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Remote Patrol: ESPN crew says OU defense a better matchup vs. future opponents

BY MEL BRACHT, Staff Writer, mbracht@opubco.com Published: October 19, 2013
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ESPN college football analyst Brock Huard credited OU for rebounding from an early deficit to win 34-19, but said the Sooners had to be glad they were playing lowly Kansas on Saturday.

Huard and play-by-play announcer Mark Jones pointed out numerous times — too many times in fact — the Jayhawks had lost 23 consecutive conference games.

“The defense stepped up and the quarterback made plays when he had to,” said Huard, a former University of Washington and NFL quarterback. “Not perfect, probably not good enough to beat a (Texas) Tech or a Baylor team, but a chance to regroup and go 15-0 after the Red River Rivalry.”

The good news for OU's finesse defense, he said, is that it might fare better against Tech and Baylor the next couple of weeks because of their offensive styles.

“This group responded over the final three quarters, and it is much better suited to play over the next couple of weeks than the teams that line up and run right at you.”

Huard and Jones probably were expecting a laugher when they were assigned this game. But they were shocked when KU ran the ball down the Sooners' throat on its first possession on the telecast, which started on ESPN Classic when the Tennessee-South Carolina game went long.

“To say the (KU) offensive line looked bad in the first part of the season was a compliment,” he said. “But they're getting it done right now.”

ESPN had a revealing shot of OU head coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery arguing on the sidelines at the end of the first quarter. “In Youngstown, Ohio, they call that a hug,” Jones joked.

Quarterback Blake Bell led the Sooners to their first score, a 16-yard TD pass to Jaz Reynolds. “For all those in Norman blaming the ills on Blake Bell, he just stepped up on two huge, huge third-down plays,” Huard said.

FOX TEAM COLORFUL IN STILLWATER

Fox's top college broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Charles Davis turned in their usual colorful commentary in calling OSU's 24-10 homecoming victory. Sideline reporter Kristina Pink has yet to prove she's worthy to be on the No. 1 team and at one point she couldn't remember OSU quarterback Clint Chelf's name, pausing for several seconds while trying to remember it.

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