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Bedlam 2011 - A "Vulnerables Classic" Defensive Recap

First and foremost, just so it's perfectly clear, all credit to Mike Gundy, his staff, and all the OSU players. They were so far and away the superior team last night it wasn't even funny (it was sad actually, but we'll get to that). I've already read whining from OSU fans that they're not getting the credit they deserve from us, OU fans. I mean as if winning isn't enough for you. You'll get the respect you deserve from this OU fan because you earned it. If there is an OU fan, a real OU fan, on this planet that wasn't humbled by that public castration last night then they are flat out lying to you and themselves. This isn't meant as an insult, obviously after last night we're in no place to be dishing out those, but I'm sure you'll take it as one. Take a cue from the greatest player in the history of your university. You were much better, you kicked our arse, but as hard as it is just try to act like you've been there before. That's what schools who have "arrived", like I know you think you have now, do because they aren't just pretending to be there.

Ok, now on to the matter at hand which is the second most idiotic game plan a person could possibly imagine. And it's only second because the first, sadly, resides within the same staff and Matt has already summed that up pretty nicely. I have the displeasure of attempting to apply logic to the stupidity of what Brent Venables chose to do with this defense last night. I'd be amazed if I hadn't already seen his repeated failures so many times this season and I know for a fact I'm not alone in this. This sounds stupid to say (or type as it were), but watching this defense last night it was almost as if Venables said "What is the absolute worst possible thing I could do on defense? I think I'll do that!" There is no question in my mind that's what Josh Heupel did, so I guess if one coach on this staff was stupid enough to do it why not two?

I suppose that can only lead to one unavoidable question. Who is dumber, the two coordinators for doing it in the first place or their boss (the five million dollar man) for signing off on the game plan to begin with and then doing absolutely nothing to force any adjustments? Pretty sure I know my answer, how about you?

There are so, so, so many disgusting things from this game last night it's incredibly difficult to single out just one or two to fixate on. I'd venture to guess most of you know me well enough to know I'd have no problem going on a 10,000 word tirade right about now. And while it might, and I stress the word might, make me feel .00000000001% better it would probably just put you to sleep. So as hard as it will be, I'll try and limit myself.

As I was saying before, it's not difficult to find things to be pissed off about when it comes to this defensive performance last night. But for this OU fan, EASILY the most baffling and rage inducing was Venables absolutely inexplicable decision to utilize his beloved three man d-line. Yet again.

This formation has literally failed to work the entire season despite repeated stubbornness by Venables continued use of it. Forgive the redundancy, but I feel it bares repeating just for the sake of emphasis. THE THREE MAN D-LINE HASN'T WORKED ALL F'ING SEASON!!!!!!! It was the dumbest possible thing Venables could have done with his defense, so naturally they went to it early in the game. Then after it failed to accomplish anything aside from allowing Brandon Weeden all freaking day to throw, they refuse to adjust or try anything different. Yep, their solution was apparently to just keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I could be wrong, but I think there is an old saying about that.

We said it here before the game and I'd guess you all were saying the same thing to your OU friends. What they couldn't do was rush three, drop eight, and get zero pressure on Weeden allowing him to get comfortable in the pocket. They had to get pressure on Weeden. Had to. As little faith as I have in these coaches this morning, I don't think they are stupid enough not to know at least that. So with that assumption, how in the frick could they have possibly thought a three man rush was the winning formula???

As stupid as the decision to go with the three man line was from a pass rush perspective, what makes it even worse is how big a role it played in OSU's run game absolutely dominating. To say OSU's offensive line dominated the OU front seven would be an insult to the word dominate. It was flat out embarrassing. OSU used the exact game plan the OU coaches were too ignorant to employ. Give the OSU coaches credit for being intelligent enough to do so. Both Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith were gashing the Oklahoma defense and getting chunks of yards seemingly at will. To be brutally honest, or just fair really, they ran the heart out of the OU defense. Some of the effort, or more accurately the lack there of, in what can only be described as attempts to tackle in that second half was despicable.

This one might ruffle some feathers, but I feel it's more than fair and needs to be said. I'm as big a fan of Travis Lewis as anyone and will forever appreciate everything he's done during his five years in Norman. That said, his act is more than a little worn thin. When you're getting your arse handed to you like you were last night, what you don't do is get in the face of opposing players. It's pathetic and only adds to the embarrassment IMO. Talking trash in those instances just makes you look like an idiot.

I think what I'm most sad about is how sickeningly predictable this coaching staff has become. I don't know if it's arrogance, or ignorance, or complacency, or laziness, or whatever. Frankly I don't give a bleep. But when I can post, several days before the game, virtually everything they shouldn't do, qualify it by saying they'll do it anyway, and then they actually do it? Well my friends, that isn't just depressing it's freaking pathetic.

Whether it was going back to the three man d-line, a clearly less than 100% Travis Lewis covering Justin Blackmon one-on-one (I mean seriously Brent?!?), a LB (Ibiloye) helplessly chasing a WR from behind after a 53-yard gain, it was all so sadly predictable. And that my friends is what this staff has become. Wait, is it sad or predictable you ask?