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OU Football 2013 | Sooners vs. Baylor | Film Study

Ronald Martinez

Because we've never (nor will we ever) just done these after a win.

Someone said it I believe after we didn't do one following the Texas game that often times you can learn a lot more from a loss than you can a victory and that's a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.

I think for reasons that don't need to be explained more attention will probably be paid to the first half, when the game was actually competitive, than it will the second.


* Fox chose Dominique Alexander as one of OU's "impact players." Not Eric Striker. Not Charles Tapper. Not either of the safeties. But Alexander. Look, it's nothing personal as I believe the true freshman linebacker has a bright future ahead of him, but picking him as an "impact player" in this game tells me you know nothing about this OU defense. Keep up the good work, fellas.

* Bryce Petty begging for a PI call on the second play of the game. A sign of things to come. Seriously, bro. You're a really good player. Maybe wait until the third snap from scrimmage until you start lobbying the refs for calls.

* Random question. Was the primary camera used to broadcast this game coming to us from outer space? Good lord, could it possibly be farther away from the field? I feel like I'm at the top of the Sears Tower or something looking down at tiny little specs playing football.

* Watching both Alexander and Jordan Evans at times get their arms around guys and then slide down their bodies while not actually bringing them to the ground has become one of my least favorite things about this season.

* 1st Qtr, 13:27 - 3rd & 5 BU from their 44. This was one of the early signs of what Mike Stoops did with the extended period of time he had to get ready for this game. Here they start to walk Quentin Hayes up just as the ball is snapped then bring him on a bit of a delayed blitz. Credit to his mates in the secondary because this sack does not happen if they don't have the lockdown coverage that they do. Because I think they would have preferred Hayes not be as far away from the line of scrimmage as he winds up being when the ball is snapped. He came from a long ways away to finally get to Petty.

This might have been the first time all year they've sent Hayes on a blitz (it might have happened a time or two before, but it's not something they've done a lot) and obviously it pays off here with the sack of Petty. Nice little wrinkle to give Baylor something they hadn't seen before.

* Absolutely nothing about this first offensive drive for OU makes sense to me. Ignoring the stupidity of running a trick play on your first play from, you know what we're not going to ignore that.

This is the kind of "trick" play that you need to set up over the course of a game. They're not going to bite on you sending Brennan Clay on a swing pass out of the backfield, because you have set up that action. Trying to run it here without establishing anything be it run or pass absolutely reeks of desperation. Which makes sense because pretty much every single thing Josh Heupel drew up in this game had that same stink.

That said, Sterling Shepard should be able to beat a defensive end in space either to the corner or with some kind of move. I don't care if that DE's last name is Clowney.

Anyway, back to this idiotic first series. Baylor has all eleven guys less than ten yards from the line of scrimmage. They're telling you from the jump they have no respect for your ability to pass the ball. Mr. Offensive Genius up in the booth apparently can't see this and sticks with his fancy inside reverse call. Why would you possibly see that, check out of it, and take a shot deep? Nah, you want to run against what essentially amounts to an 11-man front, lose three yards, and get of schedule down and distance wise. Setting your offense up to do the one thing it really couldn't afford to do, on the road, either from a confidence and/or momentum standpoint, go three and out. Love it.

This third down play might be one of the worst executed attempts at a screen pass I've ever seen. Combination of a couple things. Baylor basically sends the house on a blitz bringing seven. Mind you they make no effort to hide it, but no checking to a hot route or anything crazy like that from OU. To be fair, OU's line does such a horrible job picking up the blitz Bell really has no choice but to leave the pocket rolling to his right. The screen takes too long to develop, Bell has to rush his throw, that Clay eventually drops. Not sure it mattered though because even with sending seven, Baylor still somehow has this covered well enough that Clay isn't getting the first down regardless.

That, my friends, was depressing.

* It's probably not fair to say Jed Barnett has been horrible this year. So let's just say he's been below average. Oh, and can we take that No. 44 away from him also? Doing a disservice to that sacred number on an OU jersey.

* I'm not sure I can ever remember a time in my entire life a guy lining up in the neutral zone more than once in a game. Less than five minutes into this one and Charles Tapper has done it twice, both times drawing a flag. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Mike might be having a talk with him about this week.

* 10:35 mark of the first quarter, first of I don't even know how many missed tackles by Gabe Lynn in this game. One-on-one with Glasco Martin in the hole on a 2nd & 2, tries to shoulder tackle him, first down Baylor.

