Hop's Offensive Grades- Oklahoma

It was a dominating performance in the first quarter, outgaining their opponent 125-63 yards. In fact, they gained more yards in the first four minutes of the game than their outmanned opponent gained in an entire quarter during five drives. Yes, the Sooners dominated from start to finish. Websider's David Sandhop grades the Aggie offense against the Sooners.

It was a dominating performance in the first quarter, outgaining their opponent 125-63 yards. In fact, they gained more yards in the first four minutes of the game than their outmanned opponent gained in an entire quarter during five drives. Yes, the Sooners dominated from start to finish. Wait, take another look and you'll see that it was the Aggies who came out of the gate moving the ball on offense and stuffing the Sooners. In fact, in a game that was eerily similar to Arkansas last month, the Aggies started strong in the first quarter and then collapsed.

In this episode of a collapse, it was a myriad of turnovers, miscues, and stupid personal fouls that led to an avalanche of Sooner points in the first half. But even with a Christine Michael fumble (where was the facemask call?) return for an OU score to open the game and a Ryan Broyles TD run, the Aggies rallied back with 10 unanswered points and a nice alley-oop TD pass to Jeff Fuller cut the lead to 14-10 at the end of the first quarter.

However, that was it for the offense. While special teams and the defense was giving OU second quarter points in bunches, the offense managed a whopping 16 yards and it was downhill from there.

So what happened? Well, first of all, A&M couldn't run the ball after the first two drives and then that gave Stoops and Venables a green light to bring the house on passing situations and as I've said since last year, Jerrod Johnson is not at his best when pressured and flushed from the pocket. He's a playmaker when he has time, but Johnson is like a diesel. It takes time to get to top speed and to release the ball. Once he gets up to top speed he's a well-oiled machine but if he doesn't have the time he's not quick enough to make things happen outside the pocket.

And finally, I felt that the offense lost its composure and focus after seeing the miscues on special teams and the points building up against the defense on a short field. It was a mental meltdown.

Quarterback D

BY no means am I calling for a QB change. Jerrod Johnson is this unit's leader and for eight of the season's 10 games he's been a productive signal caller and passer. But as long as the offensive line is still not where it needs to be and the unit faces a dominant defense, Johnson will struggle in that match-up. He doesn't have enough faith in the line to step up in the pocket, and then when he leaves to pocket, he rarely finds a receiver downfield and ends up throwing the ball away. An occasional throw-away is warranted and expected, but when there are 7-8 plays wasted to throw-aways, then you need to re-evaluate what's happening.

The best offensive play of the second half came when late in the game Ryan Tannehill was blitzed and he escaped the pocket running to his left, found Jeff Fuller and fired a rocket to Jeff Fuller for an 18 yard gain. Johnson can't make that play. But to be clear, I'm not suggesting tannehill should play the remainder of the season, but what I am saying is that Tannehill needs to be given a LEGITIMATE shot at winning the starting job in the offseason.

Running Back F

Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray combined for just 51 yards on the ground. But what has me scratching my head is that Michael still hasn't learned to run downhill and that you can't cut your way out of multiple tackles bottled up in the backfield. He tries to do way too much on every carries, giving up valuable yardage retreating on a cut or making a cut and spin that exposes the ball. Until Saturday, his high risk style had not cost the Aggies a turnover, but it did against the Sooners and it was big. But let's also look at his numbers. He had 14 carries for 25 yards, with a whopping 12 yards in losses. That's just unacceptable at this level of football. Michael did the same thing last week against CU in the red zone, losing 5 yards when he could have gotten back to the line of scrimmage. While Gray averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per carry, Michael with his losses managed only 1.8 yards per carry. While many true freshmen have impressed this season, Michael has not progressed and matured his running style to match his D-1 opponents.

Wide Receiver C-

Jeff Fuller had a nice game with 60 yards on five catches and a touchdown. However, he was still hobbled by his leg and for some reason the Aggies tried to send him deep a couple of times and he clearly didn't have the speed to gain separation 30-40 yards downfield. Uzoma Nwachukwu still wasn't a factor and hasn't been since the concussion. That has hurt this unit.

Tight End F

OK, the biggest disappointment this season on the offensive side has been Jamie McCoy. He dropped a a critical early pass in the Arkansas game, and he dropped two more against OU. In between these drops he's been almost non-existent as a pass catcher. Two drops and no receptions equals a very bad grade.

Offensive Line C-

This was a tough match-up for the offensive line with the all-Americans and athletes on the defensive line for OU. We all knew that this was going to be a challenge ad we knew that Johnson was going to have to make some plays on the run and out of the pocket to win it. Yes, four sacks is not a good stat, but given that two of those came on the last two offensive plays of the game in trash time and that OU blitzed at will in the second half with a 40+ point lead, it's understandable. The line created some running lanes early and gave the offense a chance to execute, but as with every other unit, they collapsed as the team fell behind.


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