Sunday, September 23, 2012
Film room: K-State 24, Oklahoma 19
By Brandon Chatmon
Oklahoma's hopes of competing for a championship -- either Big 12 or BCS -- took a major hit with the 24-19 loss to Kansas State at Owen Field on Saturday. The OU offense shot itself in the foot with three turnovers, two by senior quarterback Landry Jones. Here’s a closer look at the Sooners' loss after further review:
Jones third-down incompletion targeting Kenny Stills on OU’s first possession
Two plays after Jones missed a wide-open Brannon Green for a touchdown on play action, he missed Stills in the corner on third down. This play was important for various reasons:
• It was an early signal that Jones was not comfortable in the pocket. The senior had 3.5 seconds in the pocket before any Wildcat defender became free yet he didn’t pull the trigger when Stills became open.
Cal Sport Media via AP Images
Kenny Stills had six catches for 60 yards vs. Kansas State.
• Secondly, it showed the Wildcats were willing to play safe and try to force Jones to beat them. K-State rushed three defenders and dropped eight.
• Lastly, it was another example of the hesitation that has hampered Jones early this season. To be fair, it would have taken great anticipation to hit Stills and expect the junior to come free. But the play was essentially a pick play, designed to create confusion or a collision in the K-State defensive backfield, which is exactly what happened.
While it’s easy to say, in hindsight, that Jones could have thrown to a spot in the corner of the end zone and either Stills gets there or he doesn’t. No K-State player would have been in position to impact the play.
Let’s look at the play a little closer: Justin Brown ran an in-route, Stills ran a corner route. Brown’s route caused KSU defensive backs Allen Chapman and Randall Evans to collide, allowing Stills to break free roughly 3.4 seconds after the snap. Keep in mind that Jones had about 3.5 seconds before he was flushed from the pocket and by the time he pulled the trigger to Stills, the Wildcats had recovered and the ball sailed over Stills’ head.
It’s hard to believe Stills was not high on Jones’ read progression list, yet he didn’t pull the trigger, likely because he didn’t want to throw a red-zone interception and cost the Sooners three points.
It was an early sign Landry Jones was not comfortable and confident on Saturday.
On third-and-13 early in the second quarter, Jones dropped back and had plenty of time, particularly if he had stepped up into the pocket created by the Sooners' offensive line. He did not.
Instead, he scrambled right and was hit from behind by Justin Tuggle at the Sooners’ 2-yard line. Childs recovered the ball and fell into the end zone.
Again, the Wildcats elected to play coverage instead of pressure Jones. KSU rushed four and Childs was manned up on Dominique Whaley then rushed when Whaley stayed in to block.
Simply put, a bad play by Jones. Even if he didn’t have extra time in the pocket, he could have simply thrown the ball away. A punt is not a bad play, particularly when you have a 3-0 lead and K-State had gained 62 yards in the first 15 minutes.
After the Wildcats’ first fumble, OU responded by going on an 8-play, 54-yard drive but Blake Bell fumbled the snap with the ball on the KSU 1-yard line.
The sophomore quarterback simply dropped the snap, which was a good one that hit him in the hands. Just a little to anxious to make a play before securing the football.
The most interesting part of that scenario was the fact the Sooners went to the Belldozer on that play. True enough they had been forced to settle for a field goal early in the contest but Damien Williams had just ripped off an 8-yard run on first-and-goal at the KSU 9. Williams was visibly upset when called off the field in favor of the Belldozer. Against Florida A&M, Williams had touchdown runs of 3 and 4 yards as OU shelved the Belldozer package for most of the game.
Jones’ third-quarter interception
Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
Landry Jones has five touchdowns and two interceptions on the year.
With OU clinging to a 13-10 lead with 1:31 left in the third quarter, Jones was intercepted by Ty Zimmerman after throwing off his back foot.
After a play action fake, Jones had Stills on a slant route but, with pressure at his knees, overthrew the junior. If ever there was a time for Jones to scramble, this was it. Lane Johnson, playing right tackle at the time, was beat to the inside by defensive end Ryan Mueller, who was falling toward Jones’ legs when the senior released the ball. So other people are at fault for this play.
Nonetheless, Jones is a fifth-year senior quarterback. He can’t make that throw. A sack is always better than an interception.
K-State took the lead on the following possession and never trailed again.
3rd-and-12 at KSU 42 with 9:31 left: The Wildcats had an empty backfield set with five receivers. Tramaine Thompson, lined up in the slot on the left side of the formation, ran a wheel route as Tyler Lockett and Chris Harper, both lined up outside of Thompson, ran slant routes.
A miscommunication between Gabe Lynn and Aaron Colvin left Thompson uncovered for a 26 yards gain that that extended the drive. Four plays later John Hubert’s 9-yard touchdown run gave the Wildcats a 24-13 lead.
3rd-and-11 at KSU 24 with 3:22 left: Thompson, lined up in the right slot, ran a crossing route. Javon Harris lined up on Thompson but released him when he entered Tom Wort’s area and Wort was slow to react to Thompson who caught the pass five yards short of the first down but wasn’t touched by a Sooner until Colvin hit him right along the first down marker. Another KSU conversion.
(Should be noted in both third-and-long instances, the Sooners pass rush was non-existent. Klein was rarely put in uncomfortable situations within the pocket on Saturday night.)
3rd-and-3 at KSU 43 with 1:59 left: This play was all Collin Klein. KSU ran a power quarterback run to the left and when Klein arrived at the line of scrimmage with the ball, it didn’t look like he had much. Tony Jefferson missed the tackle but forced Klein toward his teammates but Klein slid behind his offensive line, patiently allowing them to drive the Sooners back before R.J. Washington dragged him down five yards later.
The Sooners played well overall but didn’t make plays when they needed them.
Offensively, OU beat itself, there’s no other way to put it.