I went home after the game and was sort of agitated by what I saw. That was not good football we witnessed but I was allowing myself to be lulled by the final score. I showered then carefully explained the game to my dog. He couldn’t believe it either.
As I laid down around midnight, I realized I was much angrier than I had previously thought. So I wrote some thoughts down and expanded on them this morning.
Here’s 5 quick thoughts (more later):
1. Get used to it. As long as Major is around, we’re going to have to accept these types of games. Frustrating, blood-boiling, shake your head and roll your eyes type of games. And if we keep the prevent defense of Mark D’Onofrio, these games won’t ever go away.
It happened several times last year: Tulsa and Tulane chief among them. Major cannot get his team up for lesser teams. This year he’s introduced a new feeling – the ‘feel like you lose even if you win’ games. Rice felt very much like that. Felt that under Levine quite a bit, too.
2. Going too fast paralyzes this team. And it has caused far more penalties than it’s worth. We had numerous false start penalties that can be directly attributed to going too fast. Linemen downfield – same thing. We’re going so fast in run/pass options that the linemen aren’t sure where they should be.
More than that, we were out of sync when trying to go with super tempo. It’s happened several times this year – especially in drives early in the game. Receivers are looking back at their position coaches for signals when the ball is snapped. Blazing fast can be lethal but not in the way we’re operating it currently.
3. We’re going to be dead last in TOP indefinitely. We will continue to be dead-last in the country in time of possession because of the tempo. Within 18 seconds of game time from the first snap, we’re at 3 and 4 already. When we get caught up in going fast for fast’s sake is when there’s trouble.
This is a Kendal Briles flaw. Well, really, it’s a Major Applewhite flaw. At Baylor and at FAU, Briles had a strong head coach that could tell him to dial it back – he doesn’t have that here. Major is too meek. Do you think Applewhite is challenging Briles and D’Onofrio on in-game decisions? I doubt it happens very much.
That’s not to excuse the defense’s hand in this. Tulsa’s 3 longest drives combined for over 15 minutes of possession. That’s a full quarter. The bend bend bend but don’t break defense is certainly part of the problem.
4. We give up too many career-best days to unknowns. Tulsa RB Corey Taylor made his first career start and ran for 152 yards on 33 carries (both career-highs). The QB Boomer made his first career start – he threw for the second-most ever for a Tulsa freshman in a debut. The back-up RB Javon Thomas played the position for the first time.
What other career-days have we given up in the 3 other FBS games?
- Rice’s Shawn Stankavage had a career-high in completions and TDs.
- Khalil Tate had new career highs in passing yards (341), attempts (45), and completions (24).
- Arizona’s Shawn Poindexter finished with a career high in catches (7) and yards (134).
- Tech’s Antoine Wesley set a school record with 261 yards receiving. He also had career-highs in catches (13) and TDs (3).
- Tech QB Alan Bowman threw for a Big 12 freshman record 605 yards and 5 TDs.
5. Transitive property means nothing. Maybe I’m a grump but I don’t understand celebrating that we beat Tulsa by more than UT did. Even in a trolling, smack-talking way. Talk about the ultimate moral victory. That was not a quality team we beat. Boomer cannot throw the ball and I don’t think their defense was very good. Despite the winning margin, we trailed by 9 in the 4th quarter.
Cover photo courtesy of the American Athletic Conference
Extended Tulsa Coverage
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