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Most teams like to make a statement with their first offensive play. We threw a five yard backward pass to a WR in motion where he had to fight to limit the loss due to the ineffective cupcake blocks provided by his fellow wideouts. We kept in script for the remainder of the first half by stumbling, bumbling, and basically hoping to prevent injury. I was reminded of the famous DKR talk when he told his squad there was one helluva fight going on in the Cotton Bowl—too bad we hadn’t gotten in on it. Here are the grades:
1—Burt—pass. Good tackle on punt.
2—Johnson—pass. Proud effort but needs work on pass pro.
6—Duvernay—pass. Tried to do too much with poor decisions on kickoffs.
9—Johnson—pass. Pretty much held up his end except for one drop.
11—Ehlinger—borderline. Frustration led to bad decisions, poor throws, late underthrows, and early pocket departures.
16—Smith—didn’t play enough snaps.
26—Ingram—borderline. Sad to see the finger-pointing with Sam after pass in flat.
52—Cosmi—pass. Very average game but showed flashes of very good.
56—Shackelford—fail. Nose penetration and stunt pickups were below average efforts.
68—Kerstetter—fail. Pass pro, penalty, and loss of contact weren’t up to par.
73—Braun—pass. Pass protection lacked crispness.
75—Angilau—fail. Pass protection and penetration mistakes needed better effort.
80—Brewer—fail. One nice catch but not good blocking assignments.
85—Epps—pass. Only because he caught two passes.
The best two running plays (Rojo—3rd Q) were the only two plays we ran with Cosmi shifting to a TE alignment outside of Derek K. This unbalanced look might have been a needed shot in the arm but we chose to avoid using it again.
I’m curious how effective we might be running two slots (6 and 16) where we would have option routes against opponents 3rd and 4th best cover guys. We sure aren’t getting spit from a three wide plus TE handyman that isn’t a receiving threat and isn’t a strong blocker. Maybe Herman needs a TE but this offense isn’t exactly a proving point.
I’m hoping we left our spizarinkum on the practice field preparing for OU because we definitely didn’t provide rivalry effort to these eyes. I just didn’t see busting ass to get another piece of the action. What I saw resembled running in quicksand. I hope we bounce bad because this wasn’t a good look for us.
It’s really a gut check watching our defense this year. OU was able to move three of our defenders with a single WR motion and I find that overkill to the third degree. I am accustomed to our lack of positioning a defender in a contain alignment but this week took the cake for me. Watching OU turn the corner untouched and unchallenged time after time in order to have eight bodies preparing for air tackles and body blocking ground hits sank my ship. I thought the typical Diaz defensive plan was unsound at best until I saw whatever one might call this abortion.
Our players didn’t play well or even close to it. We can’t tackle with the approach we are taking. Either we need to change our teaching technique or get a new bunch of starters ready for action. It’s not like a one game poor effort. We aren’t seeing any better production or performance from too many full time players and that’s not the usual way of life. Something’s wrong somewhere. Here are the grades:
4—Cook—pass. One of the few that made plays with solid effort.
5—Jamison—pass. Coverage was acceptable.
6—Mitchell—fail. Too many plays where he lost the ball or made poor decisions.
15—Brown—fail. You just can’t miss this many tackles nor make this many bad decisions.
19—Jones—fail. Too many poor plays.
25—Foster—fail. Too many missed tackles—too many bad decisions.
31—Overshown—one good blitz—why doesn’t he get more snaps along with 11—they can’t be ANY worse.
32—Roach—fail. bad decision (target) and bad play on first play (he must take the RB).
36—Jones—borderline in limited action.
40—Adeoye—borderline. Why is Dele covering Lamb twenty yards deep on the boundary? Plays hard but very limited.
42—Bimage—pass. next man up.
44—Owens—good tackle on ST’s. Why isn’t he playing?
46—Ossai—pass. Best player but why can’t we get him in his natural position (WDE) making plays instead of meandering in space. Unbelievable.
49—Graham—fail. Doesn’t make plays as a 4i—wonder how many plays he makes as a penetrating three technique?
50—Vaughns made a solid tackle on punt team.
91—Chisholm—pass in limited role.
93—Sweat—pass—wonder how many plays he makes as an off-set nose?
98—Ojomo—borderline. Would make one heck of a three technique with his quicks.
99—Coburn—pass. Makes more plays as an off-set nose.
OU had one helluva center—he’s a difference maker.
We aren’t a smart defensive football team. We haven’t learned that the sideline boundary is a 12th tackler—much less that it’s never missed a tackle.
We don’t understand that contain means maintaining outside leverage on the football without “ducking” inside.
We damn sure don’t understand lane integrity on our pass rushes—especially when we bring blitzers.
We don’t understand “breaking down” nor “grab hold and holler help” when tackling in space. We tend to whiff on air tackles and bounce off the ground when attempting to “body block” a receiver down.
Wrapping up is a foreign language.
I would settle for a single defensive alignment (with adjustments to formation) that we could play sound right now. We play confused too much and that means slower.
We have too many more worried about adjusting than our responsibility and that’s not a good thing.
It wasn’t fun to watch either side of the ball this week. Hope that changes next Saturday against Kansas.