Berry Tramel: Power Lunch Chat transcript, September 6, 2012

The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
by Berry Tramel Modified: September 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm •  Published: September 6, 2012
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The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Below is a complete transcript of today's chat. 

At this point, do you think there is much hope any of the local cable providers are going to pick up the OSU-AZ game?

Yes, I think there is hope. I heard Robert Allen say the process could go into Thursday, so that's today. I think it's possible. It's a total mess, by the way. This is a good lesson for the Big 12 and other conferences. Make it clear in any future non-conference schedules that the game cannot be televised on a conference (or school) network unless it is made available off said network in the opponent's market.

How much impact will Casey Walker have for OU being back for K-State?

Well, if he's in shape to play, he would help a lot. I thought the tackles did OK against UTEP, they just played all night and I assume got tired. Now, if McGee could come back, too, then David King could go back to end and really help that position.

Berry! Any news from the Thunder this off-season? Thanks.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden won gold medals. Serge Ibaka signed a four-year extension. Scotty Brooks got a big raise. Perry Jones III fell to the Thunder in the draft. Am I missing anything else?

This OU team seems like a joke. Looking at the way they played Saturday I see an 8-5 season. Your thoughts?

I think I would never get too riled up about one game. I've seen the Sooners play poorly in season openers for 40 years, including several times in Bob Stoops' time. No less than four times a Stoops team has struggled in a season opener, only to go on to win the Big 12. Now that said, the Sooners played very poorly and need to improve by bunches, though you can't improve against Florida A&M. The lack of quality competition makes it impossible.

Your thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys game last night?

Great football game. I love the NFL, and that's why. Defensive standoff in the first half, then an offensive show in the second half. The Cowboys looked like they were in total control, played well the entire second half and STILL had to make that key first down late to keep the G-Men at bay. The NFL is all about quality control. Good for Kevin Ogletree, who had a big game, and good for DeMarco Murray, who had another big game. I've got an interesting blog coming up later this afternoon on Murray. Check it out.

What areas does OU need to improve in to contend for the Big 12 title, and do you think they will?

Yes, I think OU will contend for the Big 12 title. Here's where they need to improve from Saturday night: 1. Pass blocking. Protect Landry better. 2. Get open on pass routes. I thought the receivers did a poor job of getting open. 3. Special teams. Don't allow kicks to be blocked. 4. Stay in your gaps on defense. The ends crashed down, letting UTEP's Nathan Jeffrey spring outside.

Seems like Sooner fans are getting a little negative over one game. They just need to relax. OU football will have 2-3 losses.

You're right about too much negativity after one game. We'll see on the losses. The Sooners could go 10-2 and still win the Big 12. So that would be up to each individual to say if that's a successful season. To me, anytime you win the Big 12, it's a successful season. Anytime you don't, it's not. That's the threshold.

Any news on when McGee and Walker might return to the Sooners?

Well, Walker is back. I doubt he plays against FAMU, but I assume he would play against K-State on the 22nd. No word on McGee. We'll see. Wouldn't surprise me if he's back soon.

Do you think it will be easier for a freshman QB to perform adequately in OSU's offense than In Texas'?

Well, I don't know. Texas doesn't seem to ask its quarterbacks to do much. But OSU's offense is actually on the simple side. There aren't a ton of plays. Not a ton of reads. Todd Monken was telling me the other day it's pretty easy for a young guy. The old OSU offense, Zac Robinson's shotgun option, was tough. The Larry Fedora offense, hard on a rookie. But this one should be OK for Wes Lunt.

Does Florida A&M having any kind of team at all?

Yes. A I-AA team, which means a maximum of 63 scholarships and few resources. Some I-AA teams can be competitive. Northern Iowa took Wisconsin to the limit last Saturday. But for the most part, I-AA teams are not competitive, nor should they be. Savannah State was an extreme example, but FAMU should provide no resistance to the Sooners.

Is OU-Florida A&M Pay Per View only?

Yes. Pay Per View. I think the game will be tape delayed on Fox Sports at some point. Which is not bad, since we already know the outcome.

Why are most folks panicking over the Sooners’ game Saturday? I will admit they didn't play well but it was also a game not just practice. Kind of a make shift offensive line didn't do well blocking for Landry but I also thought Landry played very well. The offensive line will get better as the year goes on. The "D" played well – not great, but good, and I think they will get better. What were your observations on the game?

I thought the defense was fine. Sure, you don't want a UTEP tailback to run for 177 yards. But the Sooners also shut down UTEP's passing game, such as it was. The OU offense was totally out of sorts. The pass blocking and receiving has got to get better. But I thought Landry looked a lot more mobile than in the past, and I thought Damien Williams showed all kinds of good things at tailback.

What OU player/players were you most impressed with in the UTEP game?

I thought the DBs were really good. Hurst and Colvin and Jefferson. And David King was sensational. On offense, Landry was really good. Missed some throws, but he had little help from his receivers. And of course Damien Williams.

On the Browns. Do you think that Richardson coming back is going to help take the pressure off of Weeden to the point that people will shut up about McCoy?

No. I didn't know anyone was talking about McCoy. But either way, Weeden's going to have to produce. The Browns are tired of losing. Weeden will get a year or two to produce, and if he doesn't get it done, then he's out just like McCoy was. The reason so many young QBs are taking over NFL teams is not because it's a wave of great young talent. It's just that NFL teams have no patience anymore.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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