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The University of Oklahoma Sooners Football - Reflections on my great false god

Installment four of “OSU can beat Florida State if the Seminoles make the same mental mistakes they did against Auburn and OSU capitalizes on them.” 

On this play Auburn again turns down the wide open uncovered receiver but it does show devastating Auburn’s option game can be.

Installment three of “OSU can beat Florida State if the Seminoles make the same mental mistakes they did against Auburn and OSU capitalizes on them.” 

In these images (which I can’t get to the right size) Auburn capitalizes on FSU’s blown assignment.

Installment two of “OSU can beat Florida State if the Seminoles make the same mental mistakes they did against Auburn and OSU capitalizes on them.”
Above is an uncovered Auburn receiver wide in the slot, or uncovered enough he is given a 13 yard cushion to the goal line.  Yes, Auburn gets a TD on this drive.  BUT my point is the big mental gaffs being made in a national title game and the opportunities they create so that if Florida State comes at the OSU Cowboys a little over confident and having prepared sloppily……

Installment two of “OSU can beat Florida State if the Seminoles make the same mental mistakes they did against Auburn and OSU capitalizes on them.”

Above is an uncovered Auburn receiver wide in the slot, or uncovered enough he is given a 13 yard cushion to the goal line.  Yes, Auburn gets a TD on this drive.  BUT my point is the big mental gaffs being made in a national title game and the opportunities they create so that if Florida State comes at the OSU Cowboys a little over confident and having prepared sloppily……

Installment one of “OSU can beat Florida State if the Seminoles make the same mental mistakes they did against Auburn and OSU capitalizes on them.”

When you run the uptempo no huddle you need to snap the ball and take the gifts that are just handed to you, or so I thought when I saw the first image.

But NO, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  As 7 seconds pass Florida State pulls 7 men up to the line of scrimmage.  if Auburn audibles here they have 3 receivers that if thrown the ball would have huge gains and maybe touchdowns.

In image three after the snap of the ball we see the 3 wide open receivers, but Auburn sticks with their run option and the running back gets the ball on the quarterback, Nick Marshall’s read.


In pic 4 that garnet circle is where the Auburn running back is.

And in pic 5 the final let down of the Auburn back tackled after a yard gain while two wide open receivers stand on the left hash marks.

Today we buried my Uncle Bill.  A member of our greatest generation he got his engineering degree at OU on the G.I. Bill.  It wasn’t just that he was a smart person, which he was, but a man that loved learning his entire life.  Up to the end, 88, he always had the latest iteration of the ipad (he was using computers for things like geophysic calculations back  when computers were the size of a room.)  His son in law owns a funeral home, yes, Uncle Bill had a crimson casket.  After his heart attack in the seventies his Dr. ordered no attending, watching or listening to the Sooners games for several years.  He would have his wife in another room where the game was on and she would come in periodically and tell him highlights and the score.  My Aunt, his wife, died after I believe 53 years of marriage.  He remarried and lived his last 13 years or so near one of his daughters in the Atlanta area.  His grandson went to Auburn.  His stepson is a Florida State fan.  [HERE COMES THE SEGUE YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR] I think the news of his death last week worked on me subconsciously and led me to study film this week to answer the question I posed to myself, “Can OSU win? Can they beat Florida State?”   So I studied the BCS championship game of Auburn vs. Florida State.   If Florida State makes the same and very numerous mental mistakes they did in that game, and OSU makes the easy audibles, YES, THE POKES CAN BEAT THE SEMINOLES.
If Auburn would have called a few more obvious audibles they would have won.  And for my money the best player for the Seminoles is #15 defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.

