OU's poor performance should leave Florida State licking its Tomahawk chops

Suddenly next Saturday's game with the Seminoles looks more like a mine field than a fun reunion of 2000 BCS title game foes.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: September 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm •  Published: September 4, 2010
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Thing is, the Sooner offense is not nearly as big a concern as the Sooner defense.

Utah State rolled up 421 yards of offense. It passed for 341 yards. It had eight plays of 20-plus yards.

This just in — Florida State's offense is better than Utah State's.

That starts with Seminole quarterback Christian Ponder. He has a big-time arm which he showed off Saturday in a 12-of-14, 167-yard performance against Samford. He only played the first half of Florida State's game but threw four touchdown passes.

Here's guessing that some of the passes that Utah State quarterback Diondre Borel just missed — a long bomb to a wide-open receiver early in the fourth quarter comes to mind — are one that Ponder would've hit.

The Sooner secondary could be in serious trouble.

Jonathan Nelson got beat several times in man coverage. Tony Jefferson and Jamell Fleming had issues, too.

"The secondary needs to play better," Nelson said.

He shook his head.

"I had a terrible game. My technique and my preparation and everything was terrible. Just overall, we need to do better."

The Sooner defensive front didn't help matters either. There was no great push, no big pressure.

It's tricky, of course, evaluating a team after only one game. Is what happened against Utah State an aberration or a sign of things to come?

OU will begin to answer that question next week against Florida State.

The Seminoles had to be licking their chops watching the Sooners on Saturday night. Granted, the Seminoles didn't look like worldbeaters Saturday afternoon against Samford, but their performance looks a whole lot better in light of the Sooners' poor outing.

"I hope Florida State overlooks us," linebacker Travis Lewis said. "I hope they watch this game and say, 'Dang, Oklahoma, they were in a close game with Utah State.' I hope that happens.

"We're all gonna man up and we're gonna play better. I guarantee that."

Truth be told, the Sooners couldn't play much worse.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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