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OU Football 2012 | Film Study | TCU | First Half

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Despite the outcome being up for grabs up until the very end, Oklahoma's game Saturday against TCU was one of the more boring games in recent memory.


How's that little blurb above strike you as a ringing endorsement for what you're about to read (or not read as it were). I mentioned it at the time, but was this game not one of the most boring OU football games you can remember watching? I know it was for me.

Maybe that was because of the previous three weeks, all being high scoring affairs, but this one really left me wanting. We'll have to see how, if at all, that translates into our weekly feature here, so this could be painful.

So, are you excited for this yet? Yeah, me too. Let's get started.

* For the life of me, I'll never understand the point of having a cover guy like Demontre Hurst 10 yards off his man. They've done it his entire career and it's never been necessary. Does he get beat on occasion? Yes. Can you say the same about every corner who has ever played the game? Yes.

* Oklahoma and Mike Stoops clearly doing some different things here early. Most notably, with the three man defensive line and bringing extra guys on the blitz, primarily with their linebackers. It hasn't generated any sacks, but they've pressured Boykin a number of times forcing him to get rid of the ball sooner than he'd like.

* Trey Millard, oh my. That, sir, is how you finish a run.

* 1st Q, 9:33 - 3rd & 15 OU from their 37. I saw a number of people at the time say Landry had to get rid of this early because Lane Johnson was beaten off the edge by Devonte Fields, but that is not what I see here. The TCU defensive tackles run a stunt and Bronson Irwin fails to pick up his man as he twists around. Johnson does allow Fields to get his outside shoulder, but still gets enough of a block that Jones could have stepped up into the pocket were that not where the pressure is coming from as a result of Irwin missing his block.

Regardless, the play ultimately results in the first of what felt like the first of 10,000 times where OU threw short of the first down sticks on a third down.

* Javon Harris has been really good in run support early. Has always been the strength of his game, but even still has really stood out on these first couple TCU drives.

* I've made no secret of my hate for the three man defensive line, but the blitzing OU has being bringing off of it has really been working.

* You can see, or at least I think you can, in this game what we've been lead to believe they are asking the defensive line to do. They are standing up their blocker with the obvious difference being they are doing a much better job in this game of shedding those blocks once the play comes in their direction. Personally, still not a big fan of that strategy as it prevents almost any penetration but I'm also just a know-nothing fan.

* 1st Q, 2:58 - 1st & 10 OU from their 44. An easy pass interference call here by TCU on Kenny Stills, who smoked the corner on this route and beats his double coverage, but a ball you'd like to see him catch even with the interference. Not a huge deal, just something that kind of stood out.

* Landry made a number of really impressive touch throws in this game. Not always a throw you see him make, and not because he's ever lacked the ability, but it certainly reinforced the fact he can "make all the throws" as the pro scouts like to say.

* Did anyone else notice a difference in Damien Williams' running style in this first half? He seemed to try and run over people rather than his usual cut-back move that frequently has defenders grabbing for air.

* 1st Q, 0:44 - 2nd & 8 OU from the TCU 11. One of those touch passes I was referring to. Man, is this pretty. There's just something about that wheel route to the running back out of the backfield when it works to perfection. Perfectly placed by Jones hitting Williams in stride and catching a TCU defender stuck in between where he needed to be. 7-0 OU

And that's the end of a really quick first quarter with Oklahoma obviously leading 7-0.

* Johnson is getting help with Fields, but more than holding his own. I continue to be amazed at the talk that he'll be a first round NFL draft pick, but you watch him in this game and it's not nearly as far fetched as I thought it to be in the preseason.

* This Oklahoma defense was drastically improved at the point of attack throughout this game. Which was impressive not just because it was one of the only times we've seen that this year, but also because the TCU run game with Boykin at QB has been pretty good all year.

* Man, watching the Bell-dozer in this game only confirms just how played out it has become. They consistently struggle to even get one or two yards now. I guess the two times they've ever thrown out of it this year aren't enough to make defenses respect that threat. Weird.

* 2nd Q, 1st & 10 OU from their 43. Okay, the Landry interception. Now I read a number of people after the game say it wasn't his fault because Brennan Clay was either blocked into him or somehow forced him to alter his throw. First, he definitely wasn't blocked into him. Second, they do kind of bump into each other as Clay looks to be releasing on a short passing route and just as Jones is releasing the ball. However, Jones is staring down Justin Brown, his intended receiver, who is bracketed by a safety and the TCU linebacker who will pick him off.

Brown isn't even remotely close to being open, so maybe Clay affected Landry's throw somewhat but that INT is still completely on Jones in my opinion. That throw never should have been made in the first place. All of one play later and we have a tie ball game. 7-7, all tied up.

* I'm just tired of the excuses. This offense is so clearly more effective in the hurry up, Josh Heupel's refusal to employ it more than he does only increases my significant doubts about his ability as an offensive coordinator.

* I can't help but laugh at reading TCU fans saying that Brown supposed fumble was in fact a fumble. It's not even close. His elbow is clearly down before the ball comes loose. Frankly, I was really surprised to read just how many excuses TCU fans had for losing this game. Very Aggie-like and for whatever reason, I expected better than that from them.

* I can't say for sure of course, but it sure looked like Stills took his eye off the ball to check for the TCU safety on that dropped would be touchdown pass late in the 2nd quarter. Don't think he really alligator-armed it per se, but I definitely think he heard the footsteps coming.

* I've read some talk about what lead to the Tyrus Thompson altercation, but I don't really see any point of discussing it. Regardless of what it was or if what I read was true, that kind of thing is unacceptable. I definitely think the reaction after the fact online was absurdly self righteous, but that's the Internet for you.

* 2nd Q, 1:01 - 3rd & 23 OU from the TCU 24. What a freaking play here. The offensive line does an outstanding job of giving Landry an absolutely perfect pocket from which to throw. Jalen Saunders is matched up on a linebacker and while he has pretty decent coverage, Saunders creates just enough separation right before the ball arrives, makes the catch, and trots into the end zone. Really, really good throw from Jones as well. Cannot say enough about that play given the down and distance. 14-7 OU

* TCU gets the ball back, but cannot do anything with it and is content to take a seven point deficit into the locker room. And yes, that first half was just as boring as I remembered.