Open Post | Weekend, October 13th - 15th - The Football Brainiacs - OU Edition (2024)

Post Game Thoughts | OU vs Texas
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 7, 2023

The Sooners got their revenge as they went down to the Cotton Bowl and beat Texas in the final Red River Shootout of the Big 12 era by a score of 34-30.

Gonna keep this real quick as we will have two weeks to talk about this victory…

***The defense put on a helluva show. 5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, one forced fumble and an incredible four-down goal line stand from the 1. The Sooner defense is legit and a force to be reckoned with.

***That goal line stand will go down in Red River Shootout lore. Not only did the Sooners have to take on the massive offensive line of Texas, but they had two defensive linemen as fullbacks in in Ta’Vandre Sweat and Byron Murphy who bring over 700 pounds of beef to the blocking scheme.

***As gratifying as the win itself is, the scary part (for Texas) is that the game could have (should have) been out of hand for them as OU gifted them a ton of points and missed a bunch of opportunities to close things out offensively.

***Special teams allowed a punt block for a touchdown (7 points), missed a field goal (3 points), allowed a successful fake punt which led to points (7) and brought back a huge return with an illegal forward lateral on the play. Oh…we won’t even talk about a 26 yard punt. Have to clean that up.

***Offensively Oklahoma was their own worst enemy at times as they just could not get in a rhythm outside of a couple drives. The drive coming out of halftime was perhaps the most impressive drive in the Brent Venables era, but they then proceeded to have a long drought until the last drive of the game really.

***Dillon Gabriel earned himself a place in Sooner lore by leading the Sooners down the field and finding an open Nic Anderson in the endzone for the go-ahead score with 15 seconds left in the game. The drive covered 75 yards in 5 plays and took only a minute and two seconds off the clock. That drive showed a lot about the makeup of Gabriel as he had an up-and-down day until the last drive and you can never take it away from him, or the Sooner fans.

***While Gabriel was off in the passing game for a large chunk, he was incredible in the run game and very good for the most part in his decision making process. He played a gutty and gritty game and it was nice to see him lead that drive at the end of the game with confidence and intention. What a great moment for him and the Sooners and the fan base.

***The questions coming into the game were centered around the play in the trenches and OU won the battle, on BOTH sides of the ball as they rang up 5 sacks of their own along with 10 tackles for loss while only allowing 1 sack and 5 tackles for loss. One of the biggest moments of the game was when OU inserted true freshman Cayden Green into the offensive line and he subsequently handled (bullied even) the big men on the Texas defensive front.

***The running back situation has to sort itself out because that was a very good performance by the offensive line against a very good defensive front.

***The bottom line is…this could have been a blowout for Oklahoma…if they simply correct very correctable things and clean up some things offensively, they can reach even higher levels. That has got to be encouraging.

***I expect OU and Texas to meet again in a rematch in the Big 12 championship game and in an unusual scenario, the team that won the first game is the team that looks like they have the most impactful things that are easily correctable.

***What a win for Brent Venables and team 129. I cannot wait to break this down over the coming days.

Sunday Brunch | We’re Having a Buffet!
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 8, 2023

Serving up brunch with a smile, what a great weekend for Sooner Nation!

Yesterday, the Sooners won a classic Red River Shootout in the Cotton Bowl as they defeated the Texas Longhorns by a score of 34-30.

Since we have two weeks to break this game down and talk about every little piece of the story, I’m feeling like dishing a buffet of finger foods out for brunch today…just some snacks as I am sure there are many of you (rightfully so) who have a bit of a brain fog this morning after a night of celebration.

***First off…WELCOME TO BOWL ELIGIBILITY. With their 6th win, in week 6, the Sooners are officially bowl eligible. Looking back at the winter that was the 2022 season, the Sooners did not reach bowl eligibility until week 11. This year they are among the first teams in college football to reach that mark.

***Speaking about that long winter that was the 2022 season, Oklahoma was 0-5 in one-score games last year. That occurrence alone was one of the reasons for my 9-3 prediction for the ’23 season for the Sooners. Halfway through the season, Oklahoma is now 1-0 in one score games. I don’t know what is more impressive…the fact that they won yesterday’s game, which they most certainly would have lost last year, or the fact that they have only played one one-score game to this point this season.

