Berry Tramel: Players Sooners missed most were 2008 offensive line

Berry Tramel Modified: September 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm •  Published: September 5, 2009
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Some thought this game wasn’t losable for the Oklahoma Sooners. Brigham Young proved otherwise with a 14-13 upset Saturday night at Jerry Jones World, and you can blame it on the guys who weren’t there.

And I don’t mean Sam Bradford (for a half) or Jermaine Gresham.

Turns out, those departed offensive linemen who protected Sammy B. so well — Duke Robinson, Phil Loadholt, Brandon Walker and Jon Cooper — were not so easily replaced after all.

The Sooners scored just 10 points with Bradford, before he went down and out on the first half’s final play from scrimmage, and the O-line’s troubles — rampant penalties, no blowing BYU off the ball — continued in the second half, when rookie Landry Jones needed all the help he could get.

Holding. False starts. Penalties came early and often. Cory Brandon alone was flagged six times.

Each of Jones’ first two possessions started with major penalties on first down. First-and-24 and first-and-20 is no way to get a freshman quarterback settled.

And when the Sooners needed their beefeaters the most, they failed miserably.

With Jones trying to direct a last-ditch drive, OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who continually touted his line in August, didn’t have enough confidence to take the pressure off Jones and run the ball.

Time was available, but Wilson ordered a pass on seven of eight snaps. Jones produced two first downs but had no magic.

And the final penalty was perhaps most fatal — another Brandon false start on 3rd-and-9 from the BYU 32-yard line. That made it 3rd-and-14, and after an incompletion, OU was forced to let Tress Way try a 54-yard field goal.

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