Sunday, September 7, 2008

Five Plays that made the game

Sooner assistant coach Mack Brown often says 5 plays make the difference in the game. From the South End Zone, here is my view of the five game changing plays.

  1. Dominique Franks interception in end zone- Deep in Oklahoma territory, Cincy QB Dustin Grutza was looking to put the Bearcats into the end zone and shave the Sooner lead to 21-14. With Sooner defenders hot in pursuit, Grutza threw into the left corner of the end zone, and the pass was intercepted by Franks.
  2. Ryan Broyles Catch – with the Sooners leading 28-20 and facing 3 and 9 from their own 23, Sam Bradford throws it deep down the left side and Broyles makes a leaping catch, taking the ball away from the Cincinnati defender. The Sooners went on to score a TD.
  3. Fake punt stopped – the Bearcats attempted a fake punt from their own 23 after the Sooners had taken a 35-20 lead. Most of the Sooner punt return team were not prepared for such a play, but J.R. Bryant, sniffed out the play and reached up to bat All-American punter Kevin Huber’s pass away. As a passer, Huber is quite a punter.
  4. Pump fake by Bradford – immediately after the fake punt, OU went for the jugular. Juaqain Iglesias made a nice double move, and Bearcat defender Mike Mickens jumped on the first move after Bradford’s pump fake, allowing Sam to loft a nice ball into the right corner of the end zone that Iglesias could run under.
  5. 4th down defensive stand – midway through the first quarter, after one of many outstanding kickoff returns, the Bearcats went for it on 4th and 5 from the OU 26. The Sooners pressured Grutza into a hurried throw along the right sideline. Dominick Goodman made the catch for a four yard gain, inches short of the mark and the Sooners dodged a bullet and took possession.

    Other observations…the hurry-up offense allows for a lot of plays; also can put team at a serious time of possession disadvantage. The Sooners only had the ball for 11 minutes and change in the first half, and clearly looked tired at the end of the first half. The Sooners ended up with 82 plays, compared to the Bearcats 71; I looked at five other games in the top 25 and no one else had more combined plays….Ryan Broyles was amazing; he’s got some wiggle, made some big plays, and showed great hands…Special teams are not very special right now.

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