Tag:Kenny Stills
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:01 am
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The biggest shoes to fill in college football



Posted by Tom Fornelli


With teams having already started or starting spring practice over the next few weeks. there are a lot of players across the country who will be charged with replacing someone who has come and gone before them. It's an annual rite of spring in college football, when the senior quarterback from last season is putting the finishing touches on his final semester as a college student, and the sophomore who isn't even sure what he's majoring in yet realizes he's going to be majoring in Playbook 101 for the next few weeks.

Of course, while roster turnover is a common occurence in college football, there are bigger shoes to fill than others, and in this post we take a look at the ten biggest pairs looking for a new owner this spring.

10. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma

Ryan Broyles began re-writing the Oklahoma record books the moment he stepped on the field in his first game as a Sooner. He caught 7 passes for 141 yards against Cincinnati, both of which were freshman records. Four years later he finished his career having caught more passes than any other receiver in FBS history, pulling in 349 passes for 4,586 yards and 45 touchdowns.

In other words, he's not the type of player that Oklahoma can just replace with anybody. This spring receivers like Kenny Stills, Jaz Reynolds and Trey Metoyer will try to replicate Broyles' production in Norman. Whether it will be one of them doing it, or a group effort, Oklahoma will need it to happen if the Sooners want to win the Big 12 and contend for a national title.

9. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Understandably, USC fans were extremely excited by the news that Matt Barkley would be returning for his senior season, and many have pegged the Trojans as a title favorite because of it. What you don't want to do, however, is overlook the fact that the man who was in charge of protecting Barkley's blindside these last few years won't be back.

Though that's how life generally works for offensive lineman like Matt Kalil. As large as they are, they're often overlooked. Kevin Graf, Jeremy Galten, David Garness and Nathan Guertler will all be competing for the unenviable task of being the man in charge of making sure nothing happens to the most valuable piece of the USC offense.

8. Mark Barron, S, Alabama

One of the problems with having a defense as strong as the one we saw in Tuscaloosa last season is that you're bound to lose players to the next level, and the Crimson Tide have no shortage of beasts making their way to greener pastures. Still, the Tide have a knack for churning out defensive lineman and linebackers, but safeties like Mark Barron don't come along all that often.

Barron made 231 tackles for Nick Saban in his four seasons, including 13 for a loss, while picking off 12 passes. Barron was the type of player that could defend the pass and the run, and he won't be easily replaced. Can Robert Lester or freshman Vinnie Sunseri step up and be the next stud in the Alabama secondary?

7. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Based purely on production, there may be no larger shoes to fill in the country than Luke Kuechly's. There may not have been more than 3 plays run by opposing offenses in which Kuechly wasn't in on the tackle. Kuechly finished 2011 with 191 tackles. The next highest total on the Boston College defense belonged to Kevin Pierre-Louis, who had 74.

As our own Chip Patterson put it, "for Boston College, replacing Kuechly is like any other team replacing 2 1/2 players." Though it's been proven that it can be done, as Kuechly himself once had to fill the shoes left behind by Mark Herzlich. Pierre-Louis and Steele Divitto -- who has a name that would be hard to replace -- will be the two linebackers looking to repeat the feat.

6. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Many casual college football fans never truly appreciated how amazing a player Morris Claiborne was for LSU in 2011 simply because opposing offenses weren't dumb enough to test him all that often. Throw in some Honey Badger exploits with a bit of Les Miles being Les Miles, and Claiborne gets a bit lost in the gumbo. Still, Claiborne truly was the definition of a shutdown corner for LSU, playing a pivotal role on one of the best defenses in the country.

While Tyrann Mathieu will be back in 2012, he's not the cover corner that Claiborne was, so it will be up to Tharold Simon to fill the role. One he seems capable of considering he led LSU with 10 passes broken up in 2011 playing mostly as a nickel back.

5. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

I won't lie to you. Even when Mark Ingram will still in Tuscaloosa running through SEC defenses, I always felt that Trent Richardson was the best running back on the Alabama roster. Now both are gone, and Richardson will be harder to replace than Ingram was simply because Trent can't replace himself.

Can Eddie Lacy be the next Heisman finalist in the Alabama backfield? He showed some promise in 2011, and in an offense like Alabama's, the opportunities will be there. Still, even if Lacy is extremely talented, there are only so many shoes capable of doing this.