* It probably went unnoticed by most, but another solid performance in this game from Geneo Grissom. Made several potential touchdown saving arm tackles. Not getting a ton of pressure on the quarterback, which is somewhat concerning when you consider what Tapper and Striker are doing to take attention away from him, but he's been solid in run defense.

* 1st Qtr, 9:51 - 3rd & 6 BU from their 48. Honestly, the other team is going to make plays on occasion. Especially when they're as good as this Baylor team appears to be. Here this is just a great throw and catch from Petty to Clay Fuller.

It's just a little out-and-up route and Hayes doesn't have horrible coverage, but he never gets his head around which allows Clay to make a play on a perfectly thrown ball from Petty. Might not have been able to break it up even if he gets his head around, but it would have at least increased his chances.

* 1st Qtr, 8:51 - 3rd & 3 BU from the OU 18. One of the few times OU's defense played the zone read well. Here both Alexander and Frank Shannon read it perfectly and meet at Petty to stop him a yard short of the first down. Shannon doing a particularly good job on the edge not biting on the fake to Martin and keying on Petty who pulls the ball out late and keeps it.

* I know I complain about it in game threads all the time and on occasion them doing it probably saves a touchdown, but good lord does OU waste a TON of timeouts on defense. I've never seen anything like it. Admittedly, I watch more OU games than any other team but I watch way more college football than my wife prefers and I never see teams burn timeouts with their defense on the field the way OU does.

* Watching Trevor Knight run a read-option play versus watching Bell do it and the two are just light years apart. Really didn't like his effort here on 2nd & 1 though. If he lowers his shoulder and keeps his legs driving he very likely pushes his way past the first down marker. Instead, he seems to settle for taking the sideline and comes up short of the first down.

They bring Bell back in to try and convert on 3rd & 1 with the Belldozer (which please dear lord can they just go ahead an retire never to be heard from again) only to lose yards.

Ahmad Dixon comes right up the middle and, in my opinion, right by the guy (Bronson Irwin) who should have at least attempted to get a hand on him. He doesn't, instead helping to block down on a guy Daryl Williams really didn't need any help with.

It's a stupid, slow-developing play that has your 6'6" 260 pound quarterback running east-west instead of north-south. God forbid you just get under center and QB sneak it.

* If you don't trust him (Bell) to throw and he's scared (which he sure looks like to me) to be decisive running the football then why is he still your starting quarterback?

* Didn't see it at the time, but after Shepard got laid out Dixon walks thru the trainers attending to him to apparently talk some kind of s#$%. Classy move, guy.

* I'm not sure whether it's fair to say this OU offensive line has regressed or if their lack of success opening up run lanes is a result of how little respect opposing defenses have for Bell's ability to throw the ball down the field and them loading up the box. What I do know however is we've yet to see anything even remotely resembling what they did during the Notre Dame game since that trip to South Bend.

End of the first quarter, Baylor leads 3-0.

* The disorganization here to start the second quarter down inside Baylor's ten yard line is just pathetically embarrassing. OU actually lines up with just ten men on the field on third down before Stoops frantically calls a timeout as their eleventh man runs onto the field late.

Somebody got an earful up in the booth as Bob cups his mic and proceeds to yell into his headset.

* Random - Bob really needs to get that pinky fixed.

* So after failing miserably earlier in the game, Heupel decides to go back to the Belldozer well not just one time, but two. The second of which coming after they hurry to the line because they're going to catch Baylor by surprise with another run from a formation they never throw from. Well played, Josh.

* Enforcing my earlier opinion on Ahmad Dixon, here on this fourth down play he's busy waving to the crowd with his back to the actual play as the ball is snapped. Idiot. His d.c. ripped his arse when he got back to the sideline, funny to watch.

* 2nd Qtr, 13:28 - 2nd & 11 BU from their 1. Alexander doesn't necessarily do anything exceptional on this sack for the safety seeing as he's unblocked on the play, but credit him for recognizing the pass and closing on Petty before he could get rid of the ball. Honestly, it's a stupid play call (a slow developing deep crossing route to Petty's right) from Baylor on that part of the field.

* Not that I need to remind you, but these red zone issues are just a this year problem. I'd ask at what point it become unacceptable, but I know for us as fans we're well past that point.

* I know and have written about Striker's limitations because of his size, but he's just so damn fun to watch. His pursuit of the quarterback is the very definition of relentless. If he can ever develop an inside pass rush move, he's going to be borderline unstoppable.

