Tramel: OSU football report card looks bleak for Mike Gundy's Cowboys after Bedlam beatdown
OSU’s 41-13 Bedlam loss was a total team effort. The defense was torched early, and the offense got little going, with 149 total yards through three quarters. The grades reflect a poor performance.
Run defense: C.
Through 43 minutes, OSU had held Sooner tailback Rhamondre Stevenson to 43 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback Spencer Rattler’s 32 yards on four designed running plays was the highlight of the OU ground game. But on the Sooners’ final two real possessions, Stevenson ran wild, with 98 yards on 10 carries, including bursts of 25 and 30 yards. Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said he didn’t think the Cowboys got worn down and blamed himself for some over-aggression. But OSU went into the final 17 minutes still with a chance, and the OU running game squashed those chances.
Shane Illingworth: C.
OSU’s true freshman quarterback relieved injured starter Spencer Sanders midway through the first quarter and completed the Cowboys’ only touchdown drive, with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Logan Carter. Sanders returned for the fourth quarter, but in between, Illingworth completed just two of 15 passes for 32 yards. Illingworth’s numbers were a ghastly 5-of-21 for 71 yards. Yes, OSU had trouble blocking the Sooners, but this is the 21st century; 5-of-21 is losing football.
Mike Gundy often is ripped for being conservative in Bedlam. Sometimes without cause. And the OSU offensive gameplan wasn’t necessarily close to the vest. The Cowboys probably passed too much — by the time Chuba Hubbard got his second carry, OSU trailed 27-7, and LD Brown had just two carries by that time, too. And offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn dialed up an end-around pass from freshman Brendan Presley, which drew a defensive holding penalty. But still, Gundy’s conservatism came to light with 12 minutes left in the game. OSU trailed 34-13 and faced 4th-and-8 from the OU 39-yard line. Gundy took a delay of game penalty and punted, effectively ending all Cowboy hope.
Defensive gameplan: D.
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The Sooners snookered the Cowboys early, with screen passes and short rollouts. In the first quarter alone, OU quarterback Spencer Rattler had completions of 45 yards on a screen to Stevenson, plus 20 and 29 yards yards to fullback Mikey Henderson on rollouts that were virtual screens. Rattler completed just eight passes all game to wide receivers, and OSU’s defensive backs, notably cornerback Rodarius Williams, covered well. They just were placed in compromising positions early before Knowles made adjustments.
Finding Wallace: C.
OSU’s best player, receiver Tylan Wallace, had just four catches, for 68 yards. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Ten passes were sent Wallace’s way, but he rarely was open. Illingworth, in particular, missed Wallace on several throws. Wallace did draw a pass interference penalty on one of his patented fade routes.
Pass rush: B.
The Cowboys did not let Rattler get comfortable. They sacked him thrice — Malcolm Rodriguez and Tyler Lacy each had a sack, and Trace Ford and Sione Asi shared one — and often flushed him from the pocket.
Offensive line: C.
The weak link of OSU football played decent, considering the Cowboys’ best blocker, Teven Jenkins, didn’t play again after a second-quarter injury. The OSU running game wasn’t awful; Hubbard and Brown combined for 69 yards on 18 carries. And while the Sooners had four sacks and four quarterback hurries of Sanders and Illingworth, those numbers were fewer than expected.