***Many in the community have asked if I would like to revise my 9-3 prediction based on where things are at at the halfway mark of the season and coming off a win against Texas. I mean, if I could, I would, but I can’t so I won’t. But I will say, as I have maintained all along, OU has the talent to beat every team on their schedule, and Texas was the one game I was most confident in that they would lose. Now, they have six games remaining and according to the ESPN game predictor, they have a 90+ percent chance of winning five of those final six games and the one game under 90 percent is against TCU…where the ESPN prediction machine has them with an 89 percent win probability.

***Over the course of the offseason, I kept talking about needing to see something with my own eyes that would give me belief in this team because last year, I kept believing in them and they kept losing games they had no business losing. Yesterday’s game certainly showed me what I needed to see to buy into the notion that this is a different team with a different mindset and a different constitution.

***The first five weeks of the season, for the most part, looked like a brand of football that the University of Oklahoma should be playing. They were dismantling bad teams and beating decent to solid teams soundly. Oklahoma was never really threatened over the course of the first five weeks and when you are Oklahoma and you are playing Arkansas State, SMU, Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Iowa State…that is the way it is supposed to look. However, it didn’t look like that last year and it didn’t look like that most of the time under the previous regime. On the contrary, most of the games under the previous regime looked a lot like USC’s game against a bad Arizona team from last night. Nailbiters.

***As I mentioned in Friday’s chat, or one of the threads on Friday, I was starting to feel more confident about OU’s chances as the RRS approached. I also pointed out that while I dinged OU a bit for the performances against Cincinnati and SMU, I realized I wasn’t giving them enough credit for their performance against Iowa State. I almost discounted that game altogether while there was an opportunity there to take away some important information, in particular about the adjustments that were made on both sides of the ball. I am not trying to say I picked OU to beat Texas, because I didn’t, but I did say I was becoming more confident about their chances as the game drew closer, and that in part was because I went back and went through the Iowa State game and pulled some real positive things out of that game.

***As far as the win against Texas…the best part about it for OU and Oklahoma fans…in my opinion…OU played their ‘B’ game, at best. I’m serious when I say that. OU was not playing great ball on either side except for the areas that counted the most.

***I suspected OU would be in a good position to pull off the upset if they came away with a draw in the trenches. They did not play to a draw in the trenches. Oklahoma actually came out and dominated the trenches on both sides of the ball.

***This is the same Texas defensive front that sacked Jalen Milroe from Alabama five times. This is the same Texas offensive line filled with blue-chip recruits that kept Quinn Ewers sack-free and allowed only two pressures against the feared Alabama defensive front. This is the same Texas defensive front that was averaging close to 3 sacks per game over their first five games. This is the same Texas offensive line that paved the way for 336 yards rushing the week prior.

***The Oklahoma defensive front paved the way for five sacks. The Oklahoma offensive line allowed one sack. The Oklahoma defensive front allowed the OU defense to record 10 tackles for loss. The Oklahoma offensive line put their guys in position to have limited negative plays as Texas only recorded five tackles for loss. The Oklahoma defensive front led the charge toward the creation of three turnovers.

***While the Sooners dominated the trenches, the rest of the squad played ‘OK’, hence why I claim that OU only played their ‘B’ game…which should be very encouraging for Sooner fans as they have a lot to improve upon should a rematch manifest itself in the Big 12 Conference Championship game. They have a lot of room to grow as the rest of the year plays out.

***To close this brunch…I’m gonna do something for the first time…I’m gonna hand out game balls on both sides of the ball. The game ball will not necessarily go to the most prolific player on each side of the ball, but to the guy who made an impact that was felt across the board and greatly contributed to the team’s success.

