The Baylor game was another contest the Sooners won this year that the team seems disappointed in. To be honest, this attitude seems to come more from the players than the coaches, but we always seem to get the real emotion of the team from the players.
The OU coaches realize that it isn't easy to win in college football anymore, no matter who you are playing. However, the players all feel they should dominate a team like Baylor. The players don't always deal in the reality of college football, but the coaches do and I guarantee the Sooners are very glad to beat Baylor the way they did.
This game reminded me a little of the North Carolina game. The Sooners struggled at times and in the end the score was closer that most of us thought that it would be. The Tar Heels have turned out to be better than we thought on opening night with wins over Florida State and Clemson.
Baylor won't turn out to be that good, but the Bears are a much-improved team from a year ago and no longer can teams ignore them in their preparation.
However, for captains Rocky Calmus and Roy Williams you would think the Sooners just played the worst game of the life. Calmus called the performance "horrible" and Williams said the team had a total let down in the game. In one respect, it's great that the players are searching for perfection and want to dominate every game, however I wish they would enjoy each and every victory.
If there is any negative from the win streak and winning a national title a year ago it's that the players have lost some of pure enjoyment of the game. If they don't perform at an elite level, then they are disappointed, even if game turns out to be a comfortable win.
I hope the players begin to realize that they won't be wearing the Crimson and Cream forever and that they should savor every victory, at least for Saturday night.
Watching Jason White throw for 267 yards in the first half was a true indication of the upside this sophomore has. White moved the offense beautifully in the first half and the Sooners were able to sustain their longest drives of the year.
White proved that he can throw all the passes and does so without fear. White has done a better job of getting the wide receivers involved with the offense since he has become the starter, and Mark Clayton is becoming his go to receiver.
White has put the OU offense back on the map. Didn't the offense in the first half look like the passing offense that Mike Leach installed early in Bob Stoops first year? The Sooners picked their spots and moved the ball down field by throwing a number of different routes in a number of different ways.
"The first half was one of our best offensive efforts in a while," says OU Offensive Coordinator Mark Mangino. "We were crisp, executed well and took what the defense gave us. Jason did a good job and our receivers did a good job of getting open. In the second half we didn't protect as well and consequently, Jason didn't have the success that he had in the first half. Jason held onto the ball too long on a couple of occasions and that put us into some second and long situations. However, overall, Jason's performance was very promising and certainly gives us confidence for the future."
White's running ability certainly gives the opposing defensive coordinator something to think about. White does give the Sooner running game an added dimension and considering defenses are rushing six or seven defenders most of the time, White's escapability can give the Sooners additional weapon.
Tonight, there is a fear that the knee sprain for redshirt freshman Wes Sims is severe enough to keep him out of action for two-to-three weeks. They continue to check him out as I work on this report, but they don't believe there is a ligament tear.
The fact the Sooners played Jerod Fields shows you how important Howard Duncan has become at guard for the Sooners. True freshman Vince Carter has played well, but he still struggles with aspects of the position that a more experienced center wouldn't. Duncan acts like that experienced center, when he is at guard.
Fields is an offensive tackle that has potential. He is a good athlete that was hurt by the fact he took a full season off as he battled NCAA for eligibility. Fields was slow out of the gate, but improved as he got more acclimated to playing division one college football. He has excellent feet and if he develops his technique can become a better offensive tackle. However, if Sims is out, without question, this weakens the offensive line. Sims has struggled at times, but he has now played in six games and looks like he is very comfortable at right tackle. Fields has the potential to be a good one, but it is very much an unknown.
Carter should be back to 100 percent for Nebraska. His neck sprain is getting better and he said Saturday that as the game went along he felt it getting better. However, he couldn't finish the game and squadman Brad Davis received his first extensive action at OU. Davis is a junior, who gives it all during practice, but has never been talented enough to break into the Sooners offensive line rotation.
It is still obvious that Quentin Griffin is not 100 percent.
"Before the game ‘Q' told us he was 100 percent and was ready to go," said OU Offensive Coordinator Mark Mangino. "However, it was obvious to us as we watched the game that he didn't have is quickness or explosiveness. So, we played Renaldo (Works) a great deal and once again he had a very good game. I will say it again, we feel Renaldo is a very good running back and we certainly don't mind playing him at all. In fact, we like playing him. However, 'Q' has done so much for our team and our offense and he can do so many things for us when he is healthy that he is still our number one running back. However, Renaldo has proven to us that we can win with him at the F-back position as well."
The more I watch Andre Woolfolk the more I come way impressed. Woolfolk only worked on offense for a few plays on Wednesday and Thursday, yet in the game it was if he never left. His two catches for 48 yards had a major impact on the offense and it is still apparent, that outside of Mark Clayton, Woolfolk is the Sooners best receiver.
Woolfolk will continue to spend the majority of his time on defense, but look for him to start getting three or four possessions per game. He is still needed on the offensive side of the ball and he will get some playing time.
Freshman Tommie Harris can't win a game by himself, but he sure can influence it. Teams are now putting at least two men on Harris every play and yet he is still getting penetrations and making tackles.
Since Bob Stoops took over at OU, the Sooners have never had a force along the defensive line like Harris. He is already rated one of the top 100 players in the country and getting better every game. I ask again, does Texas really have more talent than Oklahoma?
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