OU's collapse a team effort
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 08, 2009
11/08/09 at 5:58 AM
LINCOLN, Neb. — It wasn't just Landry Jones' interceptions, Tress Way's missed field goals or all of those penalties on Oklahoma's offensive linemen. When you run plays on your opponent's half of the field on 11 of your 16 possessions and finish with three points, everyone has a hand in a total breakdown.
This was the Sooners during their 10-3 loss at Nebraska on Saturday.
Yes, Way went 1-for-4 in his first real effort as OU's placekicker. But the Sooners don't try two of those field goals if Adron Tennell doesn't drop a tipped pass or Trent Williams doesn't false start before a fourth-and-1 play.
Yes, Jones was a mistake waiting to happen with four of his five interceptions thrown in Nebraska territory. But consider number four, on OU's second-to-last series. He rolled out on fourth-and-4 from the Husker 33, toward a trio of wide receivers. None of them could work themselves open, however. Also, the line couldn't keep defensive tackle Jared Crick from bearing down and tipping the pass into an interception.
Yes, Williams committed a personal foul during a third-quarter drive that reached the Nebraska 20. But on fourth-and-1, the Sooners made the curious decision to pitch to DeMarco Murray wide right, with the tight end positioned on the left side of the O-line. Safety Eric Hagg made a beeline to the ball-carrier, and Murray lost 2 yards.
And while Jones sailed a fourth-and-7 slant way over the head of Tennell from the Nebraska 24, recall that two plays previously, Murray couldn't hang on to a short pass after his crossing pattern appeared to put him in open space. That helped undercut OU's third-to-last drive.
"They left some points out there," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said, adding that he empathized for OU, given the nature of its losses this season.
OU has a right to feel a bit cursed, with four losses coming by a total of 12 points. Saturday though, the Sooners didn't have anyone to blame but themselves.
"They did the job they needed to," coach Bob Stoops said, "and we didn't."
Guerin Emig 581-8355
Landry Jones, throwing past Nebraska's Jared Crick, threw four interceptions in Nebraska territory. Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World