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What we’re working on: Under Pressure.

Travis Haney Published: November 28, 2011


CAMPUS CORNER — This week, in advance of Bedlam, a special feature here on the blog. We’ll give you a look inside what we’re writing — the angles, the questions we’re seeking answers to, etc., etc. You might not care. You might really dig it. We’ll give it a spin, see what happens. A lot of people ask me what goes on inside the Dark Tower’s Dungeon during our Monday morning meetings. This will give you a sense, I think.

First up, for Tuesday, I’m writing about the idea of pressuring Brandon Weeden.

Think … Queen …

Under Pressure

All right, so don’t think Queen …

The story, when we kicked it around this morning, was about Corey Nelson‘s move to defensive end and how that might be something OU is leaning on now that Ronnell Lewis is injured.

A conversation with DEs coach Bobby Jack Wright, though, and my focus had shifted. He told me Nelson playing end last week had a lot to do with Iowa State’s offensive gameplan — a more run-heavy look. Wright said the position Nelson played wasn’t very different than the “jack” (linebacker/end hybrid) in the 3-4 scheme. Which makes sense. So, just because Nelson did that last week doesn’t automatically make him a Bedlam savior in terms of pass rush.

In fact, it sounded more like a steady diet of David King and R.J. Washington — and Frank Alexander, of course — with Nelson potentially splashed in here and there. So that’s when my story moved, as they often do from the time of brainstorming.

It became a bit more statistically driven. OSU quarterbacks, and namely Weeden, have been sacked 11 times in 11 games. Meanwhile, OU has 37 sacks in 11 games. You’d think that’s a something’s got to give scenario, except Weeden gets rid of the ball so quickly (a point Wright affirmed) and there’s no Lewis up front.

My best guess — and this is a guess, educated — is OU brings blitzes similar to what you saw in the Texas game. Completely different QB situation — from the least experience imaginable to the most (life) experience imaginable — but Brent Venables has to do something to get in Weeden’s kitchen. I would not at all be surprised to see more of the “50″ in this game — more than we’ve seen this season. Remember that it was rolled out for this game a year ago. With some new wrinkles and twists in terms of blitzing, the “50″ could again be a secret to success in Stillwater.

Stay tuned for more of these previews as we go through the week. Ryan Broyles is talking tomorrow at lunchtime, so we’ll update how he’s doing and feeling, moving forward.

= Trav

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