Updated: Jan 9
I should have known better. In 2015 the Sooners were just outmatched against Clemson, and even though they led at halftime the Sooners were beaten thoroughly in the 2nd half.
Going into to this game I was confident that the Sooners had done enough to offset the length and physicality issues up front that had hurt them so badly in that matchup.
After hearing that Riley was working on a package with Hall in the backfield in a split backs look along with Brooks, I thought that we’d see more of the trap play we had seen and the crossbuck stuff that gives everyone fits.
Only one play did I see them go out of that look and Hall gained six yards. The game was no longer in doubt at that point, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the Sooners had done more of that early if they could have kept drives alive and at least scored with LSU.
In the end end it didn’t really matter, because the Sooners simply couldn’t generate a pass rush with Ronnie Perkins out, and with Delarrin Turner-Yell hurt, the secondary was in shambles.
That’s why I say I should have known better. Ronnie Perkins has been so disruptive this year that a lot of times other players have fed off of his pass rush when he would force qbs to them. He’s no doubt a dude. Losing him really hurt, and the Sooners didn‘t have anyone to replace him.
When word came out he he was suspended, my heart sank. I knew at that moment the Sooners chances took a major hit.
Admittedly I’m a kool-aid drinker, sunshine pumper or whatever you‘d call it. After a few days I thought I may be overreacting, and started feeling better about it. I should have abandoned all hope when I heard Turner-Yell was out.
Most teams have one really good receiver and you match up your best corner there. Outside of Parnell Motley who in effect took away the Biletnikoff winner in Jamarr Chase, the rest of the dbs got picked on early and often.
Give credit where credit is due, Joe Burrow was putting balls into tight windows and his guys were making play after plays. Only Moss, the big TE, was running wide open for a score. The rest were contested throws, back shoulder stuff etc, where Jefferson and Marshall just made play after play after play. Simply put, the Sooners just didn’t have the horses to match up across the board.
While Motley matched up well, and likely put himself on some draft boards, other guys couldn’t make plays. Tre Brown broke up a couple of passes and dropped a pick six, but nobody else on the back end could match up.
LSU did an outstanding job of taking what the Sooners gave them. I’ve never seen an offensive coordinator and QB at the college level take advantage of matchups like the Tigers did last night. The instant that Bookie went out after the Bonehead targeting move, LSU went right at Woodi Washington. No doubt that playing in this game will help him in the long run, I just hope that he, along with Jaden Davis didn’t have their confidence damaged beyond repair.
Looking at Ohio State and Clemson, they had DB’s across the back end who could match up and make plays on the ball. They also had more than one pass rusher who could cause problems.
Ultimately the Sooners need to get to that point. I think with the additions of Winfrey and Ellison, the Sooners will have some legitimate difference makers up front inside. With Perkins and hopefully Grimes and Alfred Collins, the Sooners could have some legitimate dudes who can really, really cause offenses problems.
Getting Tre Norwood back in the off-season and adding Harrington will infuse the talent on the back end. Hopefully Criddell, Washington, Eaton and Dennis will cause some seats to get hot. Also Morris, Woodi and Davis need to have great springs. Really the Sooners have talent at DB, but it’s either really really young, injured or on the way in the spring.
A wise man once said that you’re never as good as you think you are, and you’re never as bad as you think you are. After the pain of this one wears off we can take a more sober look at what’s to come. No doubt the Sooners aren’t where they need to be to win one of these, but they may not be as far away as we think.