Coach V’s Grades – Oklahoma

Tre Watson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Tre Watson (Will Gallagher/IT)

NOTE: B is the lowest passing grade.

Wow, what a game—what college football means to the entire nation. There is just something about a rival game that brings out the best of all of us. Can I get a “thank you” from everybody that muttered how much they love this football team during the contest.I’ve been to hell and back with this game of football and I still get goose bumps watching good players make great plays when their team needs them the most. Watching all the critical third and fourth downs converted speaks volumes about how prepared this bunch was to produce for their family. I still think losing to your rival is one of life’s toughest lessons and biggest heartbreaks to digest. Not so fast this time.

I know we didn’t make every throw, catch, run, or block when the chips were down but it damn sure felt like we did. Guys did things better than they ever have. It was that important and it showed. On every damn one of us.

Here are the grades:

Effort—-team—A+ SOLID—@ScipioTex

11—Sam—A-

5—Watson—B+

26—Ingram—A-

1—Burt—A-

6—Duvernay—A-

9—Johnson—A-

13—Heard—A-

84—Humphrey—A-

47—Beck—A-

80—Brewer—A-

52—Cosmi—A-

56—Shack—B+

66—Anderson—A-

72—Rodriguez—B+

77—Vahe—B+

Bits and pieces:

Sam played extremely well. I noticed the look in his eyes several times—confident and happy. Much different than last year—no confusion, no sense of urgency, and not one frigging ounce of indecision.

Ingram is so much more than our best runner. Sam’s three td’s and one fourth down run illustrate Ingram’s lead blocking is so not a pampered freshman

Beck had his best game receiving and blocking. He was instrumental in this win.

CJ and LJH are big time talents that produced for the entire 60 minutes. Standing applause for both several times and I don’t usually have that reaction.

Sam Cosmi is going to be all Big 12 as a freshman. Coach Hand won’t mention/talk about it but he can’t help or hide that slight grin that appears when Sam’s name is brought up.

Shack’s a better player this year—more consistent snaps and fewer really bad plays.

Anderson is a quality LT that only needs to become a better drive blocker to be outstanding.

Has anybody had a terrific year and been talked about less than Duvernay? He belongs.

Rodriguez is probably our most important offensive player—his performance remains consistent at both OC and OG. He’s a solid performer.

Vahe might never be a pass pro magician but he’s a dandy run blocker.

Sam Cosmi is poetry in motion when he pulls on the counter or swings outside on a screen. He can run and his body control is outstanding.

I hope Kerstetter isn’t dinged up. I know coaches hate to break up a system that’s running on all cylinders but he needs to be considered a starter each week to remain sharp mentally and physically.

That good ol’ Baylor line is next and they are in our way.

Chris Nelson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Chris Nelson (Will Gallagher/IT)

If you think being a DC is hard on any given Saturday try sugarcoating how your bunch played well despite giving up 45 points to your rival in the press conference days after the game. I’m sure Orlando will point out the good plays (sacks and turnovers) but the simple truth is not many of our defensive guys played as well as they know they can. Speed makes the game extremely difficult but I doubt a single defender would blame his not playing his best on OU’s ability to run.

We didn’t defeat many blocks. We didn’t tackle well at all. We missed too many assignments everywhere but the DL. Our pass rush didn’t dictate any rapid heart rate. We lost contain too often. We missed filling the correct gaps at the second level. We failed to scrape correctly too often. Worst of all we got blocked and missed tackles at an alarming rate.

It is hard to explain why our backend can’t get properly aligned and ready to play coverage this far into the season. I will leave it at that.

We ran fresh out of gas at too many positions. I blame that on the staff. Rotation is not your enemy if conducted with a purpose in mind. When your defenders all look like they are running uphill against the wind it’s your job to get fresh bodies into the fight—and realize you should have done that every quarter.

Here are the grades:

90—Omenihu—B+

60—Hager—B

49—Graham—B-

42—Bimage—B-

97—Nelson—B+

94—Wilbon—B-

55—Christmas—B-

33—Johnson—C+

45—Wheeler—C

2—Boyd—B+

7—Sterns—B-

11—Locke—C

18—Davis—B+

19—Jones—B

25—Foster—B

We didn’t play well enough to win on defense this week. The good news is the offense did. We need help in several areas going forward. The DL needs to go back to slashing and creating havoc regardless of the QB. We can’t play conservative—it’s not our style. We have a nice two deep rotation that probably goes 75-25. 60-40 might be nice number as the bumps and bruises multiply each week.

We just don’t have a LB that has instincts to play the position in this league. We have one that can usually swash-buckle his way to the ball and make eye-opening plays at times. Yesterday wasn’t his finest hour by a longshot. The other LB is just not developed for a Big 12 success. Except for the nickel position LB is by far the weakest position group on the team. We need to recruit this position very well because the answer must not be on campus right now—otherwise, we would be playing them right now.

It’s head-scratching how we bust so many coverages (three td’s yesterday directly) because it’s always the same cast of characters back there every game. With two DB coaches one would think they could get covering the wheel route and switch routes rules in place. Maybe a switch in personnel could solve the nagging problem. It’s a huge problem that hasn’t gone away. It ain’t lack of talent.

This group needs to apologize this week against them bears. They owe the offense.