Today we buried my Uncle Bill.  A member of our greatest generation he got his engineering degree at OU on the G.I. Bill.  It wasn’t just that he was a smart person, which he was, but a man that loved learning his entire life.  Up to the end, 88, he always had the latest iteration of the ipad (he was using computers for things like geophysic calculations back  when computers were the size of a room.)  His son in law owns a funeral home, yes, Uncle Bill had a crimson casket.  After his heart attack in the seventies his Dr. ordered no attending, watching or listening to the Sooners games for several years.  He would have his wife in another room where the game was on and she would come in periodically and tell him highlights and the score.  My Aunt, his wife, died after I believe 53 years of marriage.  He remarried and lived his last 13 years or so near one of his daughters in the Atlanta area.  His grandson went to Auburn.  His stepson is a Florida State fan.  [HERE COMES THE SEGUE YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR] I think the news of his death last week worked on me subconsciously and led me to study film this week to answer the question I posed to myself, “Can OSU win? Can they beat Florida State?”   So I studied the BCS championship game of Auburn vs. Florida State.   If Florida State makes the same and very numerous mental mistakes they did in that game, and OSU makes the easy audibles, YES, THE POKES CAN BEAT THE SEMINOLES.

If Auburn would have called a few more obvious audibles they would have won.  And for my money the best player for the Seminoles is #15 defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you |have, get understanding.  Proverbs 4:7 NIV*    (If you don’t have time for all this wisdom, which is more valuable than gold and silver there is a bullet point summary at the bottom.)

If we don’t get Frank Shannon back these are the two players that should replace him at linebacker. Geneo Grissom and Devante Bond.  They are big physical and fast.  Geneo is currently a “Jack Linebacker”  which is for the most part a stand up defensive end like in the Okie 5-2 defense.  He has been slow in learning aspects of the position like pass coverage and the very articulate young man has spoken of his frustration.  He is listed as 6’4” and 252 lbs. but he looks much bigger and certainly plays much bigger.  Devante Bond is a junior college transfer and a beast - he has size, strength and speed.  But when you look at his very impressive juco highlight reel, yes a man among boys, most of his play is a stand up defensive end.  He uses speed and blows in behind the line of scrimmage chasing the ball carrier down from behind.  I will come back to this topic after below..

Jordan Evans is the likely starter in place of Frank Shannon.  There has been much praise heaped on Jordan Evans as his replacement and he looks really good in the little film I’ve seen on him from the spring game.  However, the big plays I saw  were he using his speed to make open field tackles.  Supposedly Bob Stoops says he’s the biggest player we have at 221. For the record, JORDAN EVANS is SMALLER THAN OUR OTHER UNDERSIZED STARTING LINEBACKER DOMINIQUE ALEXANDER.  When they say he has put on weight and muscle that is because he came out of high school at about 205. 

Both Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans are our ACHILLES HEAL.  They don’t have the power and size to stop the inside run game.  This was exposed against Notre Dame, Texas, Alabama and at times OSU. Two reasons why.         They can’t take on a blocker and block the running backs hole by knocking the blocker back or neutralizing him.  The importance of this can’t be stated enough.  This is a very fast game and being one step out of place can be deadly.  I couldn’t find really clear footage but this is exactly what Dominique Alexander does on the 243 lb. Derrick Henry’s 43 yard touchdown run in the Sugar Bowl.  He is one step over and is totally incapable of knocking the blocker back into the hole which would have kept Henry from getting to full speed so another defender could make the tackle.  There is also a play in the Sugar Bowl (film is very hard to see on this one without hudl) where Henry gets nothing because Frank Shannon gets to the line of scrimmage and stops the blocker right there.  The second reason is they are smaller than many of the best running backs they face.

Back to first paragraph.  Frank Shannon is our biggest most powerful linebacker lined up behind the defensive line.  He was our leading tackler in 2013.  He could take on offensive lineman and neutralize or defeat them.  Devante Bond and Geneo Grissom are more powerful and bigger than Frank Shannon.  They could be moved to this linebacker slot and then they would be the “biggest guy we’ve got.”  They have the athleticism to be all Big 12, maybe all American.

