Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Middle of the Field

As I thought about yesterday's loss to Miami, I realized that the Sooner coaching staff is treating Landry Jones like Nate Hybl or Paul Thompson. For those uninitiated, Nate Hybl and Paul Thompson were rarely allowed to throw the ball in the middle of the field. I don't have any stats to back this up, it just seemed like the passing attack with them as either side to side, or if down the field, it was fades. All stuff that was pretty low risk.

After having this thought, I watched the game again. Jones was 1-3 while throwing between the hashmarks on Saturday night. On the other 2/3 of the field, he was 17-27.

On the other side of the ball, the Sooners weak spot - for years it seems - has been defending the middle of the field. We are so determined to stop the run that we're susceptible to play action passes, where you get the ball over the second level of defenders. Conversely, Miami, which really loaded up the box in the second half, was not tested in this area. Are they that strong up the middle? I don't know.

After all this weeping and gnashing of teeth, the Sooners have played one of the toughest schedules in the country, and they're four points away from being undefeated.

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