clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2011 Fiesta Bowl Champs - OU defense gets pseudo shutout, overpowers a game UConn team

New, 8 comments

So I'm going to go about my recap a little differently than I've done them in the past.  I'm going to do kind of a running summary/recap as a rewatch the game.  If you hate the idea, well you only have to suffer through it for one week.  If you like the idea, my apologies for only starting it in our final game of the season.  As always, you're comments are welcome if there is something I miss, fail to point out, or just something you wanted to add.  Let's get it started.

First of all, since I got the defense let me give you what I believe to be the latest on Ronnell Lewis.  According to both Stoops and Venables, Lewis suffered a similar type stinger/neck injury to the one Brody Eldridge had late last year.  All indications are that he will be just fine and there will be no long term effects.  He'll be in a neck brace for a couple weeks, just like Brody was, but he should definitely be ready for spring practices.  Thank you 8lb sweet little baby Jesus for watching over our Hammer!

OU kicks off to start the game on defense.  OU opens in the 50 front we've seen these last couple weeks.  From left to right across the LOS: Beal standing up, Hammer/McGee/Alexander all with their hand on the ground.  Box and T-Lew at LB.  Ibiloye starts the game instead of Jefferson, which I've never liked.  I know they do it because Ibby is bigger and "plays the run better", but I don't think it's ever a good idea to take Jefferson off the field IMO.  Anyway, moving on.  UConn gets it to 3rd and 1, goes wildcat with Todman, and gets stuffed.  OU's first 3 and out.

If I haven't bored you yet, we'll keep it going after the jump.

UConn gets the ball back down 0-7 at the 10:05 mark in the 1st quarter.  OU back in the 50 front.  Now, for some reason, Wort is in for Box at MLB.  Jefferson now in for Ibby, so again why does Ibby start the game over him? Q.Carter playing at least 15 yards off the LOS.  2nd and 10 after an incompletion on first down, Fleming comes on a corner blitz and drills Todman in the backfield for a two yard loss.  Nice call by Coach V.  Sets up a 3rd and 12, UConn goes three wide, T-Lew matched up one-on-one with the TE and gets beat on an out route for 13 yards.  First down UConn.  This was the long drive UConn went on in the 1st quarter and did so by exploiting the middle of the OU defense (familiar theme).  To Venables credit, he made adjustments to take this away later in the game.

7:31 mark in the 1st quarter, still UConn ball.  1st and 10 from their 48, OU goes back to a traditional 4-3, puts nine guys in the box for first down.  This is one of those plays where you can really appreciate just how good Jeremy Beal is, as he destroys his guy trying to block down on him and trips Todman up in the backfield with a beautiful ankle tackle.  Loss of one on the play.

6:22 mark, same drive.  3rd and 8 for UConn at the 50, they're in four wide.  OU doesn't look ready when they snap the ball and the DBs are all 10 yards off the LOS (hate this so much).  #6 WR for UConn finds a hole in the zone coverage and makes a first down catch in front of T-Lew.  Cue mini rant.  When we have a lockdown third corner like Aaron Colvin, why is the kid not on the field for an obvious passing down like this when they trot out four WRs?!?  I know the OU coaches have forgotten more about football than I'll ever know, but please explain to me how a WR matched up with a LB rather than someone like Colvin is to our advantage?

4:59 mark, UConn still driving.  Q.Carter gets really lucky on a 1st and 10 pass from Frazer to not get called for PI.  Definitely hit the TE before the ball got there.  Maybe this Pac-10 officials aren't so bad after all?  Nah, they still suck.

3:55 mark, 4th and 1 for UConn from the OU 18-yard line.  OU in the 50 front again, all eleven guys up near the LOS.  LB Daniel Franklin makes a very rare appearance.  Javon Harris also in the game for the first time and he makes a HUGE stop for OU!  He sneaks up to the LOS just before the snap and blows up #44 for UConn in the backfield then gets some help from Box and his buddies.  Todman, your AA doesn't get that carry?