After we got beat by the powerful running backs and running backs as lead blockers against Texas Mike Stoops went to what is really Bud Wilkinson’s 5-2 defense.  His 3 down lineman were all physically and assignment wise really what we know as defensive tackles.  Given that he wasn’t going to pull his small linebackers this was the smartest decision he could make.  But this all dealt another injustice to the career of Geneo Grissom because it reduced his playing time.  He could have been very effective at the stand up defensive end position played by P.L. Lindley number 40 (who I did want to see on the field.)  Fortunately for us and Geneo Grissom by the time the Sugar Bowl rolled around Mike Stoops designed a lot of alignments that used Geneo and he made a huge impact.  HUGE - 2 sacks, a big leap to knock down a pass and two fumble returns.  One fumble return for long yardage and another for a touchdown.  Further more, few players had the overall athleticism to pick those balls up with great speed and advance them.  Less gifted athletes attempting the same could have easily lost control of the ball with Alabama recovering their fumble.  On his touchdown play:

  • Geneo, running in stride
  • reaches down with one hand snatches the ball up (palms it)
  • then as he is being tackled and going down at the four yard line, leaps as best he can, extends his body and gets the ball over the goal line before his knees touch.

Summary:

  • Frank Shannon is our biggest most physical linebacker and the teams leading tackler for the 2013 season.
  • Although charged with no crime the Univ. of Oklahoma has suspended him from football after the police came to his residence due to a domestic dispute call, or something kind of like that.
  • The coaching staff appears to have his replacement be a very small undersized linebacker, Jordan Evans.  He is even smaller than our other undersized starting linebacker, Dominique Alexander.
  • The weakness of our very talented defense is we are vulnerable to the inside run game because of our small linebackers.
  • We could correct this weakness by putting at linebacker two very gifted athletes, Geneo Grissom and Devante Bond.   You may recall Brent Venables for one game placed at strong side linebacker freshman Ronnell Lewis and he shut down Stanford’s Heisman trophy candidate Toby Gerhart and took on Stanford’s big blocking formations.

*The book of Proverbs is to be read at several levels.  One as wisdom literature similar to others of its day like from Egypt.  But it also stresses Judaism’s God.  Here wisdom itself is a person and God, Jesus.  So the attempt at humor could be seen as blasphemous.

Injustice: Frank Shannon is being treated by the Univ. of Oklahoma as guilty without even being charged.

There was an accusation by a woman who never filed charges against Frank Shannon.  Their is no police charges.   It sounds like remorse on the part of the accuser.  There is a very good chance that remorse is comingled with the much more serious crime of lying about a crime that never took place.

If we lose Frank Shannon his absence could be exponential.

Frank Shannon is our leading tackler.  He is also our biggest returning linebacker.  (P.L. Lindley is a defensive end in the Okie 5-2 defense Mike Stoops went to after getting his butt eat by Texas.)   WE DON’T NEED ANYMORE SMALL LINEBACKERS LIKE DOMINIQUE WHALEY.  Last year that is what Mike Stoops deployed as back ups for Frank Shannon.  Jordan Evans listed at 223?  Caleb Gastelum at 217, don’t believe it.  Aaron Franklin at 226, good chance that is true.

So what will happen if we lose our leading tackler and biggest true linebacker and he is replaced by the above?  I  think we are going to get runover like Texas did to us and Derrick Henry of Alabama did.

Interesting career trek, up until sometime in the mid 2000’s whenever I heard “SEC” my thought was the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC Headquarters, Washington, DC

The abbreviation probably did not provoke a strong association until I was out of college and in my early twenties.  So for 69% of my adult life  “SEC” was associated with Wall Street and at some point in there for the majority of my life it was.  

NOW, of course, the abbreviation instantly registers only one thing in my mind.  Football in the South Eastern Conference.  And I might add that “register” is tinged with some negativity.

Oh, what prompted this thought was a headline that although food prices  are rising the FED is taking a conservative approach on this signaling inflation.  In my past life I would have been on that data as soon as it was announced and looking at commodity prices and M3 money supply.  For those that don’t know, which probably means those that don’t care at all, spikes in commodity prices across the board are harbingers of inflation.  And for me those harbingers are at the red flare shot into a dark night sky level.

Tajh Boyd is what makes this play work.  He takes the snap in the shotgun 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage and STAYS THERE.  The running back comes up and Boyd fakes the handoff to him, Boyd still in the same place.  This causes the linebackers to run up to protect against the run.  Then Boyd, extremely fast, still in the same spot, slings the ball right over the middle to the great Sammy Watkins.  Watkins is wide open because his route is run where the linebackers would have been had they not been pulled up by the run fake.