What did we learn from Saturday night in Norman?

Oklahoma 34 Tennessee 10

Saturday September 13, 2014 / Memorial Stadium (Norman) /  85,622

*******

UT vs OUSpeed kills. This used to be an SEC mantra because the conference OWNED this aspect of football. But it’s everywhere, on both sides of the ball. “They can’t match our speed” is a long forgotten boast of the South.

Continuous defensive pressure wins games. The Sooners’ defensive front seven completely suffocated Tennessee’s hopes of doing practically anything with the ball. Combine that with size and deceptive looks and you have a recipe of how to get to the post-season playoff.

You don’t need piped in music to make a great college football atmosphere. I’ve been to many games in Norman. It’s not as loud as Neyland on its best day, but it always was an exciting venue. The OU band plays nice little hooks that are fast-paced snippets of energy. Tennessee is going in the wrong direction on this issue. The Pride of the Southland enabled this turn of direction because of their slow-paced, boring choices of sound.

Tennessee finally has a bona fide leader in Justin Worley. The guy was pressured all night long and took an amazing amount of physical punishment. But he blamed no one and kept on believing that his teammates could win. Seemingly out of it with 11:20 left in the game, Worley and his Vols were a tipped pass away from making it really interesting.

Cam Sutton is your next Volunteer on an All-American team. His Twitter handle is “Orange Swarm.” For good reason.

These are not your Dooley’s Vols. This group of players and their coaches are too legit to quit. No slumped shoulders. No sitting off by yourself (e.g., Tyler Bray). A lot of effort, everywhere all the time. Fight Vols fight with all your might / For the Orange and White / Never falter, never yield / …

The future is bright, but… Tennessee gained a lot of respect with their effort in the nighttime den of perhaps one of the best three or four teams in the land. But it’s still about baby steps. We are four wins away from a bowl game. The question is where they will and can come from. Vanderbilt and Chattanooga are a given. That leaves two to go. Notice I didn’t include Kentucky (see Saturday night in Florida). The season hinges on two home games: Florida and Missouri. Barring key injuries, it’s better than 50-50 that we are playing post-season football.

Give me your thoughts.

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11 responses to “What did we learn from Saturday night in Norman?”

  1. Larry The Deuce says :

    I agree with much of what you say here. I think we could win two of Georgia, USC, Florida and Ole Miss. And if the Pride had updated itself instead of the same old same old, nothing would be piped in.

  2. Rick says :

    I agree that the Pride of the Southland has been its own worst enemy. I’ve complained about their musical selections for years. However, I never heard the Oklahoma band because of the piped in music. They even played “Third Down For What.” This was my first time in Norman, but I think a lot of universities are going toward canned music and away from bands.

  3. Fred says :

    Thanks for the feedback, Rick. That never translated to TV… you could hear only the band on the broadcast.

  4. rockytop78 says :

    In reverse order from the bottom of your post:

    (1) I don’t know whether Kentucky is that good, or Florida is that bad, for the Wildcats to take the Gators into 3 overtimes. If the former, then we need to be a little concerned; if the other Stoops has the Wildcats believing in themselves, believing that they can actually beat us, then we may have a tough game on our hands come November.

    (2) Whatever his limitations on talent, I will take Justin Worley over Tyler Bray any day simply because of his leadership abilities; if we had Worley quarterbacking us instead of Bray at Lexington in 2011, I think that we would not have lost that game. I have tremendous respect for Worley, and I think that the team does too.

    (3) Tennessee made Eric Striker, Oklahoma’s linebacker, an All-American last night (much as Tennessee did with Florida’s Alex Brown in the 1999 game in Gainesville). There didn’t seem to be anything he couldn’t do, or anywhere on the field that he wasn’t to be found. His performance was amazing, albeit frustrating for Vols fans.

  5. Brscoggins says :

    Offensive play caller does not understand how to slow down rush. Did not throw quick slants with 2 step drop or to tight end short. Young line got took to school.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  6. TK says :

    Hello…….I agree with Scoggins we should use a little more tight end in these games. Im not getting into the QB discussion with you guys this week……mayb later. Great trip to OU and I personally will compliment their fan base. Very friendly fans and very respective of the Volunteer program. Great conversations with many of them before and after the game. Oh yes, Fred, what i saved on OU tickets the last time, I greatly repaid with interest this time!!!

    • Fred says :

      Hope you had better seats than last time (Row 1)…

      … “And now, give a big Sooner welcome to today’s opponent, the Wyoming Cowboys!”

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