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Bevo's Daily Roundup - August 21, 2009

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15 days until the Louisiana-Monroe game

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Red Raiders delusional as usual.

Sergio KIndle is a quiet guy.

And while Kindle may be getting comfortable replacing Orakpo as the team’s primary pass rusher, putting his hand in the ground and beating tackles from the end spot, replacing Orakpo’s voice in the locker room doesn’t come as naturally.

"I don’t try to be a leader," Kindle said. "I lead by example."

While Miller and Orakpo had no problems addressing the whole team, often loudly, Kindle has a different approach.

"If I have something to say, I just whisper it to Lamarr and let him tell everyone," Kindle said. "I don’t have a problem with [being a leader]. I’ll go over to the side and talk to people, lift them up, not screaming at them."

And what did we learn today?

All the freshman are hurting a bit. John Chiles has had a good camp at receiver. Colt McCoy is as good as you think he'd be. Dan Buckner has been working at a flex-tight end. Earl Thomas has been the best player in the secondary this fall. Garrett Gilbert would be the back-up quarterback if there was a game this Saturday. Sherrod Harris suffered a muscle injury in his side earlier this week which has hindered his practice time.

These are all things I learned on Thursday when Mack Brown visited with the media.

He also said that he'd have 5 receivers if the season started today. Shipley, Kirkendoll, Collins, Malcom Williams and Chiles would be the guys along with Dan Buckner. He hasn't decided on a punt returner or kickoff returner yet. Westlake kicker Justin Tucker has been consistently kicking it into the endzone on kickoffs so Coach Brown doesn't really have a great idea as to what kind of return game he'll have on kickoffs.

Texas Sports has a profile of Kyle Hix.

So many expectations. Winning a Heisman, winning a national championship, singing...

 


 

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Oklahoma State

So who will replace Brandon Pettigrew?

MIke Gundy has put up a Do Not Disturb sign.

OSU has officially started circling the wagons.

On Wednesday the media was informed that there will be no contact with OSU players or coaches after Wednesday’s practice until the first regular-season media luncheon on Monday, Aug. 31.

No more talking with coach Mike Gundy after practice.

No more talking with players after practice.

No more talking with anybody for the next 10 days.

The obvious question is why?

Maybe it’s no more than Gundy wanting his team to have 100 percent focus the next 10 days on the task at hand, hosting the Bulldogs. Gundy said last week that the Cowboys would start game-planning for UGA about two weeks out from the game.

Go get em' Bulldogs. Georgia's maligned defense is out for some redemption.

"We feel we need to have a bit of redemption," said junior linebacker Rennie Curran. "We’re a real focused team right now. We feel we’re on a mission."

Georgia, which opens the season at Oklahoma State on Sept. 5, finished 10-3 in 2008 and gave up more than 40 points in each of the three losses.

The defensive breakdowns were especially shocking when placed in historical perspective. Before last season, Georgia gave up more than 40 points in only one game — a 51-33 loss to Tennessee in 2006 — in Mark Richt’s first seven years as the Bulldogs coach.

 

Oklahoma

The Sooners are really talking up that defense. Today we get to meet Frank Alexander.

If Alexander’s thing is recording 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his final three starts of 2008, three of his team’s biggest games, the Sooners should expect even bigger things from his second season on the field.

Alexander’s output as a freshman surpassed McCoy’s first season, when McCoy earned Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. More impressive is Alexander doing it in only nine games, after he was stabbed in his right arm during a nightclub incident that cost him five games.

"Last year, he left a lot of sacks on the field," Williams said, pointing out the number of times he slipped past the offensive line far outnumbered his sack total.

More on that incredible Sooner defense. Jamarkus McFarland is getting comfortable and coming along nicely.

The Sooners boast one of the top defensive lines in the nation, headlined by All-American defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

But coach Bob Stoops made a point this week of commending the efforts so far this fall camp of young defensive tackles Stacy McGee, Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland.

"It is a good group of young guys," Stoops said. "Stacy McGee has gotten better and better. Casey Walker has gotten better, and he has made a lot of good improvement. Jamarkus McFarland is coming on and getting more comfortable."

McFarland (6-2, 296), one of OU’s top incoming recruits, is also making a push to join the rotation and avoid redshirting during his true freshman season.

McCoy said he’s been especially impressed with McFarland.

"We may see him on the field this season," McCoy said.

The Florida Gators may be thinking about Oklahoma, but Oklahoma isn't thinking about them.

During Big 12 Media Days last month, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was asked several questions about Florida.

Bradford paused before answering. You could envision his mind trying to connect the dots that didn’t warrant being connected.

Bradford didn’t want to give an answer that might embarrass the inquisitor, so he gave a one-word, one-syllable response that couldn’t possibly be misinterpreted.

"No," Bradford said.

Bradford was puzzled by the line of questioning. Understandable, considering the Sooners and Gators are in different conferences and have met exactly once in their entire history.

OU's Trent Williams and OSU's Russell Okung are just the best.

