- In the first half, I thought Tebow consistently misread his keys on option plays. (Though this was only having viewed it once; a second view of the tape often reveals many things.) Oklahoma's defense seemed to be designed to take away the running backs and let him keep it. Maybe he just wasn't used to that kind of strategy, but when they ran the inside veer he kept giving it to the running back who would then be crushed by the man he was reading, and similarly on the speed or outside two-man option plays, the defense keyed almost exclusively on the running backs but Tebow kept pitching it. In the second-half, of course, Tebow kept the ball far more often and gashed the OU defense. (The announcers incorrectly said that in the second half the coaches were "calling Tebow's number," though they might have told him to keep the ball more on his options.) After Tebow kept it a few times, when he did let the runningback keep it, someone like Harvin had more room to then romp for big gains.
- Bob Stoops was absolutely correct when he went for it on fourth and one. He didn't get, but he did have Florida pinned down. The fact that they managed to get out with a big run is irrelevant to the decision whether to go for it or not. We can discuss the play-call as a separate matter.
- Overall, the game seemed there for Oklahoma's taking in the first half. Florida wasn't playing that well, OU ran the ball consistently and had a few big passes, and they got down into the red zone. I already mentioned the fourth down, but it should also be noted that both of Bradford's interceptions (including the one in the second half) were in his receivers' hands before they landed in the hands of Florida people.
- The headlines already read "Oklahoma offense at fault in defeat." Well, yes, they didn't score that many points, and I agree that at times the offense lacked identity. And much has already been made about the slowness of their no-huddle tempo. I agree that they probably spent too much time in their check-with-the-sidelines no-huddle, rather than the faster version where they just get a play and go. The TV views are always bad, but I thought Florida disguised well and didn't give away too much that you'd learn from the sideline or the booth. Insofar as reliance on that look was a crutch or conveyed timidity by OU, I don't know. They used both speeds all year, and no coach is clairvoyant in the weeks leading up to a game. But, it was just a tough, well-fought game. And people shouldn't be surprised when these great offenses play each other and the game winds up being somewhat low scoring; since both good offenses hang onto the ball for awhile, they both eat up clock and eat up the number of possessions both teams would normally get.
- That said, although I thought OU's pass protection was not bad, whenever there was a breakdown it always seemed to come right up the middle. OU's tackles did a fine job, but I'm not sure I can say the same for their interior three linemen.
- Florida used all their run game staples, but they also ran a lot of a play I didn't exclusively cover recently: the shovel triple-option, also known as the "crazy" or "shovel triple-option." See the post immediately below this one for more on it.
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Friday, January 09, 2009
Florida wins, 24-14. A few thoughts:
Posted by Chris at 1/09/2009 07:45:00 AM