Monday, September 29, 2008

Juicy OU offense has spoiled fans

by Steven Jones
The Oklahoma Daily
Special to the 405

I made one of the biggest mistakes in my life in May of 2006. Prior to my high school graduation, I let my girlfriend’s parents take me out to dinner at a nice steak place in Dallas.

A really nice steak place. It was hands down the best steak I’ve had in my life.

I can no longer go to an average or even above-average steakhouse anymore and be satisfied. Outback and Saltgrass are a joke to me now. They just can’t compare.

It’s the same way with OU’s offense.

Prior to the game against TCU, the Sooners delivered a near-perfect steak. It was well-seasoned, juicy and cooked to perfection. All cylinders were firing and the OU offense looked unstoppable.

Not so much on Saturday. There were no holes for the running backs. Sam Bradford was sacked three times and hit more than that, while only completing 56 percent of his passes.

But the fact is, despite some miscues, OU’s offense took on the highest-rated defense in the country, racked up 436 total yards, scored 35 points and didn’t turn the ball over once.

That’s still a pretty tasty steak.

OU fans were spoiled by the incredible performance the offense displayed early on. By the fourth quarter, the fans had become so frustrated with OU’s lack of a running game that they booed while Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray were again taken down in the backfield.

Was OU’s rushing performance on Saturday somewhat concerning? Of course. But Murray and Brown didn’t forget how to run the ball. That gigantic offensive line didn’t forget how to block. And the Sooners will get their running game back on track.

OU is the No. 1 football team in the country for a reason. The young defense has stepped up. Linebacker Travis Lewis continued his solid play while the untested cornerbacks are making a living breaking up passes and forcing turnovers.

Linebacker Ryan Reynolds has stayed healthy and looks better than ever. The defensive line, despite some injury issues, lead a defense that ranks No. 4 in the nation in sacks and No. 1 in tackles for a loss. But most importantly, OU is the best team in the country because it has too many weapons for anyone to stop. Even the best defense in the NCAA had to pick their poison.

In a game where Jermaine Gresham, Brown and Murray were basically silenced, Manuel Johnson stepped up and the Sooners sliced through TCU’s secondary. The Sooners probably won’t face a better defense than they did on Saturday. A 25-point win over the No. 24 team in the country is nothing to be disappointed about. It’s a pretty decent steak, so accept it. Because no one likes a steak elitist.


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