While Savannah State endured a record thrashing in their first ever visit with an FBS football program, OSU fans anxiously watched, wanting to witness something, anything that would give them SOME idea of the quality of their program for 2012.
Alas, twas not to be, unless you would like to delve into a more cerebral area of analysis after the jump.
- Lunt...Well, we know this much...Monken doesn't lie. The freshman is accurate. In fact, of his 11 passes, not a single one missed it's intended target, not even by a millimeter. However, the only pass he threw that traveled more than 15 yards in the air was the deep post to Anderson. BTW...that was his most beautiful and accurate attempt. Take that away, though, and his YPA (no YAC please) was probably about 2. Only 3 of the 11 completions were caught beyond the line of scrimmage (Anderson-1st play and deep post; Webb-crossing pattern). Only 2 of those were to moving targets. Staley received a rollout dump and the other 7 were that suedo-WR screen thing. He operated the offense quickly and seemed completely comfortable and in charge. All-in-all, I'm ok with this, because it has led me to the next item...
- Walsh...in my humble (and amateur opinion), I think Gundy/Monken know what they have in Lunt and Chelf. They don't know for sure what they have in Walsh. He has "it," but does he have the other "it" (the skill set necessary to adequately operate this offense). That's why we saw him on the 4th series with starters (where we got a REALLY brief glimpse of a hybrid spread/zone read), and then from the 6th series to basically the end of the 3rd quarter. The coaches wanted to get a good, long look at what that offense would resemble with Walsh running the show. Walsh attempted 21 passes, including a perfect fade for a TD (hint...he tried 3 of those. Think we might see him in some goal line situations, ala Belldozer?). However, when throwing, he resembles Taylor Martinez WAY more than Lunt. He is an adequate runner, doesn't mind contact, and definitely looked comfortable running the show. The interception, however, was a really poor throw (although Jackson has got to come down with that), and he had 1 attempt batted down at the line (an issue in practice). It's going to be extremely interesting if it becomes necessary for the backup to come in. Important to remember that Walsh was in command during the only 3 scoreless possessions in the first half.
- Chelf...I feel almost as bad for him as I did for Savannah State. He comes in for the most meaningless mop up duty ever, playing with 3-4th stringers and walkons. Not allowed to air it out, and I'm not even sure that the coaches didn't tell him to NOT be real "accurate" with a couple of his throws (not really, just trying to make an excuse for him missing a couple of those WR screen things by a mile). I have to believe that somebody (Monken) has had a talk with him and said "Look, we know what you can do. We need to see if Walsh can handle it before we figure out something else to do with him. So be a trooper and hang out for a bit, and remember Colorado 2009. You never know..."
- Jeremy Smith...Didn't think it was possible for his arms to get bigger. I was WRONG.
- First sighting of the "shimmy shake." Gina Mizell dared use the phrase to refer to Joseph Randle's little juke move we've seen MANY times about 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage that ALWAYS results in another 10 or more yards. Randle broke it out once against SSU. This may have to become a weekly "watch" item. Down a shot and chug a beer after each one.
- Muncreif/Bennett...I liked what I saw from these 2. Muncrief could definitely get a turn at punt return duty (as could Lampkin). Bennett a walkon? OU would offer good money for him right about now.
- Receivers...much like the defense, not much to report. Didn't see anything from anyone that couldn't be attributed to playing SSU, except that a few guys made good snags of slightly errant Walsh passes. Hays and Webb are going to be good slot guys. Jury is completely out on everyone else.
- Turnovers...offensive, to be exact. Walsh's interception (also partially on Jackson), Randle fumble (negated by penalty), and an Austin Hays fumble, recovered by SSU. That's not gonna do. Period.
- Defense...even less to say about them. In fact, nothing. This game didn't count. Anthony Slater's tweet from last night..."The #Okstate defense produced the program's first shutout in more than a decade..." Uh, no. Savannah State produced that shutout. Or should we say scheduling...
- Tracy Moore/Gundy quote from Slater...this should be our "DUH" quote of week. At the post game presser, Gundy says "I didn't want to play him tonight after his last incident." No shit Sherlock. I could just hear Dean Blevins saying "Coach, can you talk about not playing Tracy Moore."
- TV Announcers...were HORRIBLE. Right out the gate, the color guy remarks that OSU is working the "no huddle." Seriously? Later, he keeps talking about how the Cowboys are working on their 2 minute offense. Good gosh. The play-by-play guy wasn't much better...2nd play was a WR screen thing to Anderson. Says, same play to Anderson. First play was a little slant past the line of scrimmage. Let's make sure to play more quality opponents so we don't get stuck with complete lamo's for announcers.
So what do ya think, folks? Arizona didn't look too scary barely escaping Toledo AT HOME last night in OT. Tracy Moore might go beast after being held out. The "Lunt incompletion watch" will be in full force. What exactly will they do with Walsh? What will the defense look like against "full speed" competition?
To close, I agree with Boone on this...we shouldn't do this again, if we can at all help it. Better than an open date, but gotta get somebody who can at least put up a bit of a fight, if not a regular Div 1 foe.