Thoughts on the Oklahoma Sooners' 31-30 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats.
*I’m tempted to just flip what I wrote about the Texas game and call it good.
KSU played well enough, but OU gave this game away. The Sooners had 30 first downs to K-State’s 17. They outgained the ‘Cats by 150 yards.
Ironically, it might have been OU’s best showing of the last three weeks. But good luck beating even a mediocre team when you throw a dumbfounding pick-six, toss another interception in the end zone, miss two chip-shot field goals and botch an extra point.
The Sooners definitely got the benefit of some opponents’ miscues in their last 10 games or so. You can only tempt fate for so long.
*For all the heat that he has taken lately, no one should take issue with offensive coordinator Josh Heupel’s game plan today. Likewise, he probably nailed about 80 percent of his calls.
Damn if Heupel didn’t bone two big ones, though. The quick out on OU’s own goal line was stupefying. And going into the shotgun on when you need about a foot to get into the end zone on third down? Too cute, even if the Sooners were missing their tight ends.
(I’ll pass on the chance to use hindsight to rip the reverse pass that got picked off.)
*I think it’s safe to say the book is out on the defense. I will try to get a better look when I re-watch the game.
I definitely would like to know more about the rationale behind the cornerbacks giving receivers so much cushion.
*I will never understand how Bob Stoops and the coaching staff manage their timeouts. The sideline calls them willy nilly, more so on the defensive side of the ball than any team I’ve ever seen.
The ability to stop the clock on KSU’s final drive would have been nice.
*Man, I really hope Michael Hunnicutt doesn’t develop a long-term case of the yips after today. He has had an outstanding career and has been one of the best kickers in the country throughout his time in Norman.
Moneycutt doesn’t deserve to bow out in a funk.
*Bummer, but the targeting call on Aaron Ripkowski was warranted. I just can’t believe the ref caught it.
*When you consider how the identity of the offense has changed since the run-and-gun days, Sterling Shepard is having a spectacular season. Arguably the best ever by a Sooner receiver.
*After scuffling for a couple games, Alex Ross really looks like he’s finding his footing at running back. He’s slowly developing a little elusiveness to go along with his superb acceleration. My prediction that he’d have a long scoring run nearly came to fruition a couple times.
Keith Ford’s recovery appears to be progressing slowly than hoped for. OU could really benefit from Ross turning into more of a weapon within the confines of the offense.
*I realize that a two-loss season was going to be seen as a disappointment for this team no matter what. And who knows if that’s going to be OU’s last defeat of the year.
But I do think it’s worth recognizing that the Big 12 – and the Sooners’ schedule, by extension – is undoubtedly a stronger league top to bottom than most expected. West Virginia and TCU are much better than advertised before the season. Baylor hasn’t dropped off much. Kansas State might be better. Texas is improving.
This season deserves to be chalked up as a missed opportunity for OU and Stoops, no question about it. However, I know that I underestimated how difficult an 11- or 12-win regular season would be this year. I’m sure I’m not alone.