***Offensive game ball…Dillon Gabriel was the MVP for Oklahoma yesterday when all was said and done. He earned himself a place in Sooner Lore with his gritty performance over the first 58 minutes of the game and he sealed his legacy with the final 75 yard 5 play drive which culminated with a game winning touchdown to Nic Anderson. So he gets the first crack at the trophy, but MY game ball on the offensive side is going to…duh duh duhhhhh…true freshman offensive lineman Cayden Green. Green came into the game in relief of Troy Everett. Everett, who is a center by nature and not built like guard, was getting pushed around and bullied by the massive defensive tackles of Texas. Once Bedenbaugh pulled the band-aid off and plugged Green into the lineup…T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy almost became nonfactors. Instead of doing the bullying, Sweat and Murphy were being bullied and just became neutralized. Green was not perfect, he had some whiffs and missed assignments, but his entry into the game shored up the Oklahoma offensive line and was a turning point in the game, in my opinion.

***Defensive game ball…Lots of options here on the defensive side of the ball. Gentry Williams could be a candidate as he set the tone early with his tremendous pick and even more so for the notable decline in play of the OU defense when he was out of the game. Gentry’s importance to the OU defense was on display and he could have definitely taken the game ball home. Then you have Jaren Kanak who led the team with 13 tackles and a sack. You had Peyton Bowen who just continues to make plays when he is in the game. Billy Bowman with a crushing hit on Ja’Tavion Sanders which forced an interception by Kendel Dolby. Heck I could pick any of the interior defensive linemen as they all flashed. With that said, my defensive game ball goes to….drum roll, please…Ethan Downs. Downs was the guy who was doing nothing but putting nails in coffins on the day. He only had three tackles on the day, but two of them were sacks including a crucial one late in the game. Downs was very good all day, very reliable, and very consistent with his pressure.

***I’ll close brunch with this…

As I mentioned above, the entire 2022 season, heck the entire time since the former guy fled to the west coast, has felt like a long, dark, cold winter for the Sooners. Every national pundit took their shots at Oklahoma for losing their head coach. Many talking heads were predicting doom and gloom (OU is the next Nebraska) for years to come for the Oklahoma program. OU goes out and has their first losing season in decades in 2022 and the negative headlines just kept flowing. 3 point loss after 3 point loss throughout the ’22 season made it appear that there was a possibility that those people were almost talking the demise of Oklahoma into existence.

Yesterday’s game, while it was just one game, was the brightest spot in the Brent Venables era. For one day, at least, the Sooners, their fans, and the college football fans across the country had a chance to sit up straight and say…damn…the Sooners are a good football team and last year may have been the exception rather than the trend. No more questions about not having played anyone, no more ‘yeah but they can’t win a big game’…no more of a lot of nonsense.

Oklahoma has it all right in front of them. They are in control of the Big 12 conference race. They are going to be a top 10 team in the initial CFB Playoff picture when that comes out at the end of the month so long as they take care of business on the field. But most of all…they get to completely wash the taste of the most embarrassing loss of most of our lifetimes out of their mouths and simply focus on the next game. 49-0 is now six feet under. It has been buried.

Now…while they have a greater than 90 percent chance to win the rest of their games according to those same talking heads that were throwing dirt on their casket…they have to go out and do it. The difference, for me at least, while waking up on this Sunday morning after…I believe they have shown me enough to trust the makeup and constitution of this team under Brent Venables.

Update | ’24 DB Michael Boganowski | Update: 3:25 – Bog Sets Date
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 9, 2023

Over the weekend, Steve Wiltfong from 247 Sports put in a crystal ball prediction for long-time OU safety target Michael Boganowski to land with the Sooners.

As we have reported previously, the Boganowski recruitment is down to OU and Kansas State and while the momentum has shifted from time to time, our most recent stance has been that this was a 50/50 deal at best for OU.

Wiltfong’s prediction prompted all of us here at TFB to dig around a bit and here is what we have come up with…

***Source from Kanasas State reiterated to Super K that they are in the dark on this one. Of late, they do not have a great deal of confidence.

***Source from OU tells James they are confident in where they stand for Boganowski and the RRS results ‘Did not hurt’. So OU is feeling good.

***I had a source familiar with the Boganowski recruitment flat out indicate that they believe Boganowski gave OU the nod (indicating he will be choosing them) and he will be announcing this month.

