Monday, October 8, 2012
Roundtable: Three thoughts on OU-TTU
By SoonerNation staff
After Oklahoma's game every week this season, the SoonerNation staff will look at the most impressive thing from the game, the biggest concern from the game and an interesting storyline moving forward.
Led by junior cornerback Aaron Colvin, the Oklahoma secondary is much improved in 2012.
What impressed me most: The way the OU defensive backfield covered. A month into the season, the Sooners seem to be the only ones in the Big 12 capable of defending the pass. Aaron Colvin has been fabulous, and Tony Jefferson, Demontre Hurst and Javon Harris have been very good, too. If OU can get just a little pressure on opposing QBs, this defensive backfield figures to be very hard to thrown on.
What concerned me most: Freshman wideout Trey Metoyer was supposed to be an integral part of this offense. Saturday he was the only WR in the rotation to finish without a catch. OU spent the off week emphasizing getting Metoyer involved downfield in the vertical passing game, but it didn't seem to help. Metoyer had a shot at a touchdown catch on OU's first drive, but he couldn't hang on to the ball on a fade route. With the Sooners about to embark into the heart of the Big 12 schedule, it's a wonder whether Metoyer will be able to make much of an impact this season.
The most interesting storyline going forward: OU's strength of schedule might be tops in the country. West Virginia and Notre Dame are playing like top five teams, and Kansas State isn't far behind. If the Sooners can get past Texas, they'll have a shot to play their way into national title contention. But making it through the remaining schedule unbeaten would be quite the feat itself.
- Jake Trotter
What impressed me most: The inside push from Casey Walker. While he didn't dominate the game by any stretch, Walker was able to get penetration and disrupt the pocket on multiple occasions against the Red Raiders. OU badly needs someone who can create a consistent inside push and Walker showed signs of being able to do that on Saturday. If he can improve as the season progresses it would be a major help to OU's defense.
What concerned me most: Third-down defense. While OU had a strong performance from its defense, the Sooners allowed Texas Tech to convert 9 of 15 third down conversion attempts. That's not good. If the Sooners can't get off the field on third down it could doom their Big 12 title hopes with Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma State among the teams remaining on the schedule. The good news is the Sooners only allowed 3 of 8 conversions in the second half, so halftime adjustments by Mike Stoops did make an impact.
The most interesting storyline going forward: The saga of Trey Metoyer continues to pique the interest of Sooners fans. The elite receiver recruit was named the Big 12 newcomer of the year but has 10 receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown through four games. Is it Metoyer or is it the Sooners' gameplans? Time will tell.
- Brandon Chatmon
What impressed me most: When OU was recruiting running back Damien Williams, what he said helped him stand out among other backs was his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. OU didn't showcase those skills much in the first three games, but it was on full display at Texas Tech. Williams had six catches for 82 yards and showed why he has believed he can be just as effective as a wide receiver as he can be running the ball. Williams has the strength, speed and endurance to handle the ball 20-25 times a game.
What concerned me most: It was better as the game progressed, but the lack of pressure from the defensive line on the quarterback is a growing concern. OU's secondary is pretty stout and Mike Stoops has definitely made his presence known there. If the Sooners can get more pressure without having to rely on blitz packages, the turnovers will come and success will follow. The defense is starting to look like it's getting its identity, but obviously Texas will be a big test.
The most interesting storyline going forward: The Texas Tech game almost felt like a slow changing of the guard. Regulars like Dominique Whaley and Tom Wort were replaced, for lack of a better term, by Damien Williams and Frank Shannon. How will these two veterans react? Will they gripe about the situation? Or will they work even harder and add even more depth to the team? Wort and Whaley have never been displayed in a negative light but each might have some internal questions they'll have to answer.