Now we'll certainly get into how great the offense played against the Cyclones, but it wouldn't have been the blowout we needed if it weren't for the OU defense as well. So do yourself a favor and check out CC's defensive breakdown to fully appreciate just how dominating the Sooner defense was against ISU.
But we're talking offense, so let's get right into it after the jump.
It was well documented here on CC Machine, that we as Sooner fans wanted a big win and wanted to see the coaches call an offensive game plan designed to end this one early. Well with my apologies for the obvious political innuendo, Mission Accomplished!
The offense clearly came out with the intention of stomping on the Cyclones throat and not letting their foot off until it was clear they weren't getting back up. FINALLY!!! The offense came out and used multiple formations as well as going back to the uber-hurry up tempo we saw employed during the Texas game. It's been frustrating at times this season because Sooner fans know what this team is capable of and we had only seen it in flashes before Saturday night. It was if the offense was missing that one key ingredient, but they just couldn't quite put their finger on it. Maybe it was a little similar to this situation?
Well I think it's safe to say after Saturday night that Kevin Wilson cured Sooner Nation's fever for some more cowbell!
Let's just get the numbers out of the way early. 37 first downs, 9-15 on third downs, 2-3 on fourth downs, 672 total yards, 5.8 yards per rush. Needless to say, the offense was clicking.
Anyway, as CC and I both predicted on Sooner Nation (programming note - be sure to tune in Sunday night for our ISU recap) DeMarco Murray was able to secure the touchdown record and solidify his place in Sooner history. Murray broke the 41 year old record in fitting fashion, scoring both on the ground and in the air. His three TDs Saturday night were all very reminiscent of the now 58 TDs we've seen him score in the past. He got one with an impressive leap over the line into the end zone, he got another on a short screen pass he turned into a 15-yard weaving score, and his third and record breaking on a run he bounced to the outside and turned on the speed to get to the corner. It's debatable whether Murray will go down as one of the all-time great OU backs, but those conversations are for another day. This was a special night for DeMarco and a testament to all the hard work he and his teammates have put in over his four plus years in Norman. Congrats DeMarco, you and your teammates deserve it!
Look, I could try and sit here and attempt to describe to you just how incredible Ryan Broyles is but what's the point? The man simply defies description when it comes to his productivity in this offense. Broyles broke his own record for both receptions in a half and receptions in a game. His final numbers, 15 for 182 and 1 TD, speak for themselves but let me recommend to anyone who didn't see the highlights to make time to try and find them. Because his TD catch as well as another catch he had in the first quarter where he leapt at least three feet into the air to snag a Landry bullet are well worth your time to try and find.
It's not very often your starting QB goes 30/34 for 334 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs and he's the third guy in the rundown. So make no mistake, Landry Jones on Saturday night was as impressive as he's been all season. He was in complete command of the offense and ran the hurry up to near perfection in the first half. Sure, a majority of his passes were of the short to mid-range variety but that 39 yard TD to Broyles wasn't. The short passing game is simply what this offense has morphed into and they are selective in their down field opportunities, but when the dink and dunk is working as well as it did against ISU there really isn't a need to mix it up. Landry has proven to handle the short passes very well as well as having success throwing down the field when the situation dictates it necessary. Hopefully the down field passing is something we'll see more of like maybe this Saturday in Columbia.
Well, we've hit the usual suspects so now some quick hitters for the rest of the offense.
- I know I wasn't alone in my excitement to see James Hanna catch a TD for the 2nd consecutive week! Yeah it was his only catch and aside from the one reception Trent Ratterree had the TEs were non-existent, but the fact remains KW is looking to this kid in the red zone and that is a good thing. The simple fact that the threat is now there whereas before defenses knew they didn't really have to account for our TEs makes this offense more dangerous.
- Kenny Stills continues to develop as a WR and appears to be rapidly gaining the trust of Landry. Jones went to him several times early and looks to be very comfortable with Stills as his 2nd option behind Broyles.
- How about "Big" Jimmy Stevens drilling a 37-yard field goal?
- Well we've been waiting all year and aside from getting into the end zone, I'd say Roy Finch finally showed us why the coaches are so excited about. Finch looked very explosive, breaking off several nice runs and finishing with a healthy 92 yards on just 16 carries. Let's just hope that the coaches continue to look for ways to get him involved in the game and he can continue to get 10-12 touches per game.
- However Finch was not alone as fellow true frosh RB Brennan Clay saw his first action since the FSU game. I thought Clay also played very well (49 yards on 9 carries) and clearly ran with a purpose despite the game being well in hand. With Murray and Madu graduating this year, I don't think Sooner fans have anything to worry about when it comes to the future for the RB position at OU!
- Another true freshman (notice a theme here yet?) WR Trey Franks saw significant playing time against ISU. Franks finished with 4 catches for 28 yards, but had a couple nice moves in the open field and it's simply just a matter of time before he breaks a huge gain with all the speed he possesses.
- Freshman FB Trey Millard was his usual solid self, even picking up a nice little 1-yard TD run late in the 2nd quarter.
- We even got to see Drew Allen actually play in a game and do something besides just turn around and hand the ball off! Allen made a nice run on a zone read play (our new offense?) late in the game to score OU's final TD. And if Saturday night was any indication, the kid isn't afraid to tuck the ball and lower his shoulder. I'm sure he was just excited to finally get some snaps, but I'd expect Coach Heupel and he will have a nice little chat about learning to slide as they breakdown film this week.
Now to close it out, I just wouldn't be me if I didn't have a couple things to gripe about. The first is pretty minor, but I was disappointed that Dejuan Miler only got two short catches in this game. The kid has proven to be a very reliable WR and I can't help but feel he's being under utilized in this offense.
My second issue is one that should be pretty familiar to most OU fans. Can someone please explain to me any conceivable reason why Stoops would still have any of his starters in late in the 3rd quarter? Iowa St. had not posed any kind of threat for the entire game and yet here we are up 5+ scores and guys like Travis Lewis, Tom Wort, Adrian Taylor, and Landry Jones are still in the game? I just don't get it. You're telling me that given the injury history of a Wort or Taylor that it's worth risking the chance of injury by keeping them in a game in which you're up by 38 points?!? Or that our coaches have apparently learned nothing by continuing to put Landry out there and not get your backup, who has absolutely zero experience, some significant real time snaps to prepare him should (god forbid) Landry were to go down? It just simply defies any logic and is one of the things that annoys me most with respect to our coaches. Believe me, I get that there is a risk they could get injured every single time they're out there but when you're up 38 points and the opposing team hasn't threatened you the entire game there is no justifiable reason to prolong that risk by keeping your starting/best players out there. Rant over.
So all that said, please do not misinterpret my frustration as anything other than that. This was as close to a perfect game this team could have played and should give them plenty of confidence heading into what is shaping up like one of if not the toughest game of the season. We determined in the game thread last night that Kevin Wilson is an avid reader of CC Machine and reverse psychology was his drink of choice, so Kev please see the following. This week at Columbia, please do not run the uber-hurry up offense, please do not continue to play Roy Finch and Brennan Clay, please do not get Ryan Broyles 15 catches and DeMarco Murray 3 TDs, and please do not continue to actually throw to the TE. Sooner Nation thanks you Coach Wilson!