So when you piece it together, we feel like we can move this one off 50/50 and into the ‘trending OU’ category.

Reminder, the Sooners have been aggressively pursuing another safety target in Reggie Powers who is scheduled to visit Norman for the UCF game in just under two weeks.

Update: 3:25 pm

As noted above…source mentioned to me that Boganowski will be announcing this month…

He has announced on Twitter that he will be making his commitment on October 19th at 4:00 pm

Let me Take you Back…
– Super K – Posted on: October 9, 2023

To about one year ago. It was post the Kent State game and with the first half struggles, the Sooners faithful were already getting antsy.

The prediction of last season being a successful one was premature on my part but the sentiment was bang on. As the Sooners kept dropping games last season, I certainly started to have my own doubts.

As you enjoy watching BV’s vision materialize, this is some of what we wrote back on September 13th of last year (2022). For the link to the full article clickHERE.

“When Lincoln Riley left, a large contingent of the fan base and almost all of the media said it was over for the Sooners. We preached patience.

When the “NIL” payments were rolling out like pizza dough, some said the NCAA won’t do anything and the Sooners can’t compete. We preached patience.

Back in June, when recruiting was dry, there were a lot of folks thinking BV can’t recruit. Again, we preached patience.

And now here we are again, where the doubters and the naysayers are out in droves. To be fair, our community has for the most part remained optimistic.

The biggest target so far has been the offensive line. Last weekend it was the offensive line and the missed tackles.

Certainly not saying that fans and media shouldn’t criticize. But some of the negativity is premature and in many cases unwarranted…”

Reading the above from last year, tell me now, would anyone here replace BV with a return to Lincoln Riley? Oh and by the way, that much-maligned OL last year has already produced two 1st-3rd round draft picks.

“Additionally, did anyone think that a great program was going to be built without setbacks?

Do you remember when the Sooners faced Clemson in playoffs? Score was basically tied at half. BV came out and complete shut down the Sooners. Their response to the challenges of the game were fiercer than OU’s ability to strike back.

Do you remember when Clemson was outmatched by the talent of Ohio State in the 2020 playoffs? Every time Ohio State seemed to gain an advantage, here came Clemson hitting them in the mouth.

That isn’t even to mention the time BV goose egged Urban Meyer in a playoff game or the two national championships they won.

You can’t build a tough team without resistance and right now that’s the process that OU is in…”

Reading the above from a year ago, do you now see it? Sooners showed on Saturday what we used to see from Clemson – that ability to keep responding. They refused to die.

“If you don’t respect your opponents, you won’t enjoy watching your team. If you don’t contextualize your team’s progress, you’ll be miserable.

The Sooners are going to have periods of struggle this season, but they are, in my opinion, building something that will last.

Given the Sooners are in a transition, maybe do BV and the staff a favor and accentuate the positives, there are so many. Enjoy watching the team. There’s plenty of time for the criticism and the negativity later…”

Reading the above from last year, does anyone now doubt that Brent is building something that will last? I know it didn’t materialize last year but the vision is becoming clearer now.

Position Group Progress Report | ’23 Game 6: Texas
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 9, 2023

Checking out how the position groups performed in the Sooner’s victory over Texas. Coming into the game, OU was a slight underdog to the Longhorns and they covered the game time spread, obviously, with the victory!

This will be the sixth progress report of the season. I will include the previous week’s ranking at the top of each position group’s report.

Let’s see how things shook out against Texas.

QB: First 58:43 of the game low 4* – Last 1:17 of the game 5* plus (Last week 4*)

Dillon Gabriel will go down in Sooner lore for leading a tremendous last-minute 5-play 75-yard drive that took only 1 minute and 2 seconds and resulted in Nic Anderson making his only catch of the game in the endzone to seal the victory for Oklahoma.

Gabriel was absolutely brilliant on that last drive. He was accurate, he was decisive, he was calm, cool, and collected when facing pressure…he was incredible. He deserves all the accolades he is receiving and he has earned his place in the Oklahoma record books which nobody can ever take away from him and Team 129.

He was also just a little more than average for the first 58:43 of the game…and that should be encouraging for the OU fan base and team.

