The Tailgate Blog: My couch
CAMPUS CORNER — There’s nothing a sportswriter longs for more than a day to sit on his or her couch and watch football. We’re often at games, so we rarely get a chance to soak up a day of the sport without working.
I’m getting that today, but it’s far from that ideal. I’m sick as a dog, struggling to hold my head up. I say this in full disclosure, because I will be covering tonight’s OU-Texas Tech game from here (my couch) and not there (nearby Owen Field). I’m disappointed, because I feel like I’m letting my teammates down and there’s only so many games in a season … but, well, I guess sometimes your body requires listening to.
So I’m going to tweet/chat/blog live while the game is on, as best I can. We’re about two hours from kickoff. Here are some things I’ll be watching tonight.
SOONERS D vs. another spread team
I watched some of the Tech v. K-State video. I didn’t see a team that had the same level of skill players as Missouri, the last team to legitimately run the spread in a game here. Seth Doege has a nice arm and instincts, but he needs a go-to playmaker, and I just didn’t see that on film. Tech seems to miss Eric Stephens, one of the country’s leading rushers, because he provided them some semblance of balance. Like when OU wants to employ its tempo offense, Tech would often call a run play on the hurry-up.
I’m curious to see how the defensive shuffling makes a difference for the Sooners. Without Jamell Fleming, you’ve got to figure Gabe Lynn will be targeted by Tech. My impression is that Corey Nelson‘s arm/wrist should allow him to play, but this could be a game in which you see more Joe Ibiloye because of the Red Raiders’ offense. Ibiloye might even start, like Lynn did against Missouri in something of a 3-2-6.
Red zone improvements?
With all this talk during the week about the red zone, will the Sooners have a better week inside the 20? It’d be good if they get, to get some good mojo going down there before next week’s game at Kansas State. The Wildcats are physically demanding and figure to be inside the 20, in particular.
New wrinkles in the red zone? Or same plays with better execution? Or both? I’d say both. Presuming Roy Finch is healthy, let him get a few carries down there, see what happens. He was slippery last week against a similarly bad defense.
Welcome back, Box family
Whitney Box, Austin‘s older sister, tweeted earlier today that her parents, Craig and Gail, are returning today to Owen Field for the first time since their son passed away in May. I admire their courage and strength in coming back. I encouraged Craig this week to try, because I think, as difficult as it is, there will be healing in a return to that environment. So my thoughts and prayers are with them today on their emotional ride of an evening. I’m hopeful this does prove to be therapeutic for them.
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