* Baylor misses a long field goal give OU the ball back and on their own 35. They then proceed to get a false start penalty. Now it's 1st & 15 from their 30. Then they get a delay of game penalty. Now it's 1st & 20 from their 25.

Bob's reaction on the broadcast pretty much sums up my feelings on that sequence.

* 2nd Qtr, 9:10 - 2nd & 19 OU from their 26. You'll find no better example of why Bell is so infuriating as a quarterback. Here he throws an absolute lazer to Saunders on a corner route for a 28-yard gain. That's a difficult throw he just made look really easy. And there in lies the frustration. You see plays like that and you know he's capable of being the guy they need him to be, but he's just so damn inconsistent.

* To my point, on the very next play they run an identical route to the opposite side of the field, Saunders is WIDE open (much more open than he was on the previous play where Bell threw it through a tight window), and Bell air mails it five feet over his head. The Baylor defender bails him out with a moronic late hit, but it doesn't erase an absolutely horrible throw from Bell.

* 2nd Qtr, 8:16 - 1st & 10 BU from their 31. "Nice block from Cyril Richardson to spring Linwood." - Petros Papadakis

If by "nice block" you mean a hold so blatant that not only does Dom Alexander get spun around from a grabbing of his jersey, but also gets tackle to the ground by Richardson as Linwood runs by.....then yeah, it was a nice block.

* That roughing the passer call on Striker might have been one of the cheapest I've ever seen in my life. If you're really going to call that, then just put quarterbacks in dresses and get it over with.

* This might the worst half of football I've seen all year from OU's offensive line. To be fair, they've been constantly outnumbered but they have also been incredibly bad by my estimation. Very discouraging.

* 2nd Qtr, 5:29 - 3rd & 2 OU from their 45. What is going on here?!? Under center? I-formation? What is this madness?!?

And what do you know, it actually works. Clay rips off a nice little run for the first down.

So naturally you come right back, get away from what just worked, and try to throw the ball.


Why is Heupel incapable of sticking with anything that is working? Or at a minimum going back to something what worked at some other point in the game? it is truly mind baffling.

* The Striker offsides call that extended a Baylor drive and eventually led to points was arguably the turning point in this game, but it's not one I would be overly upset with personally. The kid is an aggressive player and while it's obviously a mistake you'd rather the didn't make, it's an aggressive one and one, in my opinion, you kind of have to live with. You have to take the good with the bad with those kind of players. Unfortunately this 'bad' just came at a really inopportune time.

I'd take more of an issue with having Colvin play eight yards off his man on a 3rd & 4 on the very next play. Baylor runs a quick slant, which is your basic pitch-and-catch when you have your corner playing that far off. So incredibly stupid. If you have him up near the line of scrimmage, he doesn't have to run around the attempted pick play Baylor runs. Instead he could have cut under it or not had to of dealt with it at all. No, instead you have one of the best corners in the country eight yards off when all they need is four for a first down. Brilliant.

* I'm done criticizing Julian Wilson. He's being asked to play a position he's not capable of playing, at least from a coverage standpoint. They are doing him a disservice asking him to play a corner-like position and line up in man-to-man coverage. He's not a corner, he's a safety. Same mistake they made with Gabe Lynn. It's not his fault and I'm done criticizing the kid for something he can't control.

* For the life of me I couldn't begin to tell you what either Josh Heupel or Bob Stoops were thinking here with 0:54 on the clock, no timeouts, and trying to throw the ball down 17-5.

This OU offense had shown absolutely nothing that would have warranted any semblance of confidence to believe they were capable of going the length of the field in under a minute.

Their reward? A Blake Bell interception that allows Baylor to make it a 24-5 ball game and putting an end to any hopes OU might have had (though even prior to that their 10-5 lead seemed insurmountable, let alone 24-5).

Not sure how much analysis I can give you on the interception either.

It's about as simple as they come. He locks on to Saunders, never looks the defense off, is completely oblivious to the backside linebacker who has no difficulty reading where Bell intends to go with the ball, undercuts the route and makes the interception. It's textbook bad quarterbacking.

Couldn't help but notice Saunders' head drop as he realizes what happened. He knows it's over at the moment just like all of us did. To his credit though both before and after he was one of few offensive players who showed up ready to go, had a heck of a game all things considered.

* 2nd Qtr, 0:19 - 2nd & 10 BU from the OU 24. Some type of miscommunication here between Colvin and Lynn on a Petty-to-Goodley touchdown pass. Colvin has Goodley initially and appears to release him to Lynn in a zone coverage. Only problem being Lynn evidently doesn't realize this is happening which leaves Goodley wide open. Which is less than ideal.

