NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 8: Wide receiver Kenny Stills #4 of the Oklahoma Sooners tries to catch a pass against the Florida A&M Rattlers on September 8, 2012 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma won 69-13. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Due to reasons you won't care about, this is very obviously going up much later than normal. Therefore, I'm quite sure you've read any number of reviews on the Sooners and their performance Saturday night against Florida A&M. So I'm not going to bore you with a long, drawn out, unnecessarily in-depth breakdown of an OU offense against an FCS foe. \ We'll save that for Monday's Film Study (I kid, I kid). The plan here is to just give you some quick hitters on things that stood out to me following my initial viewing of the game.
- I'd be remiss, on a night when OU ran for nearly 350 yards, if I started with anything other than one Mr. Trey Millard. The guy is straight filthy. The number of clear out, total destruction lead blocks he had Saturday defies description. He is so ridiculously good at what he does, it's borderline criminal.
- And it's not a coincidence that I used "borderline criminal" in that last sentence, because it can so easily be used in Josh Heupel's seeming refusal to use the guy on anything even remotely resembling a consistent basis in this offense. Two touches? Two. Freaking. Touches?!? I get that it's just one guy (obviously) and it's not nearly this black and white, but if you're looking for any sign that Heupel is still learning on the job (as yours truly has suggested) you need look no farther than the continued lack of use of Millard in this offense.
- For all that we've seen Landry Jones improve upon aspects of his game we've harped on for three years, one thing that apparently is never going to change is his propensity to lock onto his receiver. It is something he has done since the day he was forced into action following Sam Bradford's unexpected injury and sadly, it's something he still does to this day. For the most part, he's be able to get away with it (that will not continue to happen once he starts playing on Sundays) but was clearly on display Saturday night. The two most obvious instances were the should-have-been-INT and the actual INT. In both cases, Jones, as he seems to do all too often, seemingly made up his mind as to where he was going with the ball even prior to the snap. When he does this, it doesn't matter what he does or does not see as the play develops because nothing seems to change his mind as to where he's going. Not even the triple coverage he threw into trying to force the ball to Kenny Stills which lead to his interception.
- Speaking of Kenny Stills. LOVE that he's stepped up his game considerably and has made major strides from that inside slot position. That said, he is rapidly becoming the new Ryan Broyles in this offense and as odd as it may sound I mean that in a bad way. What I mean is, through just two games he has very clearly become Landry's security blanket. He's the guy Landry looks for on almost every play, evidenced by his 10 receptions Saturday night while no other receiver had more than three. It's great that he and Landry have developed this chemistry, but this is also something that got this OU offense in trouble when part of that dynamic duo went down. Mind you, this is no fault of Stills', much more that of Landry for relying so heavily on a single player.
- I think we can all agree at this point that Damien Williams is a freaking boss. We said it last week and this Saturday only reaffirmed it, the guy just has something the other running backs on this roster do not have. And that's not necessarily a slight to said other running backs as much as it is a compliment to Williams' ability. He's pretty clearly earned the right to be the "starter" and while that holds little significance given how often OU rotates backs in, it is still a distinction Williams has played his way into.
- It's not technically 'offense' per se, but it simply has to be mentioned. Justin Brown is simply a fantastic punt returner. Good football player in general, mind you, but he looks like he could really make some big plays for this OU team on special teams. Two really, really impressive returns Saturday night against Florida A&M.
- Thought the offensive line looked better than they did against UTEP with the obvious caveat that this was against Florida A&M. Also thought the wide receivers made significant improvement with their perimeter blocking which made a noticeable difference on a number of running plays.
- Really liked that our crowd was savvy enough to audibly acknowledge Sterling Shepard's first catch. The OU crowd takes a lot of grief publicly, much of it well deserved in my opinion, but it's moments like that one which help to reassure you all is not lost.
- Hello, Brennan Clay! The much maligned OU running back showed both a burst and on his touchdown some impressive toughness. Looked as good as I can remember him being in an OU uniform, save for maybe the FSU game last year. Happy for him, the guy wasn't as highly regarded as a recruit for no reason. Hopefully Saturday night was a good sign of things to come.
- Roy Finch has obviously pissed off the coaches enough that he's in the game, in the fourth quarter, against Florida A&M, with OU up by 56 points. Because in the snaps that he did receive, and the plays that he did make, it is inconceivable that they could not find snaps for him in this offense. But then again, these are the same coaches who fawn all over themselves praising Trey Millard and continue to ignore him every Saturday.
- A glimpse, albeit a pretty brief one, of what the future may hold with Blake Bell under center. I think you could sum things up with a "meh." He looked okay, no glaring miscues other than possibly holding onto the ball too long on a couple of his sacks. I've seen some people talk about the long-ish throw he made to Shepard as being a sign of how strong an arm he has, but if that throw is on target and hits Shepard in stride it's a guaranteed touchdown. Instead, Shepard had to dive to make the catch on a low throw. If Bell is in fact this team's future, he's going to need a hell of a lot more than Bell-dozer runs and some mop up time against a terrible FCS opponent to develop as a quarterback.
- It's a moot point two games in, but thus far this season has a textbook Bob Stoops complete waste of a year of eligibility for Durron Neal. He's played in both games, barely, has yet to catch a pass and I'm almost positive has yet to even be targeted. Really hope I'm wrong because I hate so much when they do this with freshmen.