Look, I’m gunna say it.
I’m riding with Gary until the end. Even if the end is perpetually 6-6 for the next 5 years. I’m riding with that man straight into the fiery jaws of Hell itself. If you don’t want to agree, fine. I respect different opinions. That man pretty much kept us in the game with his defensive coaching. OU ran on us, but we took their passing away and made them actually fight for it after the 1st quarter.
Lets get into it:
-CeeDee Lamb’s stat line: 2 catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. We held Oklahoma to 11 completions (on 21 attempts) and that was a huge reason why we were able to hang around as we did. A top two receiver in the ENTIRE country was held to 2 catches for 16 yards. That’s pretty good (duh). But I use this tagline for Lamb as a summary for how we were able to make Oklahoma one dimensional in the second half (really outside of the first quarter) and that really allowed us to make them punt - something we hadn’t been able to do in the past 3 meetings.
They got a lot on the ground, but we were able to force them into making mistakes in the redzone. I don’t want to think about what this game would have been like if it weren’t for those two plays, but man the defense came to play even if the offense did not.
-Max Duggan, running QB: While he didn’t do a ton with his arm on this night, Thuggan Duggan did let lose with his feet. When we needed it most, Max went 59 yards and got us in position for us to score our first TD of the game. Then later on he carried, not one, not two, but three Oklahoma defenders with him into the endzone for our second TD of the game. While he may not be consistent with his arm yet (not entirely on him), he is darn scary with his legs. He’s got the speed and it is one of the few reasons why we were able to stay in this game.
-Turnover Battle: The Frogs defense made some HUGE plays that kept us in the game. We knocked the ball loose and recovered it, had a 97 yard pick 6, and then had one of the smoothest fumble recoveries I have ever seen. Had we not gotten those 2 turnovers in the redzone, the final score could have easily been much worse.
-Here is your weekly Ross Blacklock appreciation sentence: SAY IT WITH YOUR CHEST EVERYONE.
The entire first quarter: We were lost on defense, and were allergic to offense. We went 3 and out 3 times in a row and then gave up 3 touchdowns to Oklahoma. The final score was 28-24...so you know if we literally did not dig ourselves into a 21-0 hole we set ourselves up much better to make the game interesting.
I mentioned this once before in a previous MMQB, the SMU one I believe - but I really wish we were better at managing first halves of games. It feels like for the most part we have the capability to be a great second half team...seeing as all of our games tend to be close when we fall behind big this season. But, our record would probably have 2 more wins if we were as good in the first half (or even just slightly less frustrating) as we are in the second.
The offensive playcalling the whole night was once again frustrating. We capped together two solid drives, but other than that our points came from a pick 6 and we settled for a FG on 3rd and goal...to which I have to say - you will never beat a Lincoln Riley coached team, in Norman, by kicking field goals.
I know you expect your team to score more points later on, and maybe the pick 6 just gave us all too much hope, but you play to win the game. I know Gary knows it, and too be fair, he was coaching them up from the second quarter on...but we just didn’t capitalize when we needed to.
-The Drops: Once again, drops seemed to plague this team, especially on third down. If this hadn’t been a recurring issue all year long then I would have just guessed that the home crowd noise got to the receivers...man I wish I could say that. Instead I’m going to say what I always say, PLEASE COACH THIS OUT OF THEM. PUT EVERYONE IN FRONT OF THE FOOTBALL THROWING MACHINES AND SEND IT.
-The fabled third and 1: I’m not going to say that this cost us the game, because the way that the offense was playing all night, I don’t know if we even could have managed to score the go ahead touchdown with about 1 minute remaining. That being said, the spot was bad and we never got the chance. Bad calls happen in every game, so I’m not going to say TCU is specially maligned...but again...the Baylor spot now this, cmon Big 12 refs you can’t fool me that easily. TL;DR - the spot was bad, but I don’t think we had the fire power to go down the field and win the game (I hated writing that sentence).
As a whole, this game was so much closer than I thought, and had you told me we would be in position to be upset by a bad spot call, I would have been delighted. I’m glad we are back to playing Oklahoma close instead of getting our doors blown off by 30.
The Rational Quarterback Analysis Manifesto:
Well Duggan had 7 completions on 21 attempts for 65 yards and an interception. That is not good. We also had 3 or 4 drops on the day that could have made that final stat line slightly less tough to look at. Once again, we couldn’t get anything going, and I’ll give credit to the OU defense, they were making plays early on and our offense never really recovered. Anyone who has read this before knows my Sonny take, but I think we need a new play caller or we need Gary to take his hands off the wheel on offense.
Max didn’t look great with his arm on Saturday, but like I said before, when he was on with his legs the team came alive. He’s got the moxie, but he just needs a little more time to cook. I’m not going to say he’s going to be great b/c so far he’s been inconsistent, but that’s because this entire offense has been inconsistent. Receivers, play calling, offensive line, getting our RB’s the ball, etc. Next year we are going to have to put this offense under a microscope if these issues keep happening.
Play of the game:
There are two that I wanted to choose from, one of them is the pick 6 that gave us new life and made the game interesting again. The other one is when Jalen Hurts got his lunch stolen by a true freshman and had the ball stripped out down near the goal line. I would have given it to the pick 6 had it not been the smoothest strip of all time. I’m talking chicken strips ladies and gentleman.
Ignore the fact that he destroyed one defender’s legs.
Next week: West Virginia comes to town for a Black Friday showdown.
Oh dear God please let us make a bowl game.