The one consistent thing that Gabriel did very well throughout the game was to use his legs. He rushed for 113 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown to start the scoring for OU.

On the last drive, Gabriel was 4-4 for 58 yards with the lone touchdown pass, so for the rest of the day he was 19-34 for 227 yards with no touchdowns. He did do a good job of not putting the ball in jeopardy, but he missed a bunch of easy conversions that would have extended drives and or led to points.

My hope for Gabriel is that the last drive turns into a springboard made of confidence going forward as those misses are things he can easily fix as it feels like he is so tight at times that he just tries to hard to be perfect.

The last drive, the game-winning drive in the Red River Shootout, the drive that cemented his legacy as a hero for Oklahoma…that should alleviate some of that pressure he may have been feeling over the course of his career in Norman. He filled the big shoes that are the expectations of the OU fan base (and people like me who cover the games) and I have no doubt he will be walking with a different pep in his step. Very happy for him.

Please…before anyone says ‘why can’t you give Gabriel his propr’…I did. I gave him props, said I was happy for him about how the game ended. Said he was a 5* plus for the last drive. I just cannot and will not ignore the first 58 minutes of the game!

RB: 3* (Last week 2*)

Tawee Walker was a lot of fun to watch and he had some effective moments. Man is that dude tough to tackle and he had a couple of important drive-continuing plays to go along with two touchdowns on the ground.

Really all I have to say about the running back room as it was ‘effective enough’ which is something I noted that I was hoping to see from the running backs until they get things sorted out health-wise and rotational-wise.

I will add, some in the community were talking about using Jalil Farooq in the backfield a bit…wish granted and it was quite effective at keeping the Horns on their toes as Farooq and even Drake Stoops lined up in the backfield on occasion.

WR/TE: High 4* (Last week 5*)

Jalil Farooq had a monster day as he was ‘Mr. Do It All’. Farooq had 5 catches for 130 yards. He had almost half of those yards (59 YAC) after catching the pass as he continued to display his elusiveness in the open field. He added the 3 carries for 13 yards to the offense as well.

Drake Stoops, Andrel Anthony, and SURPRISE, Austin Stogner all had three or more catches and of course Nic Anderson was in a position to make the game-winning catch in the endzone on the pass from Dillon Gabriel.

One thing that we will talk about later in the coming days, this group blocked their asses off and made Texas work for every stop.

Anthony was injured in the game and that really sucks for him. OU has not released the nature of the injury, but sources indicate it is a lower-body non-contact injury which is never a great thing to hear.

OL: 5* (Last week low 4*)


The offensive line gets their first 5* ranking of the season and it is more about what didn’t happen in the game than what did happen in the game.

This is a group that everyone had circled as the largest reason for concern coming into the game for Oklahoma as to many, it looked like the biggest mismatch in the game was going to be the Texas defensive line vs the Oklahoma offensive line.

OU allowed only 1 sack (to linebacker Anthony Hill who chased Dillon Gabriel out of bounds).

Early on, T’Vondre Sweat was having his way with Troy Everett at left guard and the Texas front was getting a bunch of pressure. Bill Bedenbaugh had seen enough and he pulled the plug and threw true freshman Cayden Green into the fire. Once Green entered the game…Sweat and Murphy were pretty much non factors.

I am not saying Green was perfect, or anyone else on the line was perfect, but once Green entered the game, the Horns were left scratching their heads as they just could not have the impact they believed they were going to have on the day.

Also, the OL did a good job opening running lanes which just were not used by the running backs. Dillon Gabriel had no issues following the big guys to a century mark day…something has to give in the running back room. Hopefully, that happens sooner rather than later.

Shout out to Walter Rouse who was out there blocking two guys at a time on the final offensive play of the game.

DL: 5* (Last week High 4*)

So above I talked about the optics heading into the game. The prevailing thought was that the Texas defensive line vs the Oklahoma offensive line was the largest mismatch of the game.

Turns out…it was the Oklahoma defensive line against the Texas offensive line that was an absolute mismatch in every sense of the word.

