Originally Published: Nov 14, 2009 3:0 PM CDT
Larry the Cable Guy put on a show last Friday night in Lincoln. The Nebraska native shocked OU and Nebraska legends when he popped in at the celebration staged by Tom Osborne to honor the heroes of yesteryear.
Eight days later, it’s time for the Sooners to pull a Larry the Cable Guy: Just ‘get er done.’
No national interest. Not even a token mention on two hour of ESPN Game Day. Who cares about a 5 and 4 Oklahoma hosting 5 and 4 Texas A and M?
Well, about 35 guys in crimson had better care.
I would not be surprised if a talented A and M offense puts up some points against OU’s stingy defense. The Aggies have tremendous skill position talent. And it’s unrealistic to expect the Sooner defense to play on edge. Emotion is a mandatory component of great defense. Playing well at Nebraska only to see the offense struggle mightily which led to another demoralizing loss, will have taken its toll.
Brent Venables and his staff are doing an outstanding job of scheming and preparation. Unlike the “stay healthy” coach on offense, the “stay healthy” coach on defense continues to grade high.
Aside from losing three high quality players before the season even kicked off-- Bs Tom Wort (knee) and Mike Balogun (ineligible) and DT Demarcus Granger (back) --there’s not been a key defender miss meaningful time, until star DE Auston English went down in Lincoln last weekend with a season-ending injury.
So good coaching, staying healthy and talented players will result in good play. But it’s the other ingredient that concerns me today. Will this bunch play with the necessary focus and energy against an offense that will make you pay dearly if you don’t?
This is the type of game where the players must motivate themselves. Coaches can only do so much. And they should not expect the typical energy boost they get from frenzied fans. A windy, dreary and cool day combined with the overall disappointment reaching its 2009 nadir will equal the most nonchalant setting of the season.
On the other side of the ball, if OU’s beleaguered offensive line can be decent, the Sooners should put up enough points to offset any letdown on defense. A and M is not a good defensive team. But preseason All-American Trent Williams will need to play better than he’s been playing to keep Landry Jones from getting hammered.
Aggie DE Von Miller is by far the most effective sacker in college football. He’ll not only test Williams, but several other big uglies up front for OC Kevin Wilson. Miller will move around and pick his spots and matchups that give him the best chance of pressuring QBs.
We don’t have a good feel for this one, but will go with OU winning 34-17.
Lots of people are pulling for the much-maligned Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. Specifically, his family, Irish haters across America and opponents. The latter two groups hope Weis leads ND to enough wins to keep his job. OU fans know what I mean. Many of diehards, the Sooner haters, and OU’s opponents were hoping an OU coach or two in the 90’s, would win just enough games to keep his job.