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.
Davis praised Josh Stewart for his huge plays, his 95-yard punt return for the first score and then a dramatic catch in the fourth quarter setting up the Cowboys' final touchdown.
On the return, he at first downplayed the blocking and credited Stewart's “amazing quickness” but on the second replay, noted he had picked up at least five good blocks, including one near the goal line. “I didn't give them (the blockers) nearly the credit they deserved on the punt return.”
The fourth quarter catch came on a 27-yard pass from fellow receiver Charlie Moore that Davis said “should not have been thrown. That ball should have been intercepted,” he said.
After OSU kicker Ben Grogan missed his second field-goal attempt to end the first half with OSU up 17-0, Johnson called it “a comedy of errors by both teams in the first half.”
Both Johnson and Davis consistently jumped on TCU center Joey Hunt for his low snaps from the shotgun formation. “If I'm the baseball coach at TCU, I'm talking to (quarterbacks) Trevone Boykin and Tyler Matthews about handling ground balls," Davis said. "I think today they have done a terrific job of handling low snaps.”
After a personal item about OSU linebacker Caleb Lavey complaining there was nothing to eat at his 95-year-old grandmother's house because she was tired of cooking, Lavey intercepted a pass and Johnson got one of his best lines of the day. “Lavey, eating well there. Grandma may have said, ‘Let's starve him a bit and get him in shape.'”