4. Brandon Weeden/Justin Blackmon, QB/WR, Oklahoma State

A bit of a cheat, I know, but the truth is that Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon felt like extensions of one another for the past two seasons in Stillwater. Their success was as a duo. I mean, Blackmon caught 40 touchdowns over the last three seasons, which accounted for 53% of the 75 touchdown passes Weeden threw with the Cowboys.

Now we know that Oklahoma State is going to continue putting points on the board without them, but will the offense ever be as prolific when the combination is Clint Chelf or Wes Lunt to Tracy Moore? We'll get our first clues this spring.

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

Maybe you think that LaMichael James isn't all that hard to replace given the weapons Oregon has in the backfield. I can see your point, but I can also point out that James nearly doubled Kenjon Barner's rushing total (1,805 yards to 939) in 2011. I mean, this is a man who rushed for 1,805 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 7.3 yards per carry in 2011, yet we didn't think it was so amazing based simply on the fact we'd already seen him do similar things in the previous two seasons.

We just got used to it.

Yes, Barner and DeAnthony Thomas are extremely talented backs, but the fact is there's no easy way to replace a back who accounted for 5,888 all-purpose yards and 58 touchdowns in three seasons as a Duck, all at the speed of light.

2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Will it be harder to fill RG3's shoes, or his socks? Neither will be easy. While we all know how talented Griffin was as a quarterback for Baylor in 2011 and the two seasons before it, it's his impact on the program that will leave the biggest impression. Baylor went from a perennial bottom-feeder in the Big 12 to a team that can call itself the home of a Heisman Trophy winner.

Nick Florence will be the favorite to replace Griffin this spring, but he'll never be able to have the impact on the Baylor program that Griffin did. Instead he'd be much better served to focus on replacing the production on the field. Something that won't be easy, either, but given Art Briles' history with quarterbacks and the way Florence performed in place of Griffin against Texas Tech, it may not be that far-fetched, either.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Andrew Luck didn't win the Heisman Trophy like Robert Griffin did, but that doesn't diminish the impact he had on the Stanford program. In the three seasons before Luck showed up in Palo Alto, Stanford was 10-26, including a 1-11 season in 2006. In Luck's three seasons the Cardinal went 31-8, played in two BCS bowl games and became a national program.

Stanford is essentially the school Notre Dame used to be, and it's all thanks to Luck. Of course, the question now is whether or not Stanford can maintain the success they had under Luck with a new quarterback. Brett Nottingham, Josh Nunes and Robbie Picazo will all enter spring practice looking to replace the most important player in the history of Stanford football, and that's a list that includes John Elway.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:37 pm
 

Trey Metoyer finally cleared for Oklahoma

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Like every school in the country, Oklahoma will put the finishing touches on its 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday, but the Sooners got some good news on 2011's class on Thursday.

One of Oklahoma's top recruits in 2011, five-star receiver Trey Metoyer, has been cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse and will join the Sooners some time soon.

Metoyer signed with Oklahoma last year, but failed to qualify academically. As a result he spent the year Hargrave Military Academy.

Metoyer's presence on the Sooners offense in 2012 could be quite a boost. Oklahoma is already considered the early favorite in the Big 12 next season thanks to the return of Landry Jones, and Metoyer should fit in nicely with Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds at the wide receiver position. Those three have pretty large shoes to fill as the Sooners try and replace Ryan Broyles

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Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 12



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Man vs. Woman vs. Machine is a feature that runs every Thursday afternoon. It is here that Tom Fornelli fights against the rising tide of female empowerment and technology to ensure that men everywhere can at least claim that college football is still theirs. He does this by picking a set of games against the spread against his girlfriend, Lynn, and his Playstation 3.

I was able to make up some ground against Woman last week, though not nearly as much as I had hoped to as we're approaching the finish line here and I don't have a lot of time. Unfortunately, this week I won't gain any ground at all. It took 12 weeks for it to happen, but for the first time, Woman and Man have the same picks in all 10 games this week. 

Is it a coincidence? Probably, as we both hand over our picks to each other at the same time to assure there's no foul play. Still, is there a chance that she infiltrated my mind using female powers in an attempt to extract my picks and make sure she made the same ones so I couldn't pick up any games on her? I'm not ruling it out. Science is yet to scratch the surface of women's intuition, so we can't be sure what their full powers are.

What this means is that this will be the week that Machine either gets all the way back into the game or falls out of the race, as it does not agree with us on a few games. So without further ado, let's get to the picks.

