All the danger signs surfaced through the first four games, but never in the world did I figure that everything would collapse for Oklahoma in the second half against Iowa State in Norman.
OU’s season now stands in a very precarious place. All the positive signs from the Ohio State game are gone. A season trending towards a Big 12 title and possible College Football Playoff spot could disintegrate into a three- or four-loss season. That’s not a knee-jerk overreaction, based on the real problems from the ISU game.
OU’s going to end up wasting an all-world offense (when healthy at wide receiver) because the defense is a massive liability – again. The reality is that OU stands zero chance of winning a CFP game with Mike Stoops running the defense.
LR faces two huge tests now. One is getting this team refocused for Texas and playing enough defense to maybe compete for a Big 12 title. This feels a lot like the loss to Texas Tech in 2011. There’s only one team left on the schedule that seems ill-equipped to throw a competent passing game at OU, and that’s Kansas. TCU and Oklahoma State now look like losses, while Texas Tech, West Virginia and UT seem like total tossups. KSU presents a different problem for this poor-tackling defense, but just as deadly.
Two, what is Riley going to do in the offseason about the defensive direction for the Sooners? OU needs more talent on defense, but it’s got to be used more effectively.
Offense in the first quarter
OU was humming along with two excellent drives. Running the ball at will, Abdul Adams looked like he was going to have a huge day. Baker Mayfield was finding multiple targets throwing the ball.
Things changed drastically with the losses of Adams and CeeDee Lamb.
The Really Bad
Thirty-eight points to ISU playing a backup, third-string QB and a middle linebacker is an absolute disaster of game planning and in-game adjustments. Mike Stoops' total inability to design an attacking scheme to take advantage of ISU’s inexperience at QB is baffling.
The passive scheme gave ISU a chance to build confidence at key times and led to ISU dominating the second half on offense. That defensive strategy is going to lead to several more Big 12 losses against high-powered passing attacks.
The number of total missed tackles was probably in the 50s? The constant overpursuit and inability to force negative plays was astounding.
To be honest, the only Sooner defenders who weren't goats appeared to be Kenneth Mann, Du'Vonta Lampkin, Parnell Motley and Neville Gallimore.
Stupid defensive penalties
WTF was Ogbonnia Okoronkwo thinking jumping onto the pile? OU had ISU on second and goal from the six after dropping ISU for a loss. It looked like OU could hold the Cyclones to a FG. After Obo's personal foul, OU basically gave up a touchdown with little effort. The stupid personal found on Kenneth Murray aided another ISU drive.
No one was making plays, save for an Obo sack that forced a field goal in the red zone.
Passing game minus Lamb
We warned about this issue during the Tulane game. Without Lamb as his safety blanket at WR, Mayfield is missing open targets and focusing way too much downfield.
Jeff Badet is dropping passes. Marquise Brown is inconsistent. Basically, they are group of second and third WRs who work when Lamb is filling the No. 1 role. Without Lamb on the field, defenses can focus on the Dmitri Flowers and Mark Andrews as well.
I’ve been suggesting it’s time to pull the redshirt off Charleston Rambo, and that needs to happen now.
Missed field goal
Why do this in a game where your defense is losing play after play?
Austin Siebert’s missed FG just proves again that Riley should go for it on fourth down unless the attempt is 35 yards or closer. Siebert has no range or confidence.
The offense on fourth-and-eight or Siebert from 42 yards is a no-brainer, sadly.
Red zone fumble
If OU had gone up 31-16, the game is more than likely over. Instead, ISU went 99 yards for a tying TD that gave the Cyclones all the momentum needed to score an upset.
Red on Red
Let’s retire that color combo forever.