The offensive tackles from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the best in the country. They aren’t among the best. They aren’t some of the best. They are the best at their position in all the land.

"If it takes only one player to block the best pass rusher, you don’t have to sacrifice another guard or a tight end or a running back," ESPN commentator and former Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer said. "The possibilities in offense just grow exponentially. If you can get extra guys out in routes, then those are plays to be had if you’re a quarterback.

"I think that’s what makes both of those guys so special."

Okung and Williams can handle a defense’s best pass rusher on their own, and that springs the playmakers. Suppose the Cowboys want Kendall Hunter catching passes out of the backfield instead of blocking? Suspect the Sooners prefer Jermaine Gresham in the open field instead of blocking at the line?

That’s the kind of difference Okung and Williams make.

Freshman linebacker Tom Wort was hurt in practice.

 

 

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ESPN's Tim Griffin has the longest-tenured coaches that have not taken their team to a BCS bowl. Gary Pinkel is one. Can you guess the other?

Big 12 coaches, ranked from worst to first.

 

The North

Be prepared for Rule 9-6. A crew of Big 12 officials are an important part of Missouri's scrimmage.

Conference officials regularly work scrimmages. It helps them get ready for the season and reminds players and coaches how games will be handled.

That is more important than ever this year.

The NCAA, responding to a unanimous recommendation from its rules committee, has told officials to be more vigorous in the enforcement of Rule 9-6. The rule prohibits hits to the head of unprotected players.

"You're going to have to be a lot more careful this year," Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said.

Coach Gary Pinkel and his staff have reminded players of the increased emphasis on Rule 9-6 throughout preseason practice. The league office sent instructional videos on the rule to each team.

The scrimmage turned out to be less than expected.

"I thought it was kind of sloppy," Pinkel said. "The one offense was lethargic out there, made a lot of mistakes. When you have penalties, you have sacks.’


Here, Pinkel paused, then returned to one of his biggest gripes.
"You have penalties," he repeated.


"It just dissolves execution. I’m disappointed in that."


Late in the scrimmage, the defense gave up three touchdowns in two-minute and short-drive situations. Pinkel wasn’t pleased with that either

"The one defense played pretty good," Pinkel said, "but certainly giving up a couple of big plays at the end is certainly not what you want to be about."

Bo Pelini wants Nebraska to be consistent.

Wednesday's practices mark the fourth and fifth of nine workouts this week. Pelini has preached perseverance and toughness from his players this week, but said he hasn't seen it at all times.

"We're not consistent enough. It's an everyday thing. It's something we're trying to fight through every day. I'm not going to be happy until I see it from every guy and right now I'm not seeing it from every guy on a consistent basis."

Remember when we used to have a running game? Colorado plans to run the football.

From the spread to smash-mouth, Colorado's offense is taking on a new look this season. Power football is back.

"Everybody else in the Big 12 is doing a certain style of offense," senior tight end Riar Geer said, referring to the spread. "We're kind of like the wild card this year. Defenses playing us will have to prepare for something else. That definitely plays into our hand."

The Jayhawks are now Todd's squad.

"He really had this swagger about him. I just liked him," Mangino said. "There was something that exuded confidence. He was just like a stick of dynamite."

Mangino added that on rare occasions, that swagger has gotten Reesing into trouble — "We have to reel him back in a little bit" — but that Reesing, and Kansas, wouldn't be where they are without his nerve.

And where they are is in position to challenge for a North Division championship.

Mark Mangino likes his running game.

"I like what we’re doing in the run game," Mangino said. "It’s a little rough at times, it needs some fundamental work, some polishing, but I like that group. It’s very encouraging."


The South

No wonder they canned Guy Morris. Robert Griffin's first visit to Baylor did not leave a good impression.

In the fall of 2006, when he was a junior in high school, Robert Griffin drove 71 minutes from his home in Copperas Cove, Texas, for an unofficial visit to Baylor.

He still remembers what happened when former Baylor coach Guy Morriss entered the locker room following a 36-35, come-from-behind victory over Kansas.

" [Morriss] came up and shook hands with a few of the other recruits, but he walked right by me without saying a word," Griffin says. "That left a bad taste in my mouth."

Griffin eventually met Morriss on a subsequent visit.

"He told me I could walk on," Griffin says. "I never even thought about Baylor after that."

Texas Tech safeties Cody Davis and Franklin Mitchem are taking the place of two very productive players.

The impact Darcel McBath and Daniel Charbonnet had on the Texas Tech defense last season was readily quantifiable. Between them, the two safeties intercepted 12 passes and broke up 13 more.

McBath’s seven interceptions tied for highest total in the country, and only a pair of players from Boston College and a pair from Georgia Tech matched the 12 picks by two teammates that McBath and Charbonnet produced.

An intimidating standard to live up to?

Daniel Cobb, one of Tech’s new safeties, sees it another way.

"It shows you the coaches are going to put you in a position to do well,’’ said Cobb, a 6-foot-1, 206-pound Killeen Ellison graduate. "You’ve just got to be able to make the play when they put you there.’’