Virginia Tech (-10 1/2) vs. North Carolina - Thursday, 8pm (All times Eastern)

Man - I'm not sure how North Carolina went from scoring 49 points and beating Wake Forest to being shut out by N.C. State, but that's not the kind of thing that makes me want to put any faith in the Tar Heels. So even though I'm not completely sold on the Hokies yet, I'm still going with Tech. Pick: Virginia Tech

Woman - "The Hokies beat Georgia Tech by 11 points on the road last week, so I don't think the Tar Heels will pose much of a problem at home." Pick: Virginia Tech

Machine - The Machine makes this one a clean sweep as it doesn't see the Tar Heels doing all that much to make this one interesting late, as the Hokies win 31-16. Pick: Virginia Tech

Michigan (-3 1/2) vs. Nebraska - Saturday, 12pm

Man - This is an incredibly important game for both teams and their chances to play in the first Big Ten Championship, and though at times Michigan does some things on offense that make me shake my head, I'm going to go with the homefield advantage in this one. Though it'll be fun to see Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez facing off to see who can miss their receivers by more. Pick: Michigan

Woman - "In an alternate Star Trekian universe, did you know the Cornhusker receivers morph into a Taiwanese father?" Pick: Michigan

Machine - The Machine foretells of Michigan falling out of the Big Ten Legends race when the Cornhuskers come to Ann Arbor and beat the Wolverines 27-24. Pick: Nebraska

Illinois vs. Wisconsin (-14 1/2) - Saturday, 12pm

Man - Let's see, an Illinois team in a free fall that will probably hear news of their head coach being fired soon, or a Wisconsin team that's lost on two Hail Marys and has dominated just about everybody else. Such a tough decision! Pick: Wisconsin

Woman - "Three weeks ago, Illinois lost to Purdue 21-14. One week later, Wisconsin beat Purdue 62-17. Maybe the Badgers will get Zook'ed but I doubt it." Pick: Wisconsin

Machine - The Machine thinks that this game will be closer than most expect given what we've seen from Illinois over the last month, but Wisconsin still prevails 37-28. Pick: Illinois

N.C. State vs. Clemson (-7 1/2) - Saturday, 3:30pm

Man - Honestly, if there was ever going to be a game that Clemson goes all Clemson on us and pees down its own leg, this would be it, wouldn't it? Still, I don't think that's going to happen as there's just way too much talent on this team. Pick: Clemson

Woman - "With the ACC Atlantic Division clinched and a match-up against rival South Carolina looming, many assume Clemson won't be focused. But coach Dabo Swinney will remind his team its pride is at stake, especially since N.C. State played a better game against Georgia Tech than the Tigers did." Pick: Clemson

Machine - The Wolfpack is going to get blown out in Raleigh this week, as The Machine sees Clemson winning this game 41-17. Pick: Clemson

Ohio State (-6 1/2) vs. Penn State - Saturday, 3:30pm

Man - Listen, before all of the terrible news to come out of Happy Valley surfaced, there was another secret about the Penn State football team that nobody seemed to realize. It's just not that good. Ohio State hasn't been great this season, either, but I don't think that will matter all that much on Saturday. Pick: Ohio State

Woman - "Two teams fractured due to very different circumstances. Feels like a coin flip - going with home field advantage." Pick: Ohio State

Machine - It's unanimous, as Dan Herron rushes for 187 yards and 3 scores against this Penn State defense to give Ohio State a 24-13 win and further muddy up the Leaders Division. Pick: Ohio State

Arkansas (-13 1/2) vs. Mississippi State - Saturday, 3:30pm

Man - Here's a list of SEC West teams not named Ole Miss that Dan Mullen has beaten since taking over at Mississippi State: none. So until that changes I'm not picking Mississippi State to even cover. Pick: Arkansas

Woman - "Over the last two weeks, the Razorbacks have gone on an SEC scoring spree, putting 44 and 49 points on the board against South Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. The most points Mississippi State has put up against a ranked team this season was 24. Fear the inexplicably adorable, calorically challenged Tusk." Pick: Arkansas

Machine - Arkansas keeps its SEC Championship and BCS hopes alive in a relatively easy 49-34 win over the Bulldogs. Pick: Arkansas

