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Film Study - Oklahoma Sooners vs. FAMU (1st Half)


Pretty safe to assume we'll have a much more pleasant go round this time as opposed to last week with the UTEP film. More than a few interesting things to watch for this week as well with several younger players seeing action throughout the game on Saturday. One minor caveat, I'm forced to use the replay that was broadcast and it is an edited version of the game so unfortunately so of the game has been omitted. That said, we'll have a majority of the action so let's get this thing started.

* Not necessarily a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but I'm not sure I have ever seen a guy more inconsistently hit his kickoffs than Patrick O'Hara. It could literally land anywhere from as poorly as the 15 or 20-yard line or go through the back of the end zone.

* 1st Q, 14:30 - Just the second play of the game for FAMU and a pretty decent gain on the run here on 2nd and 3. Admittedly, I am no expert on this new scheme the linebackers are being asked to play but for at least this one play things sure do look like the 'old style.' Both Corey Nelson and Tom Wort crash downhill on the play, getting too far up the field as the play is a toss to the outside and neither can close the gap. If that's that gap responsibility we were told about last week, it was done very poorly.

* 1st Q, 13:21 - Following a much better run defended play by the OU defense, FAMU has it at their own 44 on a 2nd and 9. There is no way I will do it justice here in print, but this is a play every coach in America should have on any kind of instructional tape for a picture perfect form tackle. FAMU runs a quick little bubble screen to the slot receiver on the QB's left. OU's Javon Harris immediately recognizes the play and closes on the gap between himself and the receiver in the blink of an eye. The FAMU receiver tries to put a move on Harris, but he squares himself up and the instant the WR hesitates, Harris explodes with an absolutely perfect form tackle. Just a great play out in space that could have easily been missed. It just doesn't get any better than that.

* Very next play, Jamarkus McFarland will officially get credit for the sack but at a minimum he should have to share it with R.J. Washington. On 3rd and 9, Washington just pins his ears back and destroys the left tackle with a pure speed rush. It forces the FAMU quarterback to step up into the pocket where McFarland is waiting for him and falls on the QB as he slips to the ground.

* First offensive series for Oklahoma and the hurry up is in full effect. Last week against UTEP, the offensive only seemed to really ever click while in the hurry up. Which more than a few of us saw as a troubling sign.

(At this point, my version of the broadcast skips ahead from the 10:49 mark in the 1st quarter to the 8:23 mark. So I'm assuming I missed very little, possibly a quick FAMU failed drive.)

* 1st Q, 8:23 - 1st and 10 for OU from their own 33 and this is Landry's should-have-been-INT and hellooooooooo Bad Landry. It's somewhat difficult to tell from the angle/s the play is shown, but it sure looks like one of Bad Landry's habits rears its ugly head once again. He appears to make up his mind where he's going with the ball even before he receives the snap. For a second it almost appears as if he does actually look off the defender going from the middle of the field to his left, but there is no OU receiver anywhere near the middle of the field so I'm not sure that's actually plausible. Either way, it's almost as if he makes the throw with his eyes closed because he could not have thrown a more perfect pass to the FAMU defender. Fortunately, he drops it or FAMU would have been set up with very good field position on OU's side of the field. It would be unfair to say Metoyer, Landry's intended receiver, was quadruple covered, but there were four white jerseys within five yards of the guy only adding to the confusion of what exactly Landry could have been looking at on this play.

* We've probably done more than our (or at least mine) fair share of criticizing Josh Heupel around here, so it's only fair that we point out the positive as well. Very next play for Oklahoma, 2nd and 10 still from their 33, and a terrific play call from Heupel here with the screen to Dom Whaley out of the backfield. Well executed and Whaley runs through one tackle to get an OU first down.

* Not a lot I can add here to Kenny Stills' one handed catch over the middle. I will say the penalty that followed has to be called (at least given the game as it is today), but not sure the defender could have done much differently there.

* 1st Q, 7:11 - Two interesting things here as the Sooners look to put their first TD on the board. (1) I'm pretty surprised the coaches didn't let Whaley finish this drive off. He just had a really nice run that got them down to the three yard line and in the past the coaches will leave a guy in to finish his handy work. (2) Even more important than that is the fact OU is inside the five yard line and Blake Bell is not on the field.

Instead, it's Damien Williams in the backfield and in a positive turn of events OU only needs a single play to punch it in. A superbly executed play along the entire offensive line, with the most impressive being Bronson Irwin pulling around from right guard and just swallowing up his defender giving Williams a clear path to pay dirt. Seriously, for a guy his size to so nimbly shuffle his feet like that, really impressive. 7-0 OU

* Admittedly, this is coming from a very uneducated place but I'm just not sure how big a fan I am with what the linebackers are now being asked to do. They just don't appear to make any big plays anymore. Granted we're just two games in and I'm quite sure Mike Stoops has been about as vanilla as humanly possible, so this could very easily change and I hope that it does. Also thinking about this from a recruiting perspective and if it doesn't change, it will not do Oklahoma any favors at all in that department.

