nice diving play to haul it in. Almost assuredly keeping points off the board with Sharp being as close to automatic as they come.
* 99.9% sure we don't have anyone here foolish enough to use that one Blake Bell eight yard pass as evidence he'll be fine at quarterback next year. On the off chance I'm wrong with that assumption, I'll just say I'm sorry for you right now and get it out of the way.
* Have I told you how big a fan I am of Sterling Shepard yet?
* 2nd Q, 2:48 - 1st & goal OU from the OSU 9. Another really nice play call here finding Jalen Saunders on the skinny post off play-action. Landry really sells the fake well and Saunders runs an absolutely perfect route, aided by a ridiculous cushion from the defender, pitch-and-catch touchdown. 17-17, all tied up
* I'll tell you what, you see flashes from Jordan Phillips that make you say "wow." Not anywhere near enough to make me any less scared bleepless for the DT position next season, but he could be really, really special.
* Um, yeah, what I was saying earlier about Josh Stewart. That one handed grab he made, WOW. Can't fault Gabe Lynn on that one, just a hell of a catch.
* One of multiple instances in this game, when OSU goes right down the field after OU fought all the back to tie it up, where I thought our Sooners were finished. Not ashamed to admit it. If you're going to hold me accountable for things I say in the game thread, in the heat of the moment, then we'll probably never be BFFs. And that's cool. I get caught up in it and say stupid stuff some times. If you don't or ever have, you're either a liar or a much better fan/person than I am. Again, that's cool.
I'll stand by anything I post here, be they right or wrong. Those who have been here awhile will tell you (or at least I hope) that I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong, often times even volunteering it before asked. I'll stand by my work here any day of the week.
* 2nd Q, 0:19 - 3rd & 10 OU from the OSU 15. I cannot even begin to describe to you how lucky OU and Landry Jones were on this play. From the second he takes the snap, Jones is locked on to Kenny Stills. OSU's Justin Gilbert is watching Jones' eyes the entire time and clearly setting him up, playing just far enough enough to bait him into throwing his direction. You know what happens next.
Gilbert makes his break, easily beating the ball to its target, but somehow allows it to go right through his hands and into the waiting arms of a very fortunate Stills.
Regardless of it being lucky or whatever, it's yet another half closing scoring drive that swings momentum back in OU's favor. All of which, mind you, were led by Landry Jones. No small feat, to say the least. 24-24, all tied up (again).
Crazy first half only to be surpassed, as we all know, by how this one eventually ends.