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OU vs. Tulsa - Film Study

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For those of you who may be new to the site or don't remember this series from last year, this is where we give the game a second viewing and break down/point out some key things that we might have missed the first time thru.  It can be a somewhat monotonous exercise, but I've found it to be very helpful for a CFB and OU junkie such as myself to get a much more in-depth take on the game.  Some things we'll try and keep an eye on:  the three big busts in pass coverage and who was responsible, the offensive line play, and the guys who were in there for some starters that weren't available.  So let's get this thing started.

* Before we get into more game related stuff, I'm curious what you all thought of the Fox/FX broadcast.  My general thoughts were:  HD picture was very good IMO.  Gus Johnson was about as good as I expect.  Charles Davis was just as bad as I expected (maybe worse).  The creepy silver fox dude that came on during replays was just odd and unnecessary.  I absolutely hated Fox not putting the down and distance up with the score and time block.  It was incredibly annoying.

* 14:53 1st Quarter - First play of the game for OU and it's a little swing pass to Brennan Clay.  Not a big deal to be sure, but Clay is able to make the first guy miss and instead of a four or five yard gain on 1st down, he makes it a nine yard gain.

* 14:26 1st Quarter - I'm not sure you can even call what OU opened the game with a 'hurry up' offense.  I think they might have let 3 or 4 seconds elapse on the play clock between plays.  Their pace was insane.  Despite being up for pretty much the entire game and drastically slowing things down in the 2nd half when the result was in hand, OU did still manage to hit triple digits in plays from scrimmage yet again.

* 13:58 1st Quarter - First unproductive play for OU.  James Hanna tries to cut block the TU DE and whiffs.  He crashes down the line and stops Clay for a gain of just one yard.  You can tell Hanna is not happy about his effort on that one.

*13:38 1st Quarter - First third down in the game.  OU lines up in a shotgun set with Clay to Landry's right.  Franks and Broyles to the top in a stack set.  Landry rolls out to his right looking for either Franks or Broyles.  Franks gets jammed and bumped off his route, Broyles who is clearly the 2nd option on this play is blanketed and short of the marker anyway.  Both Daryl Williams and Clay do a poor job pass blocking, allowing TU to get pressure on Landry. He tries to force it to Broyles anyway and the TU defender bats it away.  Not a great play for our Sooners here.

*12:37 1st Quarter - Tulsa's first offensive possession.  3rd and 1 from their own 19.  The Hammer gets pressure, but nobody picks up the fullback in the flat who is wide open.  Easy conversion and clearly a blown assignment for the OU defense.

* 11:33 1st Quarter - 3rd and 8 for Tulsa from their own 30.  First appearance for Gabe Lynn as OU goes with a three man line, Wort and Nelson at LB.  Lynn comes on a blitz, beats the RB trying to pick him up, and gets pressure on Kinne forcing him to throw a second earlier than he would like forcing an overthrow to a guy that might have had a step on Fleming.  Tulsa forced to punt.

* I mentioned this last night in the game thread, but it bares repeating here simply because of its stupidity.  OU gets the ball back for the second time and Gus Johnson asks Charles Davis if he's surprised by how ineffective OU has been moving the ball so far?  It's their 2nd possession of the game dumb@$$.  So because they didn't take their first right down and score, now the offense is struggling?  C'mon Gus, you're better than that.  Anyway, back to the game.

* 11:18 1st Quarter - 1st and 10 from the OU 31.  Donald Stephenson gets destroyed, allowing the TU DE to get into the backfield forcing Whaley to bounce it outside where a LB closes very quickly, drilling him for a loss of one. Clearly, not a sign of things to come.

* 9:41 1st Quarter - If you watched this game, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  Heupel, using KW's favorite play of all time, calls for a swing pass to Broyles.  He catches it five yards from the first down with a DB baring down on him who clearly read the play.  Broyles makes the subtlest of spin moves and leaves him grasping for air, easy first down for OU.  Damn this guy is good.

* 7:42 1st Quarter - 3rd and 10 for Tulsa from their own 25.  OU goes back to that three man front with Lynn in as an extra DB.  This time though they only rush the three down linemen.  Alexander and King almost meet at the QB as they both beat their man on the outside shoulder, getting pressure and forcing Kinne to settle for an underneath route that doesn't come close to picking up the first down.  VERY positive sign to get pressure from just a three man rush.

* 5:40 1st Quarter - Consecutive nice runs from Clay, a gain of nine then a gain of five.  I will say he is running very hard so far.  My only critique would be that he might be looking for contact too much if that makes sense.  Instead of looking to make a cut and blow past a guy, he just simply lowers his pads and tries to run him over.  Minor deal I suppose, but just something I think I'm seeing.

* 4:26 1st Quarter - Landry misses Broyles high on a crossing route off of play action.  It's about the third or fourth time so far he's been too high.  Missed high on Millard wide open that would have been six points earlier.  Landry might have been a little geeked up early in this one.

