Fox analyst Charles Davis will be in Oklahoma the next two Saturdays in calling the Kansas State-OU and Texas-OSU games for the network's new prime-time package, working with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson and sideline reporter Julie Alexandria. He discussed the games in a telephone interview.
Will containing Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein be a key for OU?
Yes. They are so used to being heavy run and throw when they want to. And what's funny about it to me is Collin Klein doesn't look anything like the traditional OU quarterback. He looks nothing like Thomas Lott. He looks nothing like J.C. (Watts). He looks nothing like Jamelle Holieway. None of their build or appearance. But in a lot of ways, they are the same person. It's run, run, run. Run, run, run, play action, hit you deep. That's how those guys did it. They would take two steps back and all of a sudden Tinker Owens is open ... Will Oklahoma take away the run game enough that Klein has to beat them with his arm in situations where he's not dictating throwing the ball, but OU is dictating? To me, that's the key for Oklahoma.
Do you think OU quarterback Landry Jones made a mistake in coming back for his senior year?
No. I really don't. If your heart is not in going on to something else, you shouldn't do it, no matter what people tell you. They say, “You left this much money on the table.” College kids don't have money anyway, so they don't feel like they lost anything. Obviously he and his fiancé (Whitney Hand) were talking about getting married, so that had some bearing on it. But the last part was the way they finished the year, I thought he got out of sync. Down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. The loss of (Ryan) Broyles was part of it, but more than that, he didn't seem like the same kid that we had seen previously. And I think he wanted to come back and get his mechanics straightened out.
What do you make of OU and Kansas State struggling some in early games?
Our early season should teach us a lesson: Don't get fooled by what you see before. If you look at Kansas State this year, it took them a long time to blow away Missouri State. They were kind of floundering around a little. Last week against North Texas, the same thing happened. But that name opponent, Miami, got their attention and we saw what happened with that (K-State won 52-13). I feel the same thing about Oklahoma. Going to UTEP playing a late game, just kind of getting started, they had a lot of new pieces. Then last week, FAMU, there's nothing you can take away from that, which tells you what they are going to be like the rest of the year. I stand by what I always stand by. It's Oklahoma. They're going to be pretty darn good, and I think we'll see one of their better games starting this week.
Will OSU backup quarterback J.W. Walsh's performance against Louisiana-Lafayette create a quarterback controversy when starter Wes Lunt gets healthy again?
Didn't they put up 700 yards. I mean J.W. Walsh, welcome to the show! It depends on what happens from here on out. It depends on if Walsh puts up similar performances and keeps going. He may force it where you can't make the change. It almost becomes when Tom Brady stepped in for Drew Bledsoe that he played at such a level that I felt like (New England coach) Bill Belichick said, “I just can't go back.” Will Walsh continue to play to this level? If the team continues to move, if they're playing real well, they may look at Wes Lunt and say, “Hey, let's wait until you're fully healthy.” We have to see it play out first. That was a tremendous, tremendous performance, but that was one game so far.
What's it like working with Gus Johnson? I know he gets excited at times.
It's really terrific. Here's the thing. You look at all those great calls that he's made along the way, those memorable calls. Obviously the NCAA tournament really blew him up in a big way. You know what it's like the big moment happens and you're waiting for the signature call. All those things are fantastic. But what I don't want to overlook for him as his partner is No. 1, he's very intelligent about the game. I learn something each and every week we're in the booth together. No. 2, he understands big moment versus non-big moment. A lot of times when there's criticism of a guy who's enthusiastic in calling a game, it's that there's no governor. A two-yard run in the first quarter elicits the same response as a 60-yard touchdown where the guy wove through the defense. Gus isn't like that. If it's not a big moment and it's not a real impact on the game, he's not hitting it the same way.