Dean's List - OU vs Baylor Keys

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:29 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Nov 19, 2010 12:13 AM CDT

OFFENSIVE KEYS FOR OU VS. BAYLOR<br/><br/>1.)&#160;&#160;&#160; MUST-SCORE MENTALITY EVERY SERIES. Sounds like that would be the case all the time, but it&rsquo;s not. But it must be the thought process for everyone from play-callers to offensive guards. Baylor and OSU will likely ring the bell with frequency. The only way to play in that kind of game is to score, score and score. OU must throw caution to the wind and call and play every down of every series the same way. And that&rsquo;s the way they play in Norman. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to put it in the hands of 22 and 17. RBs Roy Finch and Mossis Madu will make more yards in some situations than DeMarco Murray. Hammer Murray and fling him a bunch IF he&rsquo;s open in the slot. Get Finch in position where he can bounce it outside and use him as a decoy with fast motion. Madu knows he can&rsquo;t fumble and he&rsquo;s ready to finish his career in style. He&rsquo;d have had a great career if he&rsquo;d been at Nebraska or any number of the better D-1 schools. Take advantage of his fresh legs and things he can do that the others can&rsquo;t. <br/>&#160;2.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; DON&rsquo;T WASTE TIME OUTS. Not counting, but there&rsquo;ve been more wasted time outs than OU is accustomed to seeing. There are reasons for some occasional ones. But I doubt in the meeting rooms there&rsquo;s much debating going on. Sunday discussions on wasted TOs on Saturdays in staff meetings can&rsquo;t be fun.&#160; I doubt the Sooners will be good enough to position to not need them late in these next two road games. Be decisive. But don&rsquo;t outsmart yourself. <br/>&#160;<br/>3.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Ready for the boring one? The most important one? No, not turnovers. But EXECUTE. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson can call the greatest plays and have the perfect personnel in the game, but if a play is there to be made but is not, you can&rsquo;t win. You&rsquo;re an 8-4 team. Simple as that. If the heavily recruited students from the University of Oklahoma can&rsquo;t make the plays that made OU go after them, then they don&rsquo;t deserve to beat Baylor.&#160; Tight end open on fake field goal. Catch it. Finch bounces one outside and receiver needs a perimeter block to spring him? Do it. Landry Jones sees a busted assignment in the Baylor secondary and a man is open down the boundary? Hit him. Not even in stride. But throw a catchable ball. Same for the O-line. Their &ldquo;plays&rdquo; aren&rsquo;t as noticeable or exciting to the majority of us, but that doesn&rsquo;t make them less important. At some point it&rsquo;s mano y mano. At some point you&rsquo;ll need a yard, a foot, six inches. Forget using the great feet to move around and out-athlete some bigger defenders. Slug em&rsquo; in the mouth. Gain a yard (and OC, call a QB sneak and don&rsquo;t tell us about how defenses can stop sneaks if they want. That&rsquo;s why some teams have their QB quickly read what&rsquo;s happening up front, take a step back and haul arse over in-between the guard and tackle hole. EXECUTE. <br/>&#160;<br/>&#160;<br/>DEFENSIVE KEYS FOR OU VS. BAYLOR<br/>&#160;<br/>&#160;<br/>1.&#160;&#160;&#160; Contain QB Robert Griffin III. I loved the guy the first time I saw him. Olympic-caliber sprinters who know the difference between a baton and a football and are quality humans usually rank on my depth chart. OU needs to pressure him so the DBs don&rsquo;t get caught in extended coverage. But he easily beats contain, and that&rsquo;s a legit, private concern of this staff with DEs who rotate opposite Jeremy Beal. 56 Lewis and 84 Alexander MUST play make plays, be aggressive but also be smarter than what&rsquo;s been the norm. With the inferior pass rush from the two DL, 56 &amp; 84, along with LBs 12 (Box) and 21 (Wort) will be the keys to the number one key for the OU defense. Of note: Sophomore Marcus Trice did a terrific job this week on the scout team playing the role of the elusive Griffin. Trice is the little rocket who showed promise last season as a true freshman and is now so effective&#160; as a scout team receiver that coaches say he&rsquo;ll probably be there next spring. Brent Venables said Thursday night on radio that the passes Trice threw were not like Griffin&rsquo;s, calling them &ldquo;grenades.&rdquo; <br/>&#160;<br/>2.&#160;&#160; STOP THE RUN FIRST. Again, trite to some. But an absolute must the next two weeks. Baylor is third in the conference in rushing and has a running threat at QB. When you must be accountable for the QB it&rsquo;s easy to give up big plays. But making one-on-one tackles will help avoid the big plays and give you enough stops that the offense will have a good chance to &ldquo;outscore&rdquo; the opponent. <br/>&#160;<br/>3.&#160;&#160; BOUNCE BACK AFTER SOMETHING BAD. The most vivid example that comes to mind is when OU dropped the fake field goal pass that would have probably put the Sooners over the top in the loss at Missouri. I was not alone in feeling the OU defense was about to back off and let Mizzou take it down the field. They did. Game essentially over. Five plays, 65 yards. I&rsquo;ll give them the benefit of the doubt and not say they laid down when it was time to make plays. Time to be a winner. Time to silence the crowd. Time to get the ball back. Great teams have resilient players. Most notably, hard-nosed defensive players who suck it up and make it happen on the road. <br/>&#160;<br/>&#160;<br/>OVERALL: PLAY SMART. I say that because the Academic All-Big 12 team is out. Sixteen Sooners made the list, led by surprisingly effective redshirt freshman Gabe Ikard, who is acing college. From what friends are telling me about a kid they&rsquo;ve followed for year, anything short of a&#160; 4.0 GPA would be as big an upset as Texas losing six of seven. Or OU losing to Baylor. Or. Congrats to Gabe, to the other fifteen Sooners, and to all the others around the country who excelled in the classroom. I maintain the biggest misconception out there with most of the public is that most college football players are bad guys who don&rsquo;t go to school who have their hand stuck out who are thinking nothing but the NFL. Bob Stoops and I talked about it Sunday. I&rsquo;ve always felt strongly about it. But just listening to him and seeing his facial expressions reaffirmed my belief that the vast majority of these kids are disciplined, bright, and respectful. <br/>