The OU front paved the way for 5 sacks (could have easily been 7 or 8) and 10 tackles for loss (could have easily been 13-15). Ethan Downs had a monster day on the EDGE, Lacey, Terry, Coe, Kelley, Laulu were all making their presence felt in the middle. The OU defensive line may not be full of stars, but they are coached very well and they just come at you in waves.

Rondell Bothroyd and Marcus Stripling also flashed on the EDGE. The whole front was very active and very sound.

PJ Adebawore almost had a signature moment on the last play of the game as he just missed getting a strip sack on Quinn Ewers Hail Mary pass.

Really was fun to watch this group work against an offensive line that is filled with blue chip players and plenty of experience.

LB: 5* (Last week low 3*)

Danny Stutsman and Jaren Kanak had so much fun out there that after the game they went out and had the upside down Horns logo tattooed on their thighs. Weird flex, but hey, they are college kids living their best lives. (Another reason why I cannot see Stuts leaving OU while having eligibility, he just loves being a college football player at OU).

Jaren Kanak had the best game of his career as he recorded 13 tackles (led the team) with a sack and a tackle for loss. He did have a bust in coverage, but I’m not gonna crush him on that as Steve Sarkisian is very good at what he does.

Danny Stutsman had 9 tackles of his own with 1.5 tackles for loss and he was the emotional leader for the team as usual.

The story for me…how about Kip Lewis coming in and playing three snaps in the goal line stand and having a hand in two of the tackles? He made the stop on first down and assisted on second down. Those were the only 3 snaps he played all day. That is called making your reps count!

Just a really solid game for the backers in regard to tackling and making their run fits. Kips contributions pushed them to the 5* for me as I would give Danny and Jaren a 4*/High 4* grade due to the missed coverage by Kanak.

Cheetah: 4* (Last week high 3*)

Dasan McCullough is getting more comfortable and that is not a good thing for opposing offenses. McCullough didn’t have a huge statistical day, but he did have 5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss…but his efforts away from the ball stood out.

In the goal line stand series, McCullough came from his linebacker spot and lit up defensive tackle Byron Murphy (who was in as a fullback) in the backfield and stood him up which allowed the rest of the OU defense to make the stop.

McCullough was also very good in coverage as the times the tight end got loose, it wasn’t on him. He did give up 3 recpetions, but limited the YAC to 13 and was in good position. I was expecting Sark to put him in a blender a bit, but he held up and gave a good accounting of himself.

DB: 3* (Last week high 3*)

Talk about a roller coaster ride…this was the area where the OU defense experienced some high highs and some low lows.

Gentry Williams is an X-factor. Not just saying that because he leads the team in interceptions on the year and he got the team off to a great start with a tremendous pick on the second offensive play of the game for Texas…but when he was out…you could tangibly see the difference on the field.

Kendel Dolby got the other interception which was forced by a vicious hit from Billy Bowman on his former HS pal Ja’Tavion Sanders over the middle in the red zone which popped the ball into the air and into Dolbys hands.

The freshman phenom Peyton Bowen cause another turnover when he laid into Quinn Ewers with a hat on ball hit which caused a fumble.

So yeah, with all those great plays…how did they only receive a 3* grade?

Well…they were pretty poor in coverage and they were awful in tackling for large chunks of the game. Okahoma was charged with 16 missed tackles. 10 of which came from Billy Bowman (4), Key Lawrence (3), and Reggie Pearson (3).

Again…Brent Venables can, and will, get this right, so that is an encouraging thing for OU fans if there is a rematch. The zone will tighten, the guys will be better, and you know they CAN tackle…there is a lot to clean up, yet they still helped the team to a victory.

ST: Nebula (Last week high 3*)

Punt block for a touchdown.

4th down conversion allowed on a fake punt.

Missed field goal.

26 yard punt.

Blowing a nice gimmick return cause you screwed up the gimmick part.

Not good. There was no ‘special’ in special teams.

You get the first Nebula of the season Special Teams.

Quick Hitter | Zion Kearney
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 9, 2023

I know some of you have reached out to me about the rumors of ’24 OU wide receiver commit Zion Kearney visiting Texas A&M this past weekend for the Bama game.

