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OU report card: Sooners defensive preparation was lacking

by Berry Tramel Published: October 23, 2011

/articleid/3616360/1/pictures/1543049">Photo - Fans file out of the stadium during a storm delay before the start of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Tech University Red Raiders (TTU) at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Fans file out of the stadium during a storm delay before the start of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Texas Tech University Red Raiders (TTU) at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

NATIONAL ANTHEM: A

Hard enough for a student to sing a hard-to-sing song, in front of the biggest crowd they'll ever sing in front of. But then when the heavens open and lightning descends, just as you're singing about the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air, and you get drenched with the wind in your face? Nothing easy about it. But the OU student — sorry, officials couldn't locate the name — kept her composure and delivered a solid rendition.

RED ZONE OFFENSE: C

The Sooners made it four times. They scored two touchdowns and settled for two field goal tries. But they were costly settles. OU trailed 31-14 late in the third quarter and reached 2nd-and-goal from the Tech 1-yard line. The Sooners used Trey Millard at tailback; he was popped in the backfield and fumbled. Jones grabbed the ball to save possession. Then Jones threw incomplete on third down. Late in the game, trailing 41-31, OU reached first down at the Tech 11-yard line. Then Jones threw three straight incompletions, and Hunnicut missed the 28-yard field goal.

GROUNDSKEEPING: A

For a 90-minute rainstorm, the Owen Field grass drained remarkably well. The turf held up, with only limited slipping by players in the open field.

BACKUPS: C

Tailback Dominique Whaley missed the game with the flu; Roy Finch was a solid replacement, with 93 yards on 13 carries and five catches for 43 yards. Finch had a 55-yard run on OU's first snap of the game, but Finch also had some negative plays. OU's defensive backups didn't fare so well, particularly cornerback Gabe Lynn, who subbed for the injured Jamell Fleming and was consistently burned. The Sooners eventually made a change, moving Aaron Colvin from safety to cornerback.

WEATHER DELAY ENTERTAINMENT: D

OU's giant video board was blank during the delay, except for the announcement about the weather. Of course, the whole point of the delay was to get fans out of the stands and harm's way. But for the fans under the upper deck and in the suites, a re-running of the pregame video featuring every one of Ryan Broyles' NCAA record 326 catches would have helped pass the time.

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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