Originally Published: Sep 19, 2010 12:24 AM CDT
Was it a poorly played game by Oklahoma or a great game played by Air Force? You could argue either way. The bottom line is 3-0 and headed to a slumping Cincinnati with the expectation of heading to the Cotton Bowl undefeated.
While that may be the bottom line, the win today leaves a lot to be desired. Air Force may come at you with an unconventional option game that everyone has trouble slowing, but the Sooners have better second team athletes than starters for the Falcons.
Giving up 458 yards total offense is never good351 on the ground. OU was a play or two from what would have been a devastating loss. But in the end, the Sooners made just enough plays to hold on, 27-24.
Who would have ever thought OU’s kicking game was the difference-maker. Jimmy Stevens hit two field goals, Tress Way averaged 50 yards per punt, the cover teams were once-again terrific and most importantly, Mossis Madu returned a kickoff after Air Force had tied the game to the AFA 41. Two plays later OU would score and never look back.
Twenty six-of-42 looks good on paper. But most of the passes from Landry Jones were completed within five yards of the line of scrimmage. It is imperative that a vertical game come alive.
Defensively, thank goodness there is no more option football coming. But blocking and tackling are essentials in football, no matter the formations. And OU’s tackling and toughness have a long way to go.
Numbers game. No Stoops team has given up 372 yards rushing. OU had only one three-and-out in the second half. AFA was 11-of-18 on third down conversions. OU Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables was somewhat defensive about how his defense performed repeating that they found a way to win. Clearly he was angry with an abysmal second half performance. But as he told me, now it’s time to move on to Cincymeaning a different offensive scheme.
34 straight at home for Bob Stoops. But the next two are not on Owen Field. I say unless significant improvement is not made soon, getting to 5-0 will be quite a chore.
On the positive side, OU had no turnovers, no injuries and will see no more option teams. But the all-important question remains: How good is this OU football team? We’re fixin’ to find out.