Week 6 - (L) UT 24 vs OU 29

Well it's Thursday, and OU still sucks, but dang.. darn.. poop... crap.

Another tough loss, and worst of all it was to the crimson bumpkins from the north (even if most of their players are from Texas). 

While I am proud of our guys for fighting back and even taking the lead (and the coaching staff for making the proper adjustments), I'm dismayed by the trend of abysmal starts to games that has appeared over the last few games.

Players look flat. We look out coached. And then, everyone decides to turn it on. Well here's an idea, maybe don't dig yourself a 20 point hole in the first half.

My thoughts: (With GIFs of course!)
- We lost 2 out of 4 key game-deciding categories
- Beck cannot keep calling so many designed runs for Sam
- Can't keep getting off to slow starts
- We're closer than we were with Strong

We lost 2 of 4 key game-deciding categories
What are those categories? Well, my high school coach used to tell us there were four keys to winning every game.
- Don't give up big plays on defensive (Lost - I'll share some stats too)
- Win in special teams (Lost - the fact that we won't even kick a field goal)
- Don't turn the ball over (or win the turnover battle) (Won - no turnovers)
- No stupid penalties (Won - they had a penalty on a TD)

Those may have not been his exact words, but the idea is that you can't gift the other team points or field position, and if we both have to drive up and down the field to score, we'll come out on top.

I told a fellow fan and friend before the game that we'd win the game if it we could do those four things and keep it to a game of who can put together more drives than the other team. And we were so close... Just a damn big play to lose it.

Quick stat on big plays:
OU had 4 plays over 40 yds (2 for TDs, including the dagger at the end)
UT had 1 play over 40 yds (Duvernay catch that I wish so badly would've been a TD)

... on that note, if we had any semblance of a reliable kicker, we would have kicked a field goal on the drive we had that big play. Instead, we go for it on 4th and 8 (I think), and don't get it of course. Twice during this game we went for it on 4th down in field goal territory and didn't get it. And we lost by 5 points. So lame.

Speaking of a couple plays (big plays, not taking a kick, etc.)... Boy, if Hager could have picked this off. Makes sense why he's not on the field as much this year.

Beck can't keep calling so many designed runs for Sam
I understand Ehlinger running the ball is pretty much the only ground game we have going right now, and several of his runs come from a read option or broken down pass plays. I'm ok with those as that will still end up being 10+ runs a game. However, with our shitty o-line, he's taking hit on pass plays too. I imagine he took close to 30 hits last game. Him taking hits (the probably minor concussion) cost us too - his ability to detect blitzers better than Shane cost us when Shane took a sack on what could've been a scoring drive late in the fourth quarter.

He just doesn't need to take this punishment on top of all the hits he's taking from scrambles and reads. Don't just run him up the middle like he's a bruising tailback.

This hit isn't Beck's fault, but here's an example of the hits Ehlinger is naturally going to take in the passing game with our 3/5 backup o-line.

We can't keep getting off to slow starts
Wow, what a hot sports opinion by me. Cam Newton would probably laugh at me if I was female for my 'hot' take. Regardless, it would be nice to be the first team to score. USC we got down 14-7 at half; K-State we were down 17-7 halfway through the second quarter; OU we went down 20-0. Would love to open up against Okie light with a score and a stop (or vice versa).

I thought OU might crush us the way the game started. Huge holes and large gains on the ground early. D line getting pushed back several yards, and Malik's inability to read the play and get easily blocked just won't cut it. I'll show how they improved, but still. 20 to nothing!

I hate to pick on Malik, because I really am a fan, but here's the very next play on 2nd and short. He should have had a tackle for a 2 yard loss, but no, 1st down. Great job of getting off the block though. Please Malik, don't take a quarter and a half to get warmed up this weekend.

- We're closer than we were with Strong
All that negativity and crappy feelings aside. I think there's still reason for optimism. Believe me, I know "feeling proud of our guys because they battled back" doesn't get you wins or championships, but again, I think the in game adjustments are being made, and our talent is close - remember, freshman QB behind a makeshift o-line. 

This was the play that started to turn the momentum in our favor. Quick aside, Bonney has actually been making some plays this year, and frankly, Boyd is not. I know Bonney is maybe more of a safety, but maybe try him instead of Body.. or even a different CB.

Post adjustments and lack of energy from the players, this is the kind of push and relentlessness that got us back in the game. Would love to see this for all 4 qtrs.

We have players who can make plays. Hemphill-Mapps continues to deliver when called upon. The two plays below were huge on the scoring drive that gave us the lead. 

Lil J just continues to impress. Both his run after the catch and his hands, but also just the savvy-ness on this play to get open on a pseudo-scramble drill. Seems simple, but so often you see guys stop their route - he does a great job getting open for Sam, and making the throw relatively easy.

Finally, while Sam still has some work to do in reading defenses and timing. They guy makes plays, and he can make more of them with his feet than Shane can. I doubt this is a called delay to Brewer, and more of Same making something out of nothing. Great view of his playmaking ability, and it was a clutch play on the last scoring drive.

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