It's easy to erase the memory of that first quarter when you play the final three as our 2010 Big 12 Champion OU Sooners did Saturday night. I thought we came out timid and somewhat flat, looked like Bad Landry made the trip, and some of the worst play calling we've seen all season. But, and this isn't your average, ordinary but, this is a but that would make Sir Mix-a-lot happy, this offense picked themselves up off the canvas and delivered a knockout punch of their own. So like I started out saying, it's easy to forgive that first quarter when we're bringing home Big 12 trophy #7!
Let's get into the details after the jump.
I mentioned this last night in the (still going and I love it!) celebration thread, but the fact that this offense could have gone 1-16 on third downs and won is simply amazing! It's the understatement of the year to say that's not a testament to the outstanding performance put in by the OU defense, which is summarized brilliantly here by CC. This offense, and make no mistake it was the offense, dug themselves a 17-point hole and one if I'm honest with you all, really didn't think they could climb out of. Thank God I was wrong!!! We've still got some MAJOR red zone issues, but now is a time for celebration so despite my inherent nature we'll focus on the positive rather than the negative.
- When Landry came out looking like he had happy feet early in the game I was afraid we'd be in for a very long night. Early in the game, he looked like the Bad Landry we've seen sense pressure that wasn't really there and easily forget the simple mechanics ingrained by QB coach Josh Heupel, causing him to miss easy throws. Fortunately, Bad Landry decided to exit stage left early a little early and we were treated to a pretty impressive performance against one of the better defenses in the country. His 342 yards passing against this NU secondary was no small feat and one virtually every single Husker fan laughed off as impossible leading up to this game. It's a much a credit to the WRs (which trust me, we'll get to) as it is Landry, but he's still got to the the ball there and for a majority of the night he did just that.
- 17 carries - 68 yards, 5 receptions - 60 yards for DeMarco Murray in his first real action in a Big 12 Championship game isn't a game that will go down in the record books. But those were hard earned yards and more importantly yards that directly lead to Kenny Stills' 49-yard TD catch (off play action) and several other throws later in the game.
- I was pretty disappointed with how they chose to use (or not use) Roy Finch. Also really disappointed with how little they used the diamond formation. Both were aspects of this offense that had been incredibly successful in the weeks leading up to this game, so to see both used so infrequently really baffled me.
- Kenny Stills is a freaking superstar in the making! This kid is an absolute play maker and just continues to make big play after big play. Could have easily had two TDs were it not for a (correctly) replay that reversed a 30-yarder. Am I crazy or do you have to make this kid preseason All Big 12 next year as a true sophomore?
- Let me just say I did not envy our friend Matt in trying to hand out game balls on the defensive side of the ball. The offensive side was no picnic either, but in my mind one guy stood above the rest. And that guy is Cam Kenney. Matched up most of the night against All American Prince Amukumara, Kenney had multiple big time catches in game deciding situations. His extra effort on the 3rd and 24 reception lead to a 4th and 1, which he converted with an 11-yard reception (again against Prince), which eventually lead to Jimmy Stevens' game winning field goal. Kenney finished with 6 for 65 in a match-up he undoubtedly got the better of and one I'm willing to guarantee you could have made a crap load of money on if you had placed a friendly wager with any NU fan. Amazing that in the last two weeks this kid has completely erased the last two years of disappointment. His performances in these last two games has been beyond impressive!
- Not many times, or any for that matter, when you can praise the OU WRs in a game and not really mention Ryan Broyles. I'm quite certain NU fan would give 100% credit to their secondary, but I'm more of the opinion that OU used Broyles as a decoy for most of the night. That's not meant to discredit NU's coverage, but more to say it's probably much closer to a 50/50 split toward my theory and I'm not certain they'd be willing to concede that fact, but I could be wrong.
- As we've become accustomed, I thought the o-line was essentially terrific in pass protection while struggling to consistently open up running lanes. I still don't understand the logic of the repeated runs straight up the middle throughout the first half? I think at times Kevin Wilson is just too stubborn to change his philosophy and insists that if we can't just over power you we don't deserve to win. Obviously at some point last night he decided that wasn't going to work and the protection his o-line provided Landry for nearly the entire night played a significant role in OU securing the comeback victory.
- Not a ton of action for the TEs last night, but James Hanna did have a couple nice catches. Trent Ratterree also had a nice 15-yard reception.
- No clue what the heck was going on with Ryan Broyles and fielding punts last night? Fortunately, it didn't wind up costing OU but if we could go ahead and never let that happen again it'd be just great! I've never seen him struggle like that. So it only seems fair to blame it on the gaudy video screen. Thanks a lot Jerry Jones ego!
- Ah, Jimmy Stevens. I said last week that I'd never say anything bad about Jimmy unless he cost us a big game and while his missed
PAT20-yarder certainly could have cost us, it didn't and his six 2nd half points were ultimately the difference in this game. So Jimmy will hear nothing bad from this guy today. I'd LOVE for this offense to figure out how to score from 20 yards in and not be forced to rely on Stevens, but the fact remains he hit them when it counted and helped us win our seventh Big 12 title.
So, the defense probably deserves a lion's share of the credit for winning this game but the offense was no slouch either especially considering the competition. It was not the prettiest game, but it still has to go down as a classic in a long line of great OU vs. NU match-ups. If I didn't have a shaved head, I'm quite certain I would have awoke this morning to find several gray hairs not previously there.
This team/coaching staff seem to take great pride in taking years off my live, but to be perfectly honest I wouldn't have it any other way. When you're an OU fan, you take the bad with the good because the good times are so much better than the bad and last night was definitely one of those good times you'll never forget.
Can't be said enough; I love this team and man oh man do I love this university! It's GREAT to be an OU fan!!!!!!!!
SEVEN TIME BIG 12 CHAMPS BABY!!!! BOOMER FREAKING SOONER!!!!!