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Surprises and Underachievers: The best and worst of Oklahoma against TCU

by Stephanie Kuzydym Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm •  Published: December 2, 2012
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops led his team to a 10-3 record and a shared Big 12 title in the 2012 season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops led his team to a 10-3 record and a shared Big 12 title in the 2012 season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN

Head coach Bob Stoops waves to the crowd after OU defeated TCU to capture their share of the title of Big 12 Champions on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

He may not be Big Bowl Bob, but Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops still gets the title Big 12 Bob.

The Sooners claimed their eighth conference title in 14 years with Stoops at the helm.

That means Oklahoma now has 44 overall conference titles.

However, this title will forever be shared with Kansas State – co-champions with co-championship rings and co-champion banners.

Surprises

Lane Johnson’s blocks. The guard started off the day just going head to head with TCU’s Devonte Fields. Johnson wasn’t always winning. Credit Johnson for turning his game around, though. When Damien Williams talked about his 66-yard touchdown run, the first thing he said was to give the o-line its due for the blocks it made. Johnson’s block of Fields is a main reason why Williams made it to the end zone.

The shifting of the offensive line. Lane Johnson said yesterday that the offensive line is the definition of versatility. It’s also the definition of the cliche “plagued by injury.” Oklahoma’s o-line made more switches yesterday due to Adam Shead suffering from some back and ankle issues. Shead did play some but when he wasn’t playing, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel shifted center Gabe Ikard out to right guard and placed Ty Darlington in at center.

Oklahoma’s Frank Shannon (20) and Stacy McGee (92) combine to bring down TCU’s Trevone Boykin (2) at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Playing against the wind. Wind isn’t something you can see. We all learned that in about kindergarten. But the effects of the wind? Well, that was evident when Michael Hunnicutt’s field goal got a nice boot but rotated backwards in the air as the wind pushed it back from the goal posts and the kick fell short into the end zone. The wind also made it difficult for Landry Jones’ spiral.

The 4-3 defense. Let’s just leave it at this: play seven DBs and give up 49 points one week. Play the 4-3 and give up 17.

 

Underachievers

Landry Jones’ Heisman production. Compared to the last two weeks, this wasn’t stellar. Landry Jones was starting to be talked about among Heisman voters, not to outright win the greatest trophy in college football, but to be put on lots of voters’ ballots at least. Saturday, he was average while Kansas State’s Collin Klein had another stand-out performance.

The veteran wide receivers ‘butterfingers’. Fort Worth was Drop City for Oklahoma’s two best wide receivers Kenny Stills and Justin Brown. Not every game is an on-game and it just so happened that TCU was Stills’ and Brown’s first off-game of the season. Stills didn’t make a reception until the second half. Brown finished with four receptions for 27 yards and Stills ended with two receptions for 16 yards. On a windy day, their incompletions contributed to a tight game that should not have been a one-score decision.

Courtesy of SB Nation

Tyrus Thompson’s personal foul. The offensive tackle was called on a personal foul for unnecessary roughness. You never really know what the referees did and didn’t see. Don’t believe they saw this or Thompson should have been ejected. The referees must have seen the shoving after. In the post-game press conference, I asked Stoops about the situation with Thompson. He decided he no longer wanted to stay at the podium and was walking away from the mic and as he did so he asked back, ‘What situation?’  I said for him getting that personal foul called on him for what he did. He said, ‘Everyone gets penalties called on them.’ Then Berry Tramel jumped in and said, ‘Well, he threw a couple cheap shots to the guy as he was holding him down.’ Stoops just turned around and looked at Landry Jones and said something to him like, ‘You’re up’ (which is what he normally does when he and Jones are switching places at the podium.)

I get that there is shoving and pushing and dirty play in a game that doesn’t get called, but this did. So that’s why Thompson’s personal foul made the list, when in past games other players’ personal fouls haven’t. It was shown on national television, picked up by one of the biggest sports blogging companies in the world and turned into a GIF that can be replayed over and over and over and over again.

A little over a week ago, Morehead State coach Sean Woods was suspended for shoving one of his players. ESPN’s Andy Katz agreed with the suspension and said the reason why shoving a player is different now than years and years ago is because now everything can go viral. Everyone can capture it and watch it and judge it and voice their opinion. Today is not like even five years ago in how other people view a shove in the world of sports. They want flags thrown and whistles blown and they want it now.

That’s why Thompson should be suspended from the Sooners bowl game. This GIF isn’t a good image for Oklahoma football and to do nothing about it makes that image even worse.

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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