* 1st Q, 5:35 - Justin Brown, um, wow. Shows great strength on this return to run through that tackle and were it not for that one foot barely stepping out of bounds we're looking at the first punt return TD since one Mr. Broyles. On punt returns alone, this guy appears to be a great addition and that's not even taking into account the plays he has already made at wide out. Just a fantastic return which sets Oklahoma up for another easy touchdown. An impressive touchdown run, mind you, from Williams who showed great leg drive to power it in after initially getting stood up. 14-0 OU

* 1st Q, 5:17 - As FAMU gets the ball back following a touchback on the kickoff, two good things happen here and as well as one bad thing. First, the good. (1) Washington, impressively, fights off a double team on a run play to his side and assists on the tackle. (2) Tony Jefferson comes up in run support like a freaking cruise missile (technical terms) to absolutely drill the FAMU running back for a minimal gain. Unfortunately, the bad was that on said Jefferson tackle he got his ankle rolled up under him and was forced to eventually leave the game.

* Back-to-back quality plays from Javon Harris here with a pass breakup on a big hit and then an interception. We have the benefit of knowing what else happens, but still in the first quarter here and Harris has already played incredibly well.

* 1st Q, 3:08 - Following possibly the most uncharacteristic personal foul call ever, on Gabe Ikard, OU has a 2nd and 17 from the FAMU 40 yard line. Landry shows off some of that improved footwork/pocket awareness and shuffles to his left as Tyrus Thompson is beaten to his inside. Even in spite of totally getting his feet set under him, Landry makes a perfect throw hitting Stills in stride behind the defense for what would have been a nice, long TD. Unfortunately, the ball hits Stills right in the bread basket and it results instead in a simple dropped pass. Stills has been terrific through two games, but you simply have to make that play. It totally kills the drive as it puts OU in a 3rd and 17, which they fail to convert and thus get zero points after what could have been a 21-0 lead.

* Another HUGE hit from Harris. Doesn't separate the FAMU receiver from the ball on this one, but still delivers a big shot.

End of 1st quarter, 14-0 OU

* 2nd Q, 14:42 - Another Bad Landry moment. More accurately, a Really Really Bad Landry moment. A picture perfect example of Landry having his blinders on. He so clearly locks on to Stills in the slot, who is legitimately being triple covered, that he totally misses Metoyer coming underneath across the middle without a defender within almost 10 yards of him. Instead, Landry forces the throw into said triple coverage rather than the much, much easier check down throw and a guaranteed first down. Admittedly, it's just one play but it's such a bad one and a mistake we've seen him make so many times in the past. It's, um, discouraging.

* Man, if David King can ever get moved back to defensive end he is going to be a flat out monster.

* 2nd Q, 14:00 - Allow me to be the umpteenth person to overuse the Fight Club, "his name is Jesse Paulsen", reference. Seriously though, he makes a very Jefferson-esque play here immediately recognizing the run and coming up incredibly quickly in support to make the tackle, and an impressive one at that, for the loss.

* A play that results in nothing after a good effort from the FAMU defender to knock it away, but Landry targeting Geneo Grissom here at the tight end spot.

* It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly Heupel can abandon the run game. Six straight passes here.

* 2nd Q, 9:26 - Really nice run here from Damien Williams for his third TD on the day, but my word what a lead block from Trey Millard. A perfectly blocked play all around with the exception of possibly Justin Brown on the outside who does just barely enough to slow his man down and this it's all Damien Williams. 21-3 OU

* Justin Brown's second big return. No disrespect to Brown, because he does make a couple nice moves at the end of this run, but credit is owed to the Sooners punt return team for this one. Great blocking creates a massive seam for Brown to exploit.

* 2nd Q, 6:08 - Nice throw from Landry here to the back shoulder on Stills for a 19-yard TD catch. To be fair, it looked like the FAMU corner lost track of just how close he actually was to Stills but it was still a nice throw and catch. 28-3 OU

* 2nd Q, 4:43 - FAMU ball, 3rd and 7 from their own 25. This is the busted coverage and the Sooners lone TD allowed on the night. It's very obvious prior to the snap that Paulsen is out of position as he creeps down into the box. In fact, you can even see Javon Harris screaming at him and motioning for him to drop back into coverage. He even starts to compensate for it by dropping back into coverage on that side, but he clearly is providing safety help over the top on his own side of the field. You know what happens next. Demontre Hurst releases him thinking he has help over the top and 75 yards later it's 28-10. Hard not to think if Jefferson is still in the game that play never happens, but it's still a busted coverage for a huge play.

* Before this season is out, Damien Williams is going to tear some poor guy's arm off. For real, attempt arm tackles on this guy at your own peril.

* 2nd Q, 2:30 - An ever so brief glimpse of how good Sterling Shepard is going to be. Just a simple in-route, but he plants himself between two FAMU linebackers and leaves his feet to catch a not so well thrown ball from Landry. Reaches out to snag the pass, which is behind him, and takes a pretty decent hit while holding on for a nice first down catch. I mentioned it in my write up as well, but really appreciated the OU crowd recognizing his first catch with a nice ovation.

* 2nd Q, 0:44 - As nice as the Landry-to-Stills TD was earlier, this one is even prettier. A perfect throw from Good Landry to a diving Metoyer in the end zone. What is really impressive as well is what you see on the replay. An outstanding route ran by Metoyer, setting up the corner with an initial move to the outside, then using his hands to create some separation, and getting inside the defender. At that point, it's pretty much game over. 35-10 OU

And that's halftime. Not a perfect half by any stretch, but after a somewhat slow start OU turns it on for the most part. Second half analysis should be up quickly.