In prepping to call the pay per view scrum between OU and Idaho State a couple of things jump out.
With all due respect to Idaho State, the Bengals look awful on paper. Picked to finish last in the Big Sky Conference. Hammered at Arizona State 50-3 last weekend.
Although they return their QB, offensive line, and a pair of receivers, they struggled mightily against an unranked Pac-10 team: Minus five yards rushing, 42 passing for a grand total of 35 yards of offense.
Don't know the final score-and don't see a Bradfordish '08 62-7 halftime ambush-but this is perfect tonic for an OU team needing to shore up several areas before they host TU next week Specifically, speaking with offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, the goals this week include: 1. Find an identity, 2. Play harder/smarter, 3. Identify OL and WR players who you can trust and move forward with, 4. See new QB Landry Jones have success-enough that he gains the trust and respect in his mates. Bradford should be back fairly soon, but until then Jones wants to establish himself both for now and for next season when he should have the lead in the battle to replace Bradford.
M-I-A-M-I....Tougher than many expected....
Everyone who follows the Sooners closely now knows what yours truly has been saying for months: OU's game at Miami in three weeks will be very hard to win. Of course, the biggest key is whether Sam Bradford plays. Regardless, the defense will have to play a whale of a game in the Land of the Cramps.
Not many people even knew the name of Miami's QB before his monster game in the road win at FSU. They do now. But more than that fans, players and coaches saw a new terrific new offensive Coordinator-Kevin Whipple-and QB make big play after big play.
Miami QB Jacoby Harris kept his composure in the pocket and in extremely tough environs which included being behind late in the ball game. It was his mobility and calm that allowed him to "extend" plays that stood out to me. That allowed his lanky receivers time to get open. Bradford had the luxury in 2008 of an offensive line that gave him enough time to essentially "extend" the play. Not in '09.
The UM football website dropped a little boob tube knowledge on us that is sure to be enticing to Cane recruits: Miami's season-opening win at FSU was ESPN's second-most viewed regular season game in the history of the network, second only to the UM-FSU game in 2006.
Each of those games was played on Labor Day, a ratings boost. Nonetheless, that's impressive. Especially in the era where the two schools have not been what they used to be. Um now has been part of four of ESPN's five most-watched regular season games on the network. 8,406,103 are estimated to have watched the latest tangle. The record 2206 Miami-FSU game garnered 6,329,828 households and had an enormous rating of 6.86.
Happy 80th birthday to Arnold Palmer. And thanks to my decade-lder father who introduced my brothers and me to The King back in the early sixties. Not in person of course, even though our little black and white TV we were thrilled to have made it seem like we'd met our hero in person. Most players in the past 40 years will tell you Arnie did more for the game than anyone who has ever chased the little white ball. Ambassador. Charisma. Grace. Man's man. Charge. Cringe. Cherry Hills. The King.