Thoughts on the Oklahoma Sooners' 42-30 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
*Despite all the different storylines surrounding OU coming into this game, it was a surprisingly nondescript performance to me. The stuff that I expected to work did – namely, the running game. I expected the Sooner D to founder against another Air Raid outfit, and it did. Cody Thomas looked shaky, which was to be expected.
Frankly, not much stood out on Saturday.
*I did have big questions about OU's collective psyche after a season-crushing loss to Baylor the previous week. Those kinds of results can push a season into a death spiral pretty quickly.
The answers that we got to the mental state of the squad fell along the lines of "meh." OU definitely picked up where it left off against the Bears, looking altogether unmotivated. Red Raiders were running by defenders when Tech had the ball. Meanwhile, OU's efforts at running a balanced offense had the Sooners looking awfully herky-jerky.
Things picked up for OU in the second half as the pass rush began to kick in and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel elected to go with a run-heavy plan of attack.
Heading into halftime, it was hard to tell if anyone sporting Crimson and Cream gave much of a damn. I don't know what made the difference in the final two quarters.
*In a sense, I wonder if the involvement of so many back-ups and newbies this week actually helped in terms of getting everyone's minds right mid-game.
*The number of miscommunications and blown coverages in the secondary this late in the year raises serious red flags. You can chalk up some of the mistakes to relying on a freshman as a starting safety. It goes beyond that, though, when you consider just how often the issues keep popping up.
It goes without saying that the defensive backs have possibly been the weakest position group on the entire team so far this year.
*Tech's ability to stop the run was as horrible as billed. The D, as a whole, just sucked out loud. The Red Raiders will have to find a way to address that if they want to get anywhere in this business.
*One guy who I thought had a solid day was KJ Young (3 receptions, 48 yards). We're not talking statement game. More like he did a decent job showing he wants to keep his spot in the rotation of receivers.
*The bottom line is that OU drew a favorable opponent this week for a team coming off a soul-crusher. I wouldn't look too far into anything.