Robert Allen's Scrimmage Analysis

It would be real easy to walk away from Monday's scrimmage and just look at the down side, I'll have to admit I did for awhile on the trip back to Stillwater as I worked on stats. Unless you are keeping tackles, stats are for the most part all about offense, and there wasn't a lot of it on Monday in Ponca City. That would lead you to feel down about the scrimmage.

It's very easy in hindsight in reviewing the scrimmage to see what the coaches were after. There were only 37 passes thrown in 108 plays from scrimmage on offense, and of those, only two were thrown 25-plus yards. One by Al Pena was intercepted as it hung over the middle, and the other was the most significant completion in a drive from Donovan Woods to Luke Frazier, who again is proving he can play and is faster than given credit for. Bobby Reid never threw a true deep ball.

This scrimmage was designed to see how tough the offense and defense both were. The answer right now is the defense is tougher giving up just about 2.7 yards a carry against the top backs on the depth chart. Mike Gundy's comments go to the heart of what will be worked on and stressed the rest of this week and up until the opener and that is helping these young, talented running backs to understand what it takes to play like a Vernand Morency, a Tatum Bell (remember he had to learn too), a David Thompson, a Thurman Thomas or any other of the great backs that have played at OSU.

With three days without reps Larry Fedora said he expected about what he saw. Again, that's understandable with a new offense and some new players figuring in on the line up. Now it's time to work on the improvement and in the next scrimmage mix in more passing to help set up the run better.

Meanwhile, on the very positive side the defense was nowhere near being what it needs to be, but it was good for a first scrimmage. I know, I was a Bill Clay supporter, but that defense flew around like I haven't seen in about two years – since the days of Kevin Williams, Greg Richmond, and company. They were getting after it, being aggressive, looking for the ball, and looking to smack those with the ball. They ran blitzes, stunts, mixed up coverages some. It was a good start. Vance Bedford has those guys buying in and it shows. I don't think they are ready to play Texas, OU, A&M or Tech just yet, but that was an improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

This week, whether on the road Tuesday in Ponca City or back on the drying practice fields of Stillwater, is very important to this football team. A lot must be accomplished between now and Saturday as school starts on Monday.

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