Baylor vs. Oklahoma (-14 1/2) - Saturday, 8pm

Man - Baylor has not had its best games of the season against the strongest teams in the Big 12 this season, which initially had me leaning toward the Sooners. What changed that, however, was that I'm not sure what this Oklahoma offense will look like without Ryan Broyles and Dominique Whaley, and that those Baylor losses all came on the road. I don't know that Baylor wins this outright, but I think it's going to be a close game. Pick: Baylor

Woman - "Robert Griffin III's sizzle is oh-so-mesmerizing but let's focus on facts. The Bears have scored an average of 36 points a game this season -  the Sooners, an average of 45 points. So, Okies win but don't cover." Pick: Baylor

Machine - The Machine is not worried about the absence of Ryan Broyles, for it believes in Kenny Stills and sees him catching 10 passes for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. Oklahoma wins 41-24. Pick: Oklahoma

Texas (-9 1/2) vs. Kansas State - Saturday, 8pm

Man - You want this spread explained? No problem. There's no way Vegas is going to get any action on the Kansas State side if it lists the Wildcats as a favorite. People would just jump on Texas and the points not realizing that Kansas State beat Texas 39-14 last season in what was Collin Klein's coming out party. Now Klein is taking every snap and the Longhorns are decimated by injuries in the backfield. Pick: Kansas State

Woman - "I'm not sure what Texas has done to deserve this spread, especially with last week's pantsing by Missouri." Pick: Kansas State

Machine - The Machine just really does not like Kansas State. Week after week it picks against it, and that doesn't change now. Texas wins 31-20. Pick: Texas

Oregon (-14 1/2) vs. USC - Saturday, 8pm

Man - USC has played in close games all season, which made me want to take the Trojans and the points this week but with Robert Woods' status in question at the moment, I'm not as comfortable with the Trojans in Eugene. So I'm going to roll with Oregon, though I wouldn't be shocked if USC keeps it close or even wins outright. Pick: Oregon

Woman - "In these closing weeks, the Trojans are coming on strong but against the Oregon juggernaut, I'd suggest they just duck and cover. (By the way, after watching the Arkansas version above, who'd have guessed USC has its own inexplicably adorable, calorically challenged version of Tusk? Hey, us Americans, we're not so different after all!)" Pick: Oregon

Machine - Go ahead and hand Oregon its Pac-12 title. The Ducks stomp the Trojans 52-21. Pick: Oregon

Stanford (-19.5) vs. Cal - Saturday, 10:15pm

Man - Last week was the first time Stanford didn't cover a spread since last season, but that's not going to deter me from picking the Cardinal once again. The main reason for this being that Cal is not Oregon. Pick: Stanford

Woman - "Speaking of animal mascots, if affluent Stanford ever choses one, it should be a NSFW hip-hop horse that kicks butt. Specifically, Cal's butt." Pick: Stanford 

Machine - The Machine sees Stanford winning this game rather easily, but a late fourth quarter touchdown by Cal kills the cover. Stanford wins 42-24. Pick: Cal

Standings

Season Record (Last Week)

1. Woman 65-50 (4-6)
2. Man 63-52 (5-5)
3. Machine 61-54 (5-5) 
Posted on: October 8, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 3:47 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 55 Texas 17



Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA WON. Actually, Oklahoma won may not be the most accurate way to describe this game. Words like conquered, destroyed, annihilated, emasculated and torched describe what Oklahoma did to Texas on Saturday in the Cotton Bowl a lot better. This wasn't a Red River Shootout, unless a shootout generally involves one side showing up with automatic weapons while the other side bring rubber band guns.

Landry Jones got his Heisman campaign back in full gear by throwing for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns on the afternoon. All 3 of the touchdowns and 305 of the yards came in the first half. Ryan Broyles caught 9 passes for 122 yards and a score, while Kenny Stills caught the other 2 touchdowns for the Sooners. On the whole, Oklahoma's offense outgained the Longhorns 456 to 267, but that's somewhat misleading because the Oklahoma defense contributed 3 touchdowns as well.

