Monday, September 19, 2005

Sooners Give the Game Away

Take no credit away from UCLA for a hard earned victory on Saturday in Pasadena, but OU did their part in making in easy for the Bruins with six fumbles. The Sooners lost three of them that led to 17 points, the margin of victory for UCLA 41-24 .

``You're not going to win when you turn the ball over and put the ball on the ground like we did,'' Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. ``It's just poor football. Until we can be responsible with the ball, it's impossible to win.

OU took the momentum on their first possession of the game, after a missed UCLA field goal, when Travis Wilson went 56 yards for a touchdown on a reverse. Then they quickly gave it away when Lendy Holmes muffed a punt that set up the tying score for the Bruins. Next, Adrian Peterson fumbled which set up a UCLA field goal, and the final nail in the coffin was when quarterback Rhett Bomar was blindsided by safety Dennis Keyes. Bomar fumbled the ball and it was picked up by Linebacker Spencer Havner and returned 13 yards for a touchdown.

In all I thought the Sooners had a solid game plan and actually played well enough to win the game, but they just kept shooting themselves in the foot. It’s not often that I walk away from a loss feeling a little encouraged, but for some reason I did with this game. I don’t feel as if the Sooners were outplayed or out coached, they just put the ball on the ground too many times. I’m not quite ready to turn my attention to basketball just yet, where the Sooners will be a top 10 team, I think there is life in this football team and as these freshmen and sophomores get more game experience they are only going to get better.

What I Liked

Rhett Bomar’s passing – 20-29 241 yards, 16 yard TD run. ``I felt like Rhett started to get some rhythm and confidence in what he was doing,'' Stoops said of the redshirt freshman's outing against UCLA. ``Our receivers made some nice plays, and that part of it, I feel like we're getting somewhere.''
Reggie Smith's Kick Returns – 4 returns 97 yards.
Run Defense – UCLA 85 total rushing yards
Offensive game plan – Hopefully they will continue to be creative.

Still Work to Be Done

They are still having trouble with the center/quarterback exchange. Now that the playbook has opened a little for the passing game, maybe it will for the run game as well.

Salt in the Wounds

The Sooners had two takeaways taken away. A fumbled snap by UCLA QB Drew Olsen fumbled a snap from the center that was recovered by the Sooners only to be whistled dead and the ball given back to UCLA. Is this little league flag football where a QB fumble is whistled dead?

Also, in a stroke of officiating genus and brilliance a second half interception was called back by a phantom hold on cornerback Chijioke Onyenegecha. Replay clearly showed there was not hold and any contact made was well after the ball had been tipped.

The Sooners lost because of fumbles, dropped passes and bad plays, but these officiating errors came at critical times in the game and didn’t help matters out any.

Big Man on Campus
WR Travis Wilson – 7 receptions 103 yards, 2 rushes 61 yards, 1 TD

Looking Ahead
The Sooners are off next week and have two weeks to prepare for their next home game against Kansas State on October 1.