A 45-7 win always makes for a nice way to end the season. Unfortunately, we have to start with one awful development.
Adrian Taylor's Injury
Watching No. 86 get carted off the field with a season-ending Achilles injury in the first half was tough for anyone who knows what Taylor went through just to get on the field this year. Plenty of guys would have just hung 'em up after that awful leg injury in last season's Sun Bowl. The fact that Taylor made it on the field at all this season was miraculous.
Taylor clearly didn't have the same effectiveness at defensive tackle this season, but he did give defensive line coach Jackie Shipp some desperately needed depth at a weak position. Even playing 20 to 30 snaps a game offered to OU's maligned front four.
It's probably not even worth writing about Stevens' struggles at this point. Just take missed chip shots as a given from here on out.
Remember all those trips that Bob Stoops and his staff took down to Tuscaloosa in the offseason to get schooled by Nick Saban? Next time, they should ask for some tackling tips, as Slick Nick drills the fundamentals as well as anyone.
The Sooners had plenty of chances to stop Tech runners cold on Saturday afternoon, but ended up letting Baron Batch and Eric Stephens slither through tackles.
I'm down with throwing out some new looks for opponents to prep for. The "Wild Sooner" won't keep anyone up at night, however.
Why not try elusive receiver Ryan Broyles back there, rather than DeMarco Murray?
Roy Finch's Touchdown
OU's electric freshman running back produced one of the Sooners' more impressive scores of the season Saturday, spinning and twisting his way 29 yards into the end zone. Oklahoma has lacked that kind of dynamic threat out of the backfield for a few years now. Finch is giving OU fans lots to get excited about heading into 2011.
Jamarkus McFarland, Pryce Macon
As his linemates have fallen by the wayside this season, Macon has filled in admirably at defensive tackle this year. He gave another strong performance against the Red Raiders, ringing up 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks. With Taylor no longer, here's hoping Macon has more left in the tank.
Meanwhile, McFarland played possibly his best game as a Sooner. He consistently generated a strong push versus the Tech interior, notching 2 tackles for loss on the game.
Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles, etc. lit up the scoreboard Saturday, just like the last game at Owen Field, and the game before that, and the one before that.
Unlike previous performances, though, OU got away from the dink and dunk, attempting to stretch the field vertically. The offense becomes so much more difficult to defend when opponents know they have to respect the deep ball.
As well as Jones and Co. threw the ball Saturday, they were equally good at stopping Tech's air show. OU's secondary and front seven worked hand in hand to bottle up the Red Raiders' productive passing attack.
Prior to Saturday, Tech was averaging 313.4 yards passing per outing on 6.5 yards per attempt. OU held the Air Raid to 144 yards and a measly 3.5 yards per attempt. The Sooners added 2 interceptions for good measure.
With Baylor and Oklahoma waiting in the wings, the Sooners need to maintain that level of play.