WHY OKLAHOMA WON. Well, first and foremost, Oklahoma is just a better team than Texas is right now. There's simply no way around that. Not helping matters for Texas was the youth and inexperience on both sides of the balls, a secondary that was a bit think against a passing attack like Oklahoma's and turnovers. Texas turned the ball over 5 times on Saturday, and 3 of them directly led to 21 Oklahoma points.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Late in the second quarter things were getting out of control when Oklahoma took a 27-3 lead following a Demontre Hurst interception that he returned 55 yards for a touchdown. However, Texas then responded with a 100-yard kick return by Fozzy Whittaker to cut the lead back to 27-10 that seemed to give Texas life. Life which Oklahoma quickly smothered by going 83 yards in two minutes and thirteen seconds right before the half to make it 34-10. The eyes of Texas had quarters placed on them at that point.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. Beating Texas is always a wonderful experience for the Sooners in this great rivalry, and this year it also moved Oklahoma one step closer to a Big 12 title. Still, I think the one thing that really made Bob Stoops feel good was getting some revenge on Bryan Harsin for his time at Boise State. The Oklahoma defense seemed one step ahead of Harsin all day long.

WHAT TEXAS LOST. This was Texas' chance to show the world that the program was back on track and that it could compete for a Big 12 title once again. It failed miserably.

THAT WAS CRAZY. The sheer domination by Oklahoma in this one was crazy on its own, but the fact that Texas came into this game ranked 11th in the country may have been the most insane part of all. I thought Texas was a bit overrated coming into the game based on what the Longhorns had actually accomplished so far this season, and they confirmed it on Saturday afternoon.
Posted on: September 28, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: September 28, 2011 11:48 am
 

Kenny Stills will play this weekend

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Oklahoma wide receiver Kenny Stills has spent a lot of time on the sidelines this season. He missed Oklahoma's opener against Tulsa due to a suspension, and was held out of the Sooners win against Missouri on Saturday due to a concussion. In between he did play against Florida State and made the game-winning touchdown catch, so when he's been able to get on the field, he's been productive.

Which is bad news for Ball State, because Stills will be playing for Oklahoma this weekend. He also has a new plan of how to deal with injuries so that he doesn't have to miss any more time this year.

He's going to keep his mouth shut.

"I learned a lesson. I should keep my mouth shut. If I want to be in the game I shouldn't be saying anything. I want to be on the field at all costs," Stills joked on Tuesday.

Stills complained of headaches last week, which is what led Oklahoma doctors to hold him out of the game with the concussion despite Stills begging to play. He made the statement about keeping his mouth shut with a smile on his face, so hopefully he doesn't actually mean he'll hide injuries from the doctors in the future.

Though if we see him wandering aimlessly on the field during a game, I guess we'll know he wasn't.
Posted on: September 25, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: September 25, 2011 12:10 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 38 Missouri 28

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA WON. There would be no upset over the top-ranked Sooners for Missouri this season, though it seemed it was possible early on. Missouri took a 14-3 lead on Oklahoma in the first quarter, but the Sooners responded with 28 unanswered points before finishing the night with a 38-28 victory. The Oklahoma offense had a much better night this week than it did against Florida State, even without Kenny Stills and Trey Franks around. Landry Jones finished the night with 448 yards and 3 touchdowns, though he also threw 2 interceptions. That gives Jones 4 interceptions on the season and only 5 touchdowns. Compare that to 2010 when he threw 38 touchdowns and was only picked off 12 times.

As for the rest of the Sooners offense, Ryan Broyles didn't seem to mind not having Kenny Stills around to divert attention, finishing the night with 13 catches for 154 yards and all 3 of Jones' touchdowns. Then there was running back/Subway sandwich artist Dominique Whaley who finished the night with 150 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Somebody get that kid a scholarship already.

HOW OKLAHOMA WON. One reason that Missouri beat Oklahoma last season was that the Tigers gashed the Oklahoma defense on the ground. Missouri had similar success on Saturday night, rushing for 233 yards, but Oklahoma was able to limit the big plays and keep Missouri out of the end zone. A couple missed field goals by Grant Ressel hurt Mizzou as well, as those 6 points could have played a role in the final quarter. Most important for the Oklahoma defense, it got off the field on third down, as the Tigers converted only 4 of their 13 attempts on third down.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Missouri would add 14 points in the fourth quarter to make this game look a lot closer than it really was, but when Dominique Whaley broke loose for a 30-yard run and then pounded it in from 3 yards out for the score on the next play to make it 31-14 in the third quarter, you kind of got the feeling that Mizzou wasn't coming back. Still, you could say this wasn't officially iced until Jones and Broyles connected for their third score in the fourth quarter to make it 38-21 after Mizzou had cut it to a ten-point lead.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners got some revenge for last season, which is nice, but more importantly this win kept the Sooners on track for a possible Big 12 title and national championship berth. There are still some big roadblocks in Oklahoma's way, but so far this year the Sooners are passing every test they've faced.