Coming back from commercial, this is something probably nobody else cares about but oh well.  They show R.J. Washington being a great teammate, over talking to the other d-line guys.  Just wanted to mention it because this is a former five star kid who has had trouble making it onto the field for OU, but it's little moments like that where he could be pouting or whatever and instead he's doing something positive.  I like that kind of stuff and happy to see he appears to be a stand-up kind of guy.

UConn gets the ball for the third time with 18 seconds remaining in the first quarter.  They come out in shotgun with three WR and one TE.  OU is in a 4-2-5 with Jefferson covering the slot.  OU only rushes four and drops everyone else into coverage.  The Hammer is playing left DE and looks to just playing contain on his rush.  OU covers everybody and The Hammer beats the RT to get a coverage sack.  Good for Hammer, but that one is on Frazer.  Can't hang onto the ball for that long.  That play ends the 1st quarter.

I guess it's not technically defense (or is it?), but the tackling (or lack there or) on kick-off coverage just cannot go unaddressed.  AW-FREAKING-FUL.  OU wiffs on at least five attempts, allowing the UConn returner to get out to the 30-yard line.

OU defense doesn't get back on the field until the 9:49 mark of the 2nd quarter thanks to Bad Landry's awful pick six.  OU back in the 50 front again (is this our base D now?), Wort again in for Box (?).  After a 1st and 10 rush of three yards, Todman now has 10 carries for 11 yards.  2nd and 7 and on this play you see why Jefferson is still a true freshman.  For all the things the kid does and does incredibly well, covering in space is not one of them.  I have no doubt he'll improve over time, but at times this year he's been a bit of a liability in coverage.  That said, the kid is a freaking stud and one of the best, young, exciting defenders OU has had since TRRW (The Real Roy Williams for anyone unaware).

6:50 mark of the 2nd quarter, 3rd and 9 for UConn.  Jon Nelson drops the first of at least four potential OU INTs.  I doubt that was a fact lost on most of us who watched the game, but if OU pulls in even two of those this game is even more out of hand that it wound up being.  Anyway, on this particular one Frazer appears to forget what color jersey he's wearing and basically throws is right to Nelson.  It's low and would have been a good catch to haul it in, but definitely a play that needs to be made.  On the replay it looks like Jefferson tipped it, so I'll give Nelson the benefit of the doubt on that one.

2:05 to go in the 1st half, OU kicking off after a Lil' Jimmy FG.  O'Hara's kick only gets to the 10-yard line (and this is one of our five kickers on scholarship who supposedly has the "big" leg) and again terrible coverage.  UConn guy finds a seam and is taken down by O'Hara (nice tackle actually) at the 43-yard line.  I don't think the guy goes to the house as Jaydan Bird and Javon Harris looked to have been close enough to at least knock him out of bounds, but again our terrible coverage leads to great field position for UConn and eventually to another three points just before the half.

1:57 1st and 10 for UConn.  And here comes dropped INT #2.  T-Lew drops a guaranteed pick six.  Just saw all that green grass in front of him and his hands failed him unfortunately.  And he knows it too by his reaction, very animated (so unlike Travis!)

1:54 2nd and 10 after Lewis' dropped INT.  UConn runs a draw play for Todman and Jefferson comes off the slot on a blitz.  Great call as he is right there to bring down Todman for a loss on the play, unfortunately he overruns the play just barely and winds up missing the tackle allowing Todman to go for 19 and really his only big run on the night.  After that run, Todman has 12 carries for 33 yards.  1st and 10 now for UConn at the OU 36-yard line.  UConn goes on to get the FG, OU gets the ball back, and just runs out the clock. 

