Originally Published: Sep 10, 2010 10:24 PM CDT
GAMEDAY IS HERE
Bob Stoops would do anything to get the Sooner fans loud and rowdy for this one. Know why? It’s not going to help a QB throw a better ball or receivers make a better catch. It does help with prolonged intensity of playerssuch as defensive rush ends going after QBs down after down.
The real reason is that a really loud crowd makes it difficult for visiting teams to communicate at the line of scrimmage. So much offense in today’s game is done at the LOS that it’s imperative that the QB get plays to teammatesand centers get calls to the rest of the OLas efficiently as possible.
Deafening noise can make it impossible for receivers to get verbal commands from the QB. Hand signals are how routes are communicated and checks/audibles are made. Fans know they’ve made a difference when players get rattled, there’s miscommunication, or the opposing team calls a time out.
FSU’s Christian Ponder is a brilliant student, team leader and composed, so I’d expect him to handle this kind of adversity well. But the Seminoles haven’t been in many environments like this lately where they have come out on topnone that I recall.
Bob Stoops is a bottom-line guy and not a rah-rah sort looking for the limelight or personal fame. Doesn’t mean he’s not cagey. He’s often told me how impressed he was with OU’s crowd when they beat Nebraska in the championship run of 2000. And again when Sam Bradford and Co. lit up Texas Tech in 2008. I know how much he’d love that to happen on a consistent basis.
He wants any advantage he can get. He knows his home crowd has contributed mightily to OU’s nation’s- best 31 straight home win streak and his 67-2 overall home record.
My guess is OU will need all the help it can get to win. The crowd. Leadership and big plays from its QB. Multiple receivers getting in on the act. Sound play in the secondary. A better pass rush than we saw last week. Never let QB Ponder get comfortable. No turnovers. And punt away from Greg Reid.
The advice is simple. From start to finish, be in “full throat”--as Al Michaels likes to say is wont to say. And leave the boo’snot to be confused with the “booze” at home.
ETCETERA, etc, etc.
Keep your eye on Greg Reid. He’s the punt returner who edged out OU’s Ryan Broyles for most yards per return. Reid also starts at cornerback and is such a gifted athlete that Jimbo Fisher has a package for him in the backfield.
Just as the Jones vs. Ponder QB matchup will go a long way in determining the winner, the Reid vs. Broyles matchup shapes up to be a thing of beauty. A pair of future pros able to turn a game on one touch of the ball.
Too bad this delicious-looking game can’t be more on a national stage than it is. It is only one of several tasty games on the docket, including Penn State at Alabama, Michigan at Notre Dame and Miami at Ohio State. Still, a bright light will shine on this one.
The storyline nationally on this one will be that fans should forget about the Utah State escape and the Sooners are legit, or that Florida State is back (meaning OU is clearly on a decline). There’s a ton riding on this one.
If you follow such things, you might find this interesting. OU opened up as a 9 point favorite. The line has dropped to 7 and more people are still taking FSU than the Sooners.
People did not like the way OU played in the first game. Bettors don’t like teams that are 34-point favorites winning by 7. Interestingly, nationwide, only 40 percent of some 5,000 on-line people picking games against the spread are picking the Sooners.
Trust me. No one in crimson should care if their team walks off with a one-point win.
Enjoy.and check in all day and night for TV and website coverage from me and our complete staff at Oklahoma Sports!