* 3:54 1st Quarter - First of several nice runs on the night for Whaley.  TU defender jumps offside, which always throws everyone off just a tick.  He gets some nice blocking on the interior from Good, Habern, and Evans as they crash down to their right.  However the guy Good pulled off of is now unblocked after a cursory bump from Good. Whaley though just dips his shoulder ever so slightly causing the guy to lunge off balance and miss.  He runs hard through a leg tackle and carries a pile of TU defenders down to the two yard line.  Very, very impressive run right there.  

* 3:23 1st Quarter - OU rewards Whaley for his run on the previous play and lets him punch it in for their first TD of the night.  He follows two absolute pancake blocks from RG Tyler Evans and RT Daryl Williams, who both just obliterate the guys in front of them.  THAT is the kind of physical domination we need to see from our o-line this year!

* 2:47 1st Quarter - Tulsa ball from their own 34, 2nd and 2.  They try and run a little jet sweep type play to the left.  Tony Jefferson is matched up with a TU WR and this is why so many believe he's going to be special.  He just holds the WR giving the RB the impression that he's being blocked.  As soon as the RB tries to run off said block, Jefferson just rips through the WR, easily shedding the attempted block, and absolutely stuffs the kid for no gain.  Shark attack baby!

* 0:40 1st Quarter - This is Broyles' 50-yard catch.  Landry does a great job selling the play fake, extending the ball very well causing all the TU LBs to bite.  If Landry doesn't under throw this slightly and is able to lead Broyles, it's an easy six.  Fortunately for him though #85 is on the other end of this one, so despite having to wait for it and being interfered with, he still brings it in and actually almost stays on his feet to take it in anyway.

End of one, 10-0 OU.

* 12:18 2nd Quarter - Another outstanding defensive play by Jefferson.  In coverage, he comes off his man to the slot WR who ran a short dig route.  Jefferson reaches around the WR without "going thru" him and avoiding the PI while slapping the ball down giving him zero chance to catch it.

* 12:13 2nd Quarter - 3rd and 8 for Tulsa.  Kinne in the shotgun, supposed to be a quick route, nothing is open so he takes off.  Wort, who was spying him, comes up to try and make the stop and force 4th down.  Unfortunately, he over commits and Kinne cuts back easily avoiding him as Wort loses his feet on the move.  Kinne gets nine for the first down.  That one won't go on the ol' personal highlight reel, but it was really one of the only bad plays he made all night.  Still I bet you he catches a considerable amount of crap on that one from his teammates when they break down the film today.

* 11:48 2nd Quarter - Here comes Big Frank's INT.  To say Fleming had tight coverage would be a disservice to the word tight.  He was inside the dude's jersey and the pass eats him up and gets batted WAY up in the air.  Seriously, Frank could have fair caught it.  It finally comes down into the waiting hands of Big Frank who apparently starts to channel his inner Neon Deion and starts the high steppin' a little early.  He's got a couple moves, but I doubt he'll be giving any tips to our RBs anytime soon.  You go Big Frank!

* Random note - Whaley might be a bigger version of former OU RB Chris Brown.  The guy just seems to always fall forward for that extra couple yards.  Brown certainly wasn't a burner and I don't think Whaley is either, but they both appear to have that inborn ability to always get positive yards.

* 7:03 2nd Quarter -   OU ball, 3rd and 1 from the Tulsa six.  This Whaley's third TD of the night.  Ben Habern and Tyler Evans open up a hole that frickin tractor trailer could get through.  All Whaley has to do is run through a safety at the goal line.  It's #3 for Whaley, but that was all o-line on that one.  And that my friends is a very, very exciting thing.

* 6:14 2nd Quarter - Roy Finch's first carry.  It's only a six yard gain, but even in that six yards you can just see a burst in him that I'm pretty sure only one other guy at RB has (Brandon Williams).  He just brings something the other guys don't, I hope we see more of him against FSU.

* 4:27 2nd Quarter - Ryan Broyles' lone TD on the night, but that's not what I want to talk about.  It's the formation they're in on this play.  I definitely did not catch this while watching live.  Um, how about LT Donald Stephenson lining up out at the quad WR set they have at the bottom of the screen?  First time I've ever seen that.  Heupel giving our opponents a little taste of things to prepare for apparently.  Very interesting.

* 3:09 2nd Quarter - First bust in pass coverage.  You can see Javon Harris start to creep up like he is expecting run.  So then Fleming comes on a corner blitz (sort of) leaving his guy completely unguarded.  Well, like Stoops said, evidently Harris didn't get the signal because he never adjusts and it's an easy pitch and catch for Kinne.  In fairness to Harris, Aaron Colvin had a chance to make a tackle to prevent it from becoming a TD.  However, he over runs the play just enough to allow the TU WR to cut back inside and take it to the house.  So busted coverage and poor tackling, not a winning combo to be sure.  They show Venables talking to Corey Nelson after they get back to the sideline, so I think a lot of people presume (from what I've read today) that it was Nelson's fault somehow.  Now I could be wrong, but given where he lined up on that play I can't possibly see how it would have been his responsibility.  I'm sticking with Harris.

* 0:37 2nd Quarter - OU gets really unlucky as Franks sits down in the zone, Landry finds him, and in an extra effort to find the end zone, he extends the ball just enough and it gets knocked loose.  The Tulsa defender just puts his head right on the ball and jars it free.  You always hate fumbles, especially ones that take away a sure six points, but hard to really fault Franks on that one IMO.