So that's the first half.  Solid performance for the D, only giving up that late FG after the bad kick coverage.  Obviously Landry's pick six is the only reason UConn had more than three points.  Like I mentioned a little earlier, UConn was exploiting the OU D over the middle on short crossing and drag routes, but Venables made the adjustments to take that away.  Got to be happy with only 33 yards for Todman.

After a three and out from the OU offense, the D comes back onto the field at 13:39 in the 3rd quarter.  Again OU opens in the 50 front, back to the "normal" lineup with Box, Jefferson, and The Hammer all in the game.  First play of the 2nd half for UConn and Todman goes for nine after some nice blocking up front and a missed Q.Carter tackle.

13:00 mark, 1st and 10 for UConn.  And dropped INT #3, this time it's Demontre Hurst.  T-Lew comes virtually unblocked on a blitz and forces Frazer to roll right and hurry his throw.  Ball hits Hurst right in the hands, but to be fair the UConn WR makes a good defensive play to break up the pass.  Oh and can I just point out how under appreciated I think Hurst has been all year.  Kid has been a lockdown corner all season and IMO has been so good teams rarely throw to his side of the field it seems like.  OU is set at the CB spot for 2011!

10:32 in the 3rd, 1st and 10 for UConn after a pass play that should have been reviewed wasn't (Gordon, was that you?).  Again the greatness that is Jeremy Beal, he destroys his man to drag down Todman for no gain.  A total "duh" statement, but still one that needs to be said, we're gonna miss this guy next year.

9:55 mark and Jamell Fleming got his Christmas present a little late this year.  Frazer throws to his left, to a guy who is basically falling down, ball deflects off his hands right to Fleming, who doesn't drop it and cooly takes it 55 yards to the house.  Right place, right time.  Unlucky for UConn.

9:43 mark and here we go again with not sospecial teams.  Tress Way for some reason is now handling kickoffs (I guess O'Hara got hurt on that tackle he made?) and "boots" it to the five yard line.  Where waiting is the biggest, whitest, apparently fastest FB/kick-off returner in the country, who proceeds to house it for 95 yards.  Before you go there, yes I know the guy really isn't a FB.  I just couldn't shake the nightmarish images of Owen Schimtt flashback.  I can't even describe to you how pathetic the tackling was on this return.  Then, LB Corey Nelson is smoked by White Lightning.  Cue 2nd mini rant:  If Bob Stoops doesn't use this current staff opening to hire someone who's primary focus is special teams then he needs to have his head checked.  No one is questioning your greatness Bob, but this is a MAJOR freaking issue and you need to address it ASA-FREAKING-P!

7:03 mark in the 3rd.  Two consecutive nice runs for Todman, getting 10 yards a clip on both.  This first was just a really well blocked play by UConn.  The second was a good hole, but a really bad attempt at a tackle by Nelson.  Todman easily runs right through it and picks up another UConn first down.

5:13 mark in the 3rd and ESPiN causes me to have a heart attack when they casually drop the bomb of showing us The Hammer being carried off the sideline on a backboard.  I don't know about you all, but that made me sick to my stomach.  As we try and recover from that, OU drops potential INT #4 and it's Nelson's second of the night.  The pass is tipped at the LOS and again would have been a tough catch for Nelson to make.  The dropped INT allows UConn to kick their second FG on the night.

3:38 in the 3rd, 3rd and 13 for UConn from their own 30.  OU is in a 3-3-5.  Corey Nelson is in at LB, Colvin is in at CB for Hurst, and again (why?) Wort is in for Box.  Jefferson again comes on that blitz off the slot, completely untouched, and gets just enough of Frazer to get the sack.  Another nice play for the true frosh.

3:00 mark and again this is special teams not defense.  Finally Broyles gets a big return, only to lose the football.  He fields it backing up, gets a couple good blocks, makes a guy miss, and is off to the races.  He just barely gets tripped up around the UConn 45-yard line which gives the pursuit just enough to track him down.  He's focues on the guy to his right and has no idea there is a guy right on his back side.  He is a little to careless with the football and said guy from behind easily knocks it away.  In his defense, it looked like to me he was switching hands to stiff arm the guy he saw coming and last I checked nobody has eyes in the back of their head.  UConn makes a nice play on the ball to recover it before any OU player has a chance at it.