I have been in touch with Zion and he tells me he was indeed at the game with his teammates.

He also added that he is 100% locked in with Oklahoma.

I believe this is a non-story at this time.

Team 129 | A Truly Different Group…
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 10, 2023

Saturday’s victory over Texas was special to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

Not only was it a great game, but that one game performance felt like it had been a long time coming…a long time, like all the way back to November of 2021. 22 months of negative headlines (not all negative within the program itself but to the outside world) takes its toll.

So, in the aftermath of the game, I wanted to pass along something I picked up when I asked the guy who asks the questions for us about his thoughts on the end of the game and the feeling he had as it all went down.

James has seen a ton of massive OU games over the last 40-plus years…all of them. Natty’s, Conference Championship games, Games of the Century, all the Red River games, good games, bad games…just a ton of games.

I asked him to describe the scene at the end of this year’s game and he said something that really struck me…James said:

“Charlie, the joy I saw…was immaculate….seen a lot of winning teams but this team went through the wringer…they were embarrassed in this game a year ago and were embarrassed by losing to WVU and TTU and others…the offseason was hard but they loved it.”

He went on to say “This team has brought into Brents’s passion, love of life, faith, Julie’s fight….the way they battled…so much joy…the stop from the one-yard line was all about heart. This team’s reaction at the end of the game was different than anything I have seen…just pure JOY…joy is different than happiness or excitement.”

Then he made a direct connection to another legendary program, the OU Softball program “This football team is very faith-based, much like Patty Gasso’s softball team. They are just joyful. They show joy for themselves, joy for each other, joy for the staff, joy for the fans. Was just so cool to see.”

Joy was the overwhelming sentiment. They respect Texas, they know they are a good team. James believes that OU truly believes that they and Texas are as good as anyone in the country.

This game was different…the sense of joy was overwhelming.

What is the difference between joy and happiness? (Per Merriam Webster) Consider the definition of each; happiness is the mental or emotional state of positive/pleasant feelings, while joy is the experience “evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”

We all know joy doesn’t win you football games, but it sure is a great feeling to experience and the world needs more of it. Last Saturday, the OU football team not only experienced joy for themselves, they shared it with all of Sooner Nation.

Thought that was pretty cool insight from James, a dude who has covered a lot of football at Oklahoma.

Redshirt Tracker | 2023 Class
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 10, 2023

Taking a look at the redshirt status for the class of ’23 at Oklahoma.

A player is allowed to participate in four games without losing their opportunity to redshirt.

Players who play 4 games during the regular season will also be allowed to participate in the bowl game without losing their ability to redshirt.

Class of 23 Redshirt Tracker


QB Jackson Arnold – At 4 game limit
RB Kalib Hicks – 1 game
RB Daylan Smothers – 2 games
WR Jaquaize Pettaway – At 4 game limit
TE Kade McIntyre – 1 game
OL Joshua Bates – 1 game
OL Cayden Green – No redshirt
OL Logan Howland – 1 game
OL Heath Ozaeta – 1 game


DL Ashton Sanders – 2 games
DL Markus Strong – 1 game
EDGE P.J. Adebawore – No redshirt
EDGE Taylor Wein – 1 game
LB Lewis Carter – No redshirt
LB Taylor Heim – 1 game
LB Samuel Omosigho – No redshirt
LB Phil Picciotti – Out for season
DB Peyton Bowen – No redshirt
DB Kendel Dolby – No redshirt
DB Jacobe Johnson – No redshirt
DB Erik McCarty – 0 games
DB Daeh McCullough – 1 game
DB Makari Vickers – At 4 game limit
DB Jasiah Wagoner – 2 games

Position Group Progress Report | The Halfway Mark
– Charlie S – Posted on: October 11, 2023

We have reached the halfway mark of the season!

There have been six progress reports to date with six more regular season progress reports to come!

Below, you will find the game by game Star Rankings (which shows the ranking from each of the first six weeks) and the cumulative average ranking of where each group stands at this point of the season.

I also added how I see each group trending and my wish list for the second half of the season.

