Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up: Addressing Concerns

Ryan Broyles will be Oklahoma's key to success in 2009.

Oklahoma is back to winning football games. And although this particular win came against a lowly Iowa State team it might have been just what the Sooners needed before a face-off with in-state foe Tulsa this weekend.

So what did we find out this weekend? Well, to start, if you have to play a backup quarterback Landry Jones is about as good as it gets. The young quarterback from New Mexico went (18-32) on Saturday with 286 yards of passing, three touchdowns and only one interception. These statistics might not seem impressive until you consider that Jones was slinging the ball around in the rain and every receiver not named Ryan Broyles was dropping balls left and right. "The Boomer Blog" was there... it was wet. Those in attendance can also attest to a fact more telling than any game stat. Landry Jones flat out commanded the offense Saturday in the win against Idaho State.

TBB is also expecting that Jones will be playing later in the season than most Sooner fans would like to believe. "The Boomer Blog" is pretty familiar with what it takes to rehab a dislocated shoulder and after talking to a number of individuals that have suffered similar injuries it is the consensus opinion of this blog that Sooner fans will be seeing Landry Jones face off against the Hurricanes in Miami.

Speaking of Ryan Broyles, the Sooners found their new go-to guy in the game against Idaho State. Broyles had seven catches for 155 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, TBB believes that (due to situations outside Oklahoma's control) the speedster from Norman has become and will remain the most important part of the Oklahoma offense in 2009. Yes that's right, "The Boomer Blog" is saying it right here, right now and you can quote it. Ryan Broyles is more important to the success of Oklahoma Football than Gerald McCoy, DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown, Trent Williams and even (Gasp) Sam Bradford. Now that Oklahoma has found a legitimate replacement in Bradford's absence and Broyles has emerged as the only receiver the Sooners can count on, Oklahoma's ability to stretch the field will depent completely on the play of Ryan Broyles.

Oklahoma has also established what might be the best run defense in the country. Although it will be noted that the Sooners have faced two opponents with sub-par running attacks, the fact that Oklahoma has allowed a total of (-6) rushing yards in two games is impressive.

The Offensive line is still a problem, and TBB is expecting that will be the case until the Sooners take their bye week after Tulsa. Left tackle, center and right tackle are basically set with Trent Williams, Ben Habern and Jarvis Jones, respectively. The problem is with the guards, which was evident in the early goal line situations in which the Sooners failed to punch the ball in on multiple two-yard attempts. James Patton and Kevin Wilson decided to run the guards by committee Saturday in hopes of finding a productive duo to aid in the run game. The most successful combination, surprisingly, included Steven Good at left guard and true freshman Tyler Evans at right guard. Although the Sooners also found success by rotating senior Brian Simmons in at left guard.

Although Tyler Evans stepping up this season as a true freshman is a welcome surprise, "The Boomer Blog" is taking this situation with a grain of salt by realizing that Evans' emergence is clearly due to lack of production from upperclassmen guards. True Freshman are often able to step up in skill positions (receiver, running back, defensive back), but positions on the offensive line usually require an upperclassman who, over the years, has become accustomed to the physical nature of the position. Sooner fans will have to hold their breath in hopes that Evans' learning curve is a little shorter than most.

Looking to the schedule

In a weekend where a lot of well known teams went down in major upsets (Oklahoma State and Michigan State), one team escaped a game that surely would have made the biggest upset headline of the weekend. With little time left on the clock Florida State recovered a fumble and punched in a score that allowed them to narrowly elude a loss to Jacksonville State.

So what does this mean for Sooner fans? On September 7th, Florida State took a game down to the wire with future Oklahoma foe, Miami. "The Boomer Blog" was witness to what seemed like it could have been the game of the year, with both teams putting on offensive clinics. And if it weren't for poor clock management and Christian Ponder's inability to hit a wide open TE in the end zone, Florida State would have come away with a win against the Hurricanes.

Now, "The Boomer Blog" takes no stock in the belief that the transitive property is a reliable indicator of things to come. But, outside factors aside, the win that Miami got away with in Tallahassee might not be as impressive as once thought and Oklahoma is looking better by the day.


- TBB is not one to "toot it's own horn," but would like to point out that Senior Wide Receiver Adron Tennell was not seen on the field Saturday. At the same time TBB would like to say that it was hoping that the prediction would be wrong. Tennell was suppose to become an elite receiver his senior year and the lack of development has hurt the Sooners badly.

- After considering leaving the Sooners for reasons still unknown, Jameel Owens has finally decided that he will continue his career at Oklahoma, at least for now. "The Boomer Blog" won't speculate the specifics of the situations but clearly Owens' lack of play time has played a factor. Regardless, it seems as though Owens will remain a Sooner for the foreseeable future.

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