At the half, Baylor leads 24-5.

* Heupel opens the second half with an option call that leads to Bell being tackled by the turf monster for no gain. Like the call, it was something I asked for going into the game after seeing Baylor struggle with it against Kansas State and wished he would have used more in this game. Obviously it's not his (Heupel) fault Bell trips himself. However, my issue here is that he makes the call to the short side of the field.

I've never understood why anyone would ever do this as it essentially provides the defense with an extra defender, the sideline. You are voluntarily choosing to work in a smaller space with a play that be its very definition requires space to be the most successful. I just don't get it.

* Tyrus Thompson played one of the worst games I've ever seen him play in this one and it's a disturbing trend that didn't just pop up Thursday night. He has struggled in recent weeks and it's a problem that needs to get corrected in a hurry.

* I'm certainly not an offensive line coach, but watching this film it seems obvious and incredibly disturbing amount of missed assignments. There were repeated instances in which there is a completely unblocked Baylor defender in OU's backfield, primarily on run plays.

* Baylor puts nine guys in the box on first down, Heupel calls an inside run play. I mean....I just don't have any more words for it at this point.

* Barnett's 31-yard punt here from his own end zone early third quarter was truly a thing of beauty.

* It's just one play, but this one below is something I've seen countless times from Bell and indisputable proof he has no clue how to run the read-option.

You can see No. 2 for Baylor beat (kind of, I'll explain) Thompson with an inside move and is quickly into OU's backfield. Based on what I believe I understand of the play, Thompson wasn't technically beat as he released him to get to the second level. Because, it's up to Bell to make the right read to either put the ball into the belly of Clay and pull it out (what he should have done) or let Clay take it (what he actually does).

Bell has to do a better job recognizing who the defender is keying on, really sell that fake, then pull the ball out and run with it himself. If he keeps it, he has Saunders there to get a block and can get to the outside for what looks like a potentially big gain.

Instead he makes the wrong decision, as he almost always does when asked to run this type of zone-read play, and the play goes for no gain.

* The irony being this is basically the only drive in which Heupel comes across as a competent play-caller. So many things worked. They finally ran some stretch runs, which should have been a significant part of their game plan as anyone could have told you in the week plus leading up to the game. He did some really excellent things with the jet sweep action. He makes a brilliant (yeah, I said brilliant) play call with the little dump pas out of the backfield to Roy Finch for the touchdown.

* I want you to watch this. Just watch Bell's reaction, or lack there of, as he comes off the field after that touchdown pass.

Where's the fire? Where's the passion? I get that all you've just done is make it a 19 point game instead of a 26 point game, but is that the kind of reaction you're looking for from a guy we've been led to believe is a leader on this offense and team?

If you didn't know they'd just scored a touchdown, you might think he was coming off the field after another three and out. Maybe it's just me but I found that to be fairly disturbing.

* Look, I know Shock Linwood is a guy the Baylor coaches love and was a fairly well regarded recruit but at the end of the day he's still their third string running back. And this....

....well that is just pathetic on the part of not one, but both of Oklahoma's starting safeties.

* Help me understand what Bell could have possibly seen here to try and force this into Saunders on 4th down?


Because I don't get it. Saunders is blanketed for one, but there's also a defender, directly in Bell's line of sight, starting to cheat over as he recognizes where Bell intends to go. In my opinion, that's as clear a case as you'll ever see of a guy who decided where he was going with the football before the ball is even snapped.

* Linwood just embarrassing OU defenders here in the fourth quarter. Hard to watch.

* Down 41-12 with nine minutes to go in the game and having seen what he's done up to this point and you trot Bell out there for another series.

That's Bob Stoops giving you (and me) the middle finger, OU fans.

* I present you with the visual definition of an arm punt.

He does not care what happens with that pass. He is literally just throwing it up for grabs.


Well my friends that was depressing. Just glad we had one another to help get through it.

I literally do not know how you (and by you I mean Bob) could watch what I just watched and not make significant changes. It was incompetence on a disturbing level from Heupel both in terms of his game plan and play-calling. Horrible execution of the plays that were called by Bell, the offensive line, multiple defenders, etc.

I understand we're nine games into the season, so wholesale changes may not necessarily be feasible but something has to happen. If it's status quo as usual for these next three games, then I'm not sure how you could come to any other reasonable conclusion that Stoops has totally mailed it in.

Unfortunately, this might not be the last time we need to lean on one another before this season is over.