Feels like the progress reports were pretty spot on as the cumulative rankings of each group are a pretty accurate reflection of where they each are at today, in my opinion.

Interested to read your thoughts!

Rankings are listed in season game order from left to right:

Arkansas State – SMU – Tulsa – Cincinnati – Iowa State – Texas = Cumulative Ranking Average

QB:5-4-5-3-4-4 =4.2– Trending:Steady

Could rise with what should be a huge confidence boost from Saturday.

Wish List: With Gabriel clearly running more, get Jackson meaningful reps…just in case. (Been on the wish list since he signed…so…)

RB: 3-3-3-3-2-3 =2.8– Trending:Down

No answer in sight, the current state of the room is not getting it done as the OU running back room should be getting it done.

Wish list: Gavin Sawchuk to get healthy and see meaningful reps and if Jovantae Barnes is that banged up, RS him (which James first mentioned was a possibility) and start getting Smothers some 3rd string reps as it appears Hicks will RS.

WR/TE:5-2-5-4-5-4 =4.2– Trendin:Steady

Needs to answer for Anthony being gone. Anderson/Gibson stepping up?

Wish list: A full recovery for Anthony first and foremost while seeing Anderson and Gibson pick him up. Also, lets see Pettaway move around a bit and what Thompson can do when healthy enough again.

OL:4-3-4-3-4-5 =3.8– Trending:Up

Cayden Green appears to have arrived, and tackles playing very well.

Wish list: With Jacob Sexton back, lets see Jake Taylor slide inside and compete at the RG spot with Caleb Shaffer while Mettauer heals. Getting better each week, could see a consistent breakthrough if things continue to gel.

DL:4-4-5-4-4-5 =4.3– Trending: –Up

Rather unbelievably still climbing (In a good unbelievable way)

Wish list: More PJ Adebawore, please. Thats all. Everything else is going as well or better than planned. Oh and RMT to get and stay healthy.

LB: 4-5-4-4-3-5 =4.2– Trending: –Steady

Serious potential to climb.

Wish list: Stutsman is having a helluva year and Kanak had his best game against Texas…but they need rest. More Kip Lewis and Kobie McKinzie in larger doses.

Cheetah:4-4-3-4-3-4 =3.7– Trending: –Steady

Expect a trend up the more Dasan plays

Wish list: As is the case with Stuts and Kanak, McCullough will need breathers and while Pearson and Dolby can fill in, lets see Carter and Omosigho when given the opportunity.

DB:4-4-4-5-3-3 =3.8– Trending: –Slightly down

Need to get and stay healthy, high upside is there.

Wish list: Gentry has been brilliant, but needs to be able to stay on the field. Woodi has been as advertised and is making himself money by coming back. Need Wagoner healthy and more Vickers. Bowman has been good, Pearson and Key have had their moments, Key more than Reggie to be clear. Oh also…play your best DB more, his name is Peyton Bowen.

ST:5-5-3-2-3-0 =3– Trending:Down

Punting tryouts this week on campus (hopefully)

Wish list: Who was our TFBASFBT punter? And who was the TFBASFBT special teams coach? Brent Venables would like to speak with you.

Latest on 2024 DB Recruiting
– Super K – Posted on: October 12, 2023

A couple things here as the Sooners try to add one or two additional DBs…

***First, on 2024 in-state DB Devon Jordan (Union), continue to hear from multiple sources that this one is down to OU and TCU. He was at TCU recently and they are trying to seal things up with Jordan this month.

However, the Sooners are working to get Devon on campus for the UCF game.

My hunch is if he returns for the OU game, the Sooners will likely win out. If he doesn’t, then it’s probably going to end up in favor of TCU.

I’ll let you know once I find out whether that visit will happen or not.

***Sooners are also working on Tampa Bay Tech (FL) 2024 DB and former Michigan State commit, Camren Campbell.

I believe the Sooners will be out to see Campbell this week and are expecting him in for the UCF game.

So a couple buns in the oven here as the Sooners try to stack that DB room with some much needed talent in this class.

Open Post | Weekend, October 13th - 15th - The Football Brainiacs - OU Edition (2024)
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