2:41 mark and possibly the weirdest lineup of the night.  Ibby in again at SLB, and for maybe the first time all year Jaydan Bird in at MLB.  Todman breaks it off LT as Ibby gets absolutely swallowed up by his blocker.  Bird brings him down after a 9-yard gain.

1:18 to go in the 3rd, 2nd and 7 for UConn from their own 35.  Guy gets enough crap from OU fans, so I have to point out when he does something good.  Tom Wort fills the hole beautifully and drills White Lightning, driving him back two yards.  Solid, solid shot from Wort.  He follows it up with another big shot on the TE after a dropped 3rd down pass attempt.  Nice little sequence there from Wort.

Start of the 4th and I guess I didn't realize it while watching it live, but the score is only 34-20 OU.  Just didn't feel that close from what I remember watching last night.

Nimmo picked the wrong TE on that fake FG.  Hanna was WIDE open down the middle.

Call me naive, but for this uneducated fan the OU defense looks really easy to beat.  Go 3-4 wide and just find the WR matched up with a LB because OU refuses to play three cornerbacks, ever. 

About 11 minutes to go and UConn driving to try and make it a one score game.  OU gets lucky as #6 WR drops what would have been another UConn first down inside the OU 30-yard line.  UConn forced to punt it back to OU.

Toby Keith and Mike Stoops just chillin' on the OU sideline.

Again, not defense related but it needs to be said.  Before these last couple weeks, I would have probably bet you a million dollars I'd never say the following words.  Man, we're really going to miss Cam Kenney next year.  Dang, I wish he had one more year of eligibility.

Broyles' TD catch is just amazing.  Simply amazing.

7:23 in the 4th, 2nd and 14 for UConn from their 43.  Frazer hits the FB and a seam route down the middle for a big gain, Wort was in coverage and I use "coverage" very loosely.  He gets over commited to the short route almost immediately and the FB easily runs right past him, then drags him for about five extra yards.  That one won't go on the Tom Wort highlight reel.

6:35 and Frank Alexander picks up a big sack on 2nd and 8.  Not sure what the UConn LT was doing on the play as he just lets Frank go through essentially untouched.  Ibby was right there to get the sack if Frank hadn't of got it.

5:30 remaining, UConn forced to go for it on 4th and 16.  OU goes back to the 3-3-5 and brings Jefferson on the blitz.  He gets picked up and nobody really gets close to Frazer, but regardless of that fact he makes a bad throw and OU D holds.

2:52 to go and UConn takes over on their own 8-yard line.  Play action pass, Frazer pumps once for the WR on the double move, then throws to his right and this time Tony Jefferson is in the right place at the right time.  Hurst on the coverage makes a play to break up the pass and the ball deflects right into Jefferson's hands.  Jefferson then makes a hell of a cut to break the ankles of #6 for UConn and takes it into the end zone for the final OU score.  Very cool moment for the true frosh!  Jefferson is mobbed by his OU teammates and is met on the sideline for one of those jumping body bumps (no clue what those are called, color me lame) by Jerry Schmidt of all people.  Eat your heart out Will Muschump!

UConn gets some garbage yards as we go prevent.  One point probably easily forgotten, the OU D muscles up and has a goal line stand to keep UConn from getting a really cheap, purely cosmetic late TD.  Then Bob gets the Gatorade bath!  2011 Fiesta Bowl Champs baby!  BCS demons exorcised!

Hope at least a couple of you enjoyed this.  It isn't something that is quick to do, so hopefully it wasn't a waste of your time or mine.  Can't wait for 2011 and Boomer freaking Sooner baby!!!!!!!!!