WHAT MISSOURI LOST. Missouri is not good enough to win the Big 12 this year, that much has been made clear through the first month of the season. That being said, I'm not sure Missouri really lost all that much in this game. This is a team that's likely looking at an 8-win regular season at best, and the Tigers still have a chance to do that. Though if James Franklin can become a more consistent passer, then the Tigers could surprise a lot of people.

THAT WAS CRAZY. As I said above, James Franklin has not been a consistent passer this year. Yes, he threw for 291 yards against Oklahoma on Saturday night, but he completed only 16 of his 32 passes. What is crazy to me, however, is the way Gary Pinkel ran the offense at times against Oklahoma. I can't remember how many times Mizzou faced a 3rd and long and ran the same quarterback draw play. Oklahoma knew it was coming, and stopped it repeatedly. Then in the fourth quarter, down 17 with under 5 minutes to go, Missouri kept calling the draw play or the read option. You're down three scores with less than five minutes to go! Your odds of winning aren't good at that point, but if you run out the clock they're non-existent!
Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Oklahoma suspends Trey Franks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

You know, there were other things that Oklahoma did on Tuesday that didn't just involve wanting Dan Beebe to be fired, or saying that it knew the Pac-12 didn't want the school to join even though it had just held a meeting on Monday in which it gave David Boren the power to seek a new conference. I guess that was just a practice run.

Anyway, somehow, amidst all of this, Oklahoma was still able to find the time to suspend wide receiver Trey Franks. Oklahoma announced the suspension on Tuesday afternoon, saying it was for a violating unspecified team rules.

Franks had 7 receptions for 74 yards in Oklahoma's opener against Tulsa, but didn't play a role in the team's win over Florida State last weekend. As a freshman in 2010, Franks had 29 catches for 263 yards and a touchdown. 

Dejuan Miller, who started for Kenny Stills when Stills was suspended for the Tulsa game, is likely to get most of Franks' snaps while he's suspended, though Jaz Reynolds and Kameel Jackson could see some time as well.
Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:23 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 12:27 am
 

QUICK HITS: No. 1 Oklahoma 23, No. 5 FSU 13


Posted by Chip Patterson

OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners dug in and outlasted a pesky Florida State squad, riding Landry Jones and a power running game to a 23-13 win in Tallahassee. It was the largest crowd in the history of Doak Campbell Stadium, but it was not enough to pull the Seminoles through for the upset.

HOW OKLAHOMA WON: The Sooners opening drive looked very much like the 2010 OU-FSU game. Landry Jones led the uptempo offense methodically down the field on a touchdown drive that took over 6 minutes of game time. But after that drive the game became a fierce battle in the trenches, with both lines hammering each other to make room for every yard.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON: EJ Manuel left the game with bruised left shoulder, and was replaced by redshirt freshman Clint Trickett. Trickett came into the game hot, and turned a 3rd and 28 situation into a 56-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene to tie the game at 13 early in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma answered in a fashion that you would expect from the No. 1 team in the nation. Landry Jones led an eight play, 83-yard drive in 2:32 that finished with an incredible touchdown catch by Kenny Stills. The fast response to put Oklahoma up 20-13 deflated the noisy stadium for the moment, and switched the momentum for good.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON: For the Sooners, this was the first true test of their top ranking. Escaping Tallahassee in the manner they did is a huge boost of confidence for the team and likely a boost in the Sooners' status in the eyes of the voters. The offense wasn't the steamrolling unit many expected, but the defense was relentless and delivered the game changing interception.

WHAT FLORIDA STATE LOST: Possibly an injury to their star quarterback, and likely a shot at the national championship. Florida State is still very talented and could find themselves back in the top five by the end of the year, but for the time being their ceiling has been lowered to ACC Championship and Orange Bowl. That's still a great season for Florida State, especially only in year two under Jimbo Fisher.

THAT WAS CRAZY. We expected fireworks and a showdown between two of the games' touted quarterbacks. What we got was a gritty and grinding field position battle, with each team scraping for every single yard. Redshirt freshman quarterback Clint Trickett converting the 3rd and 28 with a 56 yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene was not in the script. Oklahoma's 8 play, 83 yard touchdown answer was. The entire game was a struggle, but it was Oklahoma that emerged thanks to fourth quarter execution.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com