COUNTDOWN TO FOOTBALL

Del Olaleye: The week's events in college football

Kyler Murray will be a one and done at OU. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Kyler Murray update

Oklahoma’s Murray previously told the world that he would continue to play football for the Sooners despite being a top 10 pick in the MLB Draft. His future franchise has now chimed in and we know the particulars of Murray’s future. The Oakland A’s and Murray have to come an agreement that they will make official on Friday. Under terms of the agreement Murray will play one year of QB at Oklahoma before turning his attention to play baseball professionally full-time. Murray would have one year of eligibility remaining after the 2018 season but it appears the Sooners will have their third starting QB in three seasons when the 2019 season begins.

A recruit finesses the game

Anthony Gordon is my favorite recruit of the current cycle. Much respect. You don’t know who he is and I didn’t know who he was before this week. Hell, only some truly devoted University of Virginia fans might have known who he was until he made a statement on twitter this week. Gordon is a senior to be out of Philadelphia that took to twitter to announce his commitment to the Virginia Cavaliers. The problem? He didn’t have a scholarship offer from UVA. They hadn’t talked to him for months. He didn’t call any coach on the staff to confirm his standing with the team either.

I can see Gordon working here. He’s a lightly recruited guy with at this point one scholarship offer. If he believes he’s more talented than the attention he’s getting would imply, do something to garner that attention. Tell the world who you are. Maybe get that junior film in front of some new eyes. He’s got a full season of games to show that he is deserving of an ACC offer. I have my doubts that offer comes from Virginia though.

Mike Gundy takes to twitter after his boss questions his recruiting methods

Mike Gundy has always had this unsettled relationship with his alma mater. From the outside looking in it doesn’t make much sense. He played QB for Oklahoma State. He was promoted to head coach after Les Miles took the LSU job in 2004 and under Gundy the Cowboys have had unprecedented success. Six double-digit win seasons in Gundy’s 13 seasons at the helm and a Big 12 title in 2011. That hasn’t stopped Gundy and Oklahoma State’s biggest booster T. Boone Pickens from having issues and making them public as well. Gundy’s latest back and forth with a member of the Oklahoma State executive branch involves Athletic Director Mike Holder.

Holder after complimenting Gundy while doing a popular OSU podcast went on to question Gundy’s recruiting. He thinks Gundy and his staff settle and that puts a ceiling on what they can achieve on the field. Oklahoma State has never been a recruiting power but being the second school in the state and watching Oklahoma make two College Football Playoffs in three seasons might have people a little testy. Gundy responded the only way you can in this era. He used twitter to send a message. Whether it was quizzical emojis or pictures of the Cowboys staff in front of a private plane on a recruiting trip, Gundy let it be known that he heard what Athletic Director Holder said. Gundy hasn’t beaten Oklahoma since 2014 and the ongoing losing streak to his in-state rival has prevented the Cowboys from winning a couple of Big 12 titles. Everyone in Stillwater feels a lot better when they beat the Sooners. Coach might want to get on that.

 

 

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome