Last Spring Break, some of my friends wanted to go camping, and they wanted to go to a place relatively remote from civilization. Naturally, they picked Oklahoma, and I tagged along to experience the State of Suck for the very first time. I actually don't have bad events to report from that trip: The camp site was okay and the people there were mostly polite despite the fact that I was proudly wearing my burnt orange attire (hat, pants, and shirt), but that was probably because we seemed run into more people wearing OSU orange than crimson and cream. However, when we went to a nearby Wal-Mart to get supplies, the town felt lifeless and forsaken, a sort of sad place that has nary a hope for better things. It felt like a wasteland, to be honest, which is saying something since I hail from Abilene, TX. There was this dusty, grimey, uneducated, dirty aura about the area. I was glad to leave the place and return to the Lone Star State. As much as I find the prospect of Oklahoma traveling to DKR interesting, I wouldn't want to go north. The game should stay in Dallas.
What a fitting image for Oklahoma's season. The Sooners, with such high national title aspirations before the season, now sit at 3-3. It's almost time to hibernate until next year, because there's not much left to recover after the Horns finally took the Sooners' season off life support. Bye bye.
I, of course, exaggerate a bit. Oklahoma is not yet finished; all it would take is another meltdown from the Horns, as we saw in 2006, for Oklahoma to squeeze into the Big 12 title game. As small a chance as that is, Oklahoma has a decent shot at winning the rest of their games, especially if they continue to play strong defense they played on Saturday.
First of all, kudos to Scipio Tex and PB for predicting a relatively low-scoring, SEC type of game. I know many Horns fans are hesitant about giving too much credit to Venables and his Sooner defense, considering how painfully woeful Greg Davis' performance was, but the Sooner defense showed that they can be a force. As Scipio Tex noted in their podcast, Oklahoma is coached well to tendency, which makes them susceptible to misdirection but also allows them to obliterate predictable offenses... which, unfortunately, was ours much of Saturday morning, at least in the passing game. Still, it takes good players to execute like that, and Oklahoma made our offense pay for our terrible gameplan.
The Sooners were pretty good to great on all three levels. The D-line had the upper hand on our boys up front all game, although we thankfully began to turn the tide in the second half. Gerald McCoy was difficult for our interior guys to handle, and both Beal and English were good in passing situations. Travis Lewis had a strong game at linebacker and even Reynolds had his moments. I don't think we tested their safeties much at all, but corner Brian Jackson had a pretty good game himself handling Jordan Shipley, although I'm sure he is still receiving flak for allowing Colt McCoy to catch him on his interception. Basically, we had an athletic defense that was drilled to tendency facing a very predictable offense. Fail.
On the other side, their offense wasn't nearly as predictable as ours but pretty much saw similar results due to the mismatches all over the field. Their receivers and their offensive line were the weak points we thought they would be, minus Ryan Broyles' touchdown. Because of that, I do not think Bradford going out was the issue; the issue was that OU couldn't run the ball and couldn't protect their quarterback or give him options. This is just not a very good offense right now. Looking forward to the rest of the season, the defense will keep Oklahoma in games but it will be up to their offense to make sure they keep up with the likes of OSU and Texas Tech (and even KU, which is coming up next).
-Both Cory Brandon and Sam Bradford will be out next week, but there is no word on Bradford's ultimate fate. It is clear he was not ready to play, and it is unfortunate that this may be the end of the road for the guy.
-The refs were bad on both sides during the game. Phantom facemask, phantom pass interference, 30000 reviews... come on now.
-Don't take the DART to the game. Not only does it take too long to get there, it takes too long just to get the heck out of the fair. It's cheap, but if you value time, just drive to the fair and fork over extra cash for parking. Sheesh, that sucked.
With the OU game finished, it is time to focus on Oklahoma State. Depending on what happens, I might continue to update the goings-on about Oklahoma, but there's virtually no chance for some three-way tie craziness whatsoever. It is in some ways no longer our concern what happens to OU after this, although we will probably take a special delight if their season completely spirals out of control (unlikely). It is relieving in a sense to get past this part of the schedule unscathed, but part of the fun is the buildup to this great rivalry. For the Sooners, it's "Wait till next year." For us, we have some business to take care of before we look that far ahead. Until then, we bid the Sooners goodbye, and pleasant dreams in your wasteland home and university.