Oklahoma earned high marks for its 41-20 victory over Texas Tech from ABC sportscasters Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman during the telecast Saturday afternoon.
Spielman, a former NFL and Ohio State linebacker, was particularly impressed with how Sooner quarterback Landry Jones bounced back from a disappointing performance in a 24-19 loss to Kansas State.
Commenting on Jones' 38-yard pass to Damien Williams down the right sideline in the third quarter, he said, “What a difference two weeks makes. When he struggled against Kansas State, he got out of the pocket and he panicked. This time he stayed patient, stepped up into the pocket and made a nice throw to Williams.”
The broadcast spent a lot of time discussing the Sooners' defense, including running a long quote from former OU coach Barry Switzer noting that the Sooners lacked their usual standouts, such as Tommie Harris or Gerald McCoy, on defense.
Although Spielman agreed there probably are few NFL players on the OU defense, he noted how well the unit played against the Red Raiders.
“I'm really impressed with the defense. They do have talent. We don't know if it's NFL talent. They took to the field what they were coached to do during the week. As far as execution, they got their hands up and tipped balls and they stopped the screen.”
Viewers couldn't tell the OU defense played well from the numerous sideline shots of an angry OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
“If he's not yelling, he's not happy,” Spielman said, “the same for Bob (Stoops).”
Spielman said Mike Stoops told them the Red Raiders had the best screen pass they would face all year.
“You take away the screen from the Texas Tech offense,” Spielman said, “you take away about 35 to 40 percent of their offense.”
Assessing the Sooners national standing, Spielman said, “I don't know if they are a top 10 (team), but there's hope now anytime you've got Landry Jones playing at this level and the young receivers are coming around… Defensively, there are some questions because they don't have a whole lot of depth up front.”
* McDonough marveled about OU Safety Aaron Colvin's interception when he nabbed a Seth Doege pass out of the air near the line of scrimmage and returned it to Texas Tech's 41. “Tremendous play by Colvin,” McDonough said. “While you're putting your hands up, being able to snatch it out of the air from close range.”
* Spielman, whose name was misspelled “Spileman” once on an ABC graphic, noted OU's “Belldozer” formation was difficult to defend. “That's a tough formation to stop. You got a bunch of beef back there and you have a big fella (Blake Bell) at 250 pounds, 6-6, running it.”
* McDonough noted Texas Tech's record crowd of 60,800 was surprisingly quiet early in the game and only “dozens” remained at the end. “I don't know if I've ever done a game where they set a stadium record earlier in the day when at the end of the game you could count the number of people there.”