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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Kansas State 24, Oklahoma 19: The good, the bad, the ugly and the scary

Collin Klein, Corey Nelson

We knew nothing substantial about Oklahoma after two games. Needless to say, the intel after the Kansas State game is not good.

Good

*Sterling Shepard looks every bit like the star many folks thought he would be. Give Heupel some credit for putting him into the game to give Landry Jones two slot-like targets.  He made plays when KSU tried to take away Kenny Stills.

*WRs corps overall had a decent game. No real drops. They made plays when they got the ball.

*Running backs averaged nearly 5 yards per carry. The RBs all flashed talent at various times, but OU was not able to stay consistent with a running attack after the first drive. The three-RB look with Finch was a nice touch. (Why did we run it only once?)

*Aaron Colvin's pass coverage most of the night was really good.

*Brennan Clay's  kickoffs return were pretty good, twice setting up nice field position.

*The first drive play calling and creativity was very good, but spoiled by Jones missing Brannon Green in the end zone.

*Bad

*Mike Stoops' second-half defensive strategy on third down was far too passive. Klein had way too much time to throw, and eventually the Sooner's coverage broke down. OU needed to get the Wildcats off the field, but instead got worn down in the fourth quarter. In particular, OU struggled with the Wildcats when they went with five wideouts.

*OU's run defense was average to poor most of the night. The increase in competition erased any boost provided by Casey Walker's return or David King at defensive end. DE production is falling off compared to Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis. Pass rush wasn't there all game.

*Is anyone else concerned that two of Heupel's proteges (Bradford in the NFL with Amendola) and Landry Jones (Ryan Broyles, Stills) seem unable to function without their go to Slot WR. What's Heupel teaching them that causes this?

Ugly

*Bell's costly fumble set OU back big time. OU could have run up to the line quickly and tried Damien Williams
again, but instead brought in Bell.

*OU received a reprieve on the Landry fumble to Finch due to excellent slow mo replay work by Fox, but WTF was that play call anyway? Especially on your own 11?

*I mentioned this weeks ago after the UTEP game, but Landry Jones' draft ranking is in total free fall. He's cost
himself millions of dollars.Bob should have kicked him to the NFL for both Landry's sake and OU's.

Scary (I'm sorry – this section is going to be long)

*OU does not appear to have the right personnel at lineback and defensive line to play the kind of D Mike wants, especially run defense. Against a team that ran the ball 40 plus times, OU's four leading tacklers were all DBs. Tom Wort, in particular, is miscast as the MIKE LB for this defense. Great DE play seems to have been masking average DT play. Now that the DEs are struggling, the lack of playmakers at DT is glaring. OU's inability to get any kind of stop in the 4th to give the offense a chance was depressing and concerning.

*Landry played the kind of game you would expect from a QB in hid first starting season, not a fourth-year starter.
His two killer turnovers lost this game for OU. There's no other way to say it. The turnovers provided KSU all
the momentum and field position to first stay in the game in the first half and then take over the game in the
4th quarter. This was the worst game Landry has ever played in Norman. Usually, OU can rely on Landry to click at home and struggle on the road. Instead, we got mental errors that cost OU the game.

*Jones is not getting any better and Bob won't pull him. We know the Landry ceiling and we saw the floor tonight.
If possible, Landry's locking onto the slot WR more than ever. KSU nearly had three more picks throwing into coverage around Stills, especially on 3rd down. He's not seeing the outside WRs at all who are consistently open.
Opponents have a true dilemma, in that they must pressure Jonesy without actually hitting him for concern that they might hurt him.

*An injury is the only way Bob would replace Landry Jones. Sooner fans were ridiculed for wanting Landry to leave, but we're facing the reason why. OU is in rebuilding mode, and we're wasting QB starts on a guy who is not getting better and is leaving next year. This game should have been Blake Bell's third game as a starting QB.

*OU is facing a season-crippling losing streak. The Sooners get another apparently useless bye week and then have to go to recent House of Horrors in Lubbock. OU flat out quit last time they were there. A week later OU
has to play UT, who can run the ball and has a D with the athletes to make things tough on the OU offense.
Any team with a power running game is a threat to beat up the OU defense (ND, OSU, ISU), and we still haven't seen if the revamped D can stop a spread passing attack (Baylor, Tech, WVU, and OSU again). In addition, Jones can make OU lose a game to anyone on the schedule. Lubbock appears to be a fork in the road between rallying and getting to 9-3 range or a potential meltdown season of 7-5.

*If OU crashes to a 7-5 season, does Bob Stoops have the drive and energy to get things fixed. Is he willing to throw himself into recruiting like never before? Is he willing to remove some long-tenured coaches?

Recruiting Implications

1. It looks like OU desperately needs two JUCO DTs to reload there. The young DTs are not getting many reps
to prove that they are the surefire replacements OU needs. And OU cannot go into next year at DT with only those inexperienced kids to man the interior DL.

2. A JUCO middle LB who can provide a physical run stopping presence and still drop in coverage. OU appears to have a bunch WILL LBs on the roster right now.

3. Finally, a JUCO defensive end is probably heading to the top of the list. Again, OU cannot rely upon only Chuka Ndulue, Rashod Favors, Michael Onouha and Charles Tapper to man the position.