Halftime, OU 30-7

* 14:52 3rd Quarter - Ronnell shows his inexperience.  He's got contain on the left end, but allows himself to get sucked in on a little play fake by Kinne.  The QB reads it and pulls the ball back, makes another nice little open field move on Colvin (his 2nd missed tackle), and gets up field for a nice 12-yard gain.  The Hammer is clearly pissed after recovering to make the tackle, but not until after a nice gain for Tulsa.

* 10:29 3rd Quarter - Brennan Clay's TD run.  Clay goes off tackle to his left.  A decent, but not great seal block from Stephenson creates the lane.  James Hanna does a great job chipping the man Stephenson is blocking, then geting off and picking up TU's MLB.  He does an absolutely superb job just swallowing him up, it's TE blocking 101.  As good as Hanna was on that play, it's Millard's lead block that gets Clay to the end zone.  I'm not sure how to even describe it really.  Millard obliterates this poor CB trying to come up and make a play.  The guy never had a chance, I actually feel bad for him right now.  You can't ask for much better blocking than that.  Clay shows great patience slowing up his run just enough to allow this all to develop and scamper in for an 11-yard score.

* 10:23 3rd Quarter - HOLY CRAP!  You mean we can actually kick it into/out of the end zone on a kickoff?  I was beginning to think there was some kind of rule against that.

* 10:11 3rd Quarter - The 2nd big coverage bust.  It's 2nd and 8 for Tulsa from their own 22.  Kinne is in the shotgun with a three wide set.  At the snap, Casey Walker gets a nice push, uses his hands to fight off the guard, and swim moves past him right into Kinne's face.  Unfortunately, he gets there a touch late and Kinne is able to get rid of it in spite of the pressure in his face.  Now this one could be the one some are blaming on Nelson.  The Tulsa WR runs what some might call and out-and-up or a wheel route.  He runs a little out in the flat, both Nelson and Harris (again) bite hard on that, then he turns it up field and has nothing but green in front of him.  Again, in my opinion this one is on Harris.  It would look like if it's short Nelson has the underneath coverage with Harris protecting over the top. Instead though, they both bite on the short route and allow the guy to get behind them.  Personally, I think Harris just got a little over anxious trying to make an aggressive play by reading the QB eyes.  He got burned, it happens.

* Random Note - I couldn't help but laugh when at the 3:30 mark in the 3rd the FX announcers are talking about how Drew Allen should have been in the game.  Oh FX guys, if you only knew what we know.

* 3:05 3rd Quarter - Whaley's 4th and final TD of the night.  Single back set, they bring Millard in motion from left to right, looks like a stretch run play.  Millard gets his hands on his guy, but lets him go a little too early allowing him to get Whaley by the left leg.  Not to be deterred however, Whaley impressively runs through it and past another defender there trying to help make the tackle.  Shows a decent little burst once he regains his balance and runs through a couple more half hearted attempts at a tackle just for good measure before hitting pay dirt.  If he didn't impress you with that one, you need to reevaluate your standards.

End of three, OU 44-7.

* 14:45 4th Quarter - R.J. WASHINGTON SIGHTING!  I doubt he'll get a lot of credit for it, but I'm a guy who has been rooting for him since he arrived in Norman so I'm giving him some love.  Washington rushes from his end spot, the LT rotates down, so R.J. is matched up one-on-one with the TU RB Watts (that's what I meant by not getting much credit).  He just muscles him out of his way as Kinne rolls away from him.  Washington is able to use his excellent speed to close, grab him by the back of his pads, and flatten him for a three yard loss.

* 11:43 4th Quarter - The third big coverage bust.  Unfortunately, there are no excuses to be made for Harris on this one.  It's the exact same route they've burned him on twice already.  The guy just runs a little out in the flat, he bites, and they take it up field.  I can appreciate the aggressiveness, but you've got to learn from your mistakes man.  He is immediately replaced by Sam Proctor.

* 10:23 4th Quarter - OU is up 33 points.  They finally put the backups in on offense.

* 8:56 4th Quarter - It will go down as a meaningless 17-yard reception in the grand scheme of things, but damn if Kameel Jackson didn't look smooth as hell on that one catch and run.

* 8:00 4th Quarter - Drew Allen just got a gift from the TU DB.  He served up a pick six on a silver platter, but the defender dropped it.  That one will haunt him because that was an automatic six the other way.

* 7:07 4th Quarter - Again, OU up by 33 points.  Just about every defensive starter is still in the game.  Explain this to me?

Final, OU 47-14.  Discuss.

Overall very strong, both on offense and defense (save for the obvious).  Not to beat a dead horse, but some things that stood out.  (1) Surprised at how little we heard some names:  Roy Finch, Dejuan Miller, and Corey Nelson.  (2) Disappointed they didn't give at least a series or two to Blake Bell.  (3) The offensive line was even more impressive in this second viewing.  (4) Frank Alexander had a terrific game.  (5) Tony Jefferson is a frickin stud.