Tuesday's Throwback Report: #8 Oklahoma State vs. Arizona, 9-8-11
September 13th, 2011 By DraftNasty Staff Reports
The eighth-ranked Cowboys rolled to a 37-14 victory last Thursday over the Arizona Wildcats largely due to an outstanding performance by their defense. The team limited Arizona to just 41 yards on the ground despite giving up 398 yards passing to Arizona QB Nick Foles.
Oklahoma State vs. Arizona
Random Game Notes
Oklahoma State Offense
#3 QB Brandon Weeden (6’4, 224, SR) started off perfect and even read the blitz effectively when Arizona went to Cover 0 all-out blitz coverages. He completed 23 of his first 24 passes, but it would have been 24-of-25 if not for a dropped post route from Blackmon in the middle of the field. He then just threw a ball into the ground on 3rd and 6, for intentional grounding.
Weeden displayed great touch on twice on fade route TDs to WR #81 Justin Blackmon (6’1, 207, JR) in the first quarter. On the first score, Blackmon timed his leap and showed body control by keeping one feet in bounds on the backline. He did a good job of letting one of his legs die while in the air. Blackmon's run after the catch ability was evident all night, and he plays fast for the most part. His energy and blocking potential are added bonuses for a team that will need to continue to run the ball well before heading into Big 12 conference play.
On the team’s second drive, Weeden showed the entire package. He threw a very accurate Bang 8 (Skinny Post), curl route and led his RB Randle up the sidelines on the swing-type flare route up the sidelines vs. the all-out blitz. He seemed to do a better job of checking the ball down than in past contests. Weeden was much more patient in this game, but he did experience a brief lull again after starting off on fire. While he has thrown four interceptions in the season's first two weeks, it is apparent that he has full command of the Cowboys' offense.
WR #87 Tracy Moore (6’1, 233, JR) got behind the secondary on a post route that Weeden overthrew. He also showed nice snatch hands on a curl vs. a zone coverage principle. If he can develop into the vertical threat he displayed throughout the spring and in Week One vs. La-Lafayette, the Cowboys' offense will take an even bigger step towards being a nearly impossible unit to contain. Moore's size, strength and sneaky speed provide a different dynamic opposite Blackmon.
RB #1 Joseph Randle (6’1, 191, Soph) shows good hands out of the backfield. He will occasionally sneak out of the backfield and align at the #1 WR position. Randle causes mismatches on the field, and he has picked up right where former All-American Kendall Hunter left off upon his graduation. Not only did he catch 9 passes for 99 yards, he went over 100 yards for the second straight game. He is able to make defenders miss in tight quarters and provides subtle jump-cutting skill to avoid tacklers in the open field.
The OSU interior offensive line uses quickness and experience to root out defenders and they take advantage of influence blocking schemes to trap and cut off interior line defenders. C Grant Garner (6'3, 289, SR) and OG #70 Jonathan Rush (6'4, 314, SR) both do good jobs on G-type running schemes. Garner can cut off the shaded one technique and wheels his body accordingly during the down. Rush is required to make a lot of 2nd level blocks and executes with decisiveness in his assignments.
RT #73 Levi Adcock (6’6, 323, SR) did lose his sustain on boundary side stretch runs at times, but was fairly efficient in his decision-making vs. the blitz. With experience at LT, he is one of the more versatile pass blockers in the country.
LT #75 Nick Martinez (6’4, 304, SR), who’s still at left tackle, did a good job of getting out in front on screens, but he could stand to do a better job of fronting his men when in space.
#41 Paul Vassallo showed good instincts and short area quickness when closing on a lead draw in the first quarter. He also made a TD-saving tackle in the first quarter from his weakside LB spot. Vassallo has decent movement ability and led the Wildcats with 102 tackles a year ago.
DBs #5 Shaquille Richardson (6'2, 180, Soph) and #26 Jourdon Grandon (6'0, 180, FR) knocked around the Oklahoma State receivers when the team began to get frustrated with Weeden's propensity to complete passes unencumbered.
Arizona senior LB #40 Derek Earls (6'3, 240) did a good job of matching backs to the flats and wrapping well in coverage. He also showed good anticipation vs. open field screens in running to the ball. He’s not particularly quick-twitched, but he has very good play anticipation when it comes to making plays behind the line of scrimmage.
DE #97 Mohammed Usman (6'2, 245, SR) was a backup a year ago, but he showed a good burst to cause a QB hurry and PBU late in the first session of the game. He is built like an OLB, so the team will probably look to add ways to increase his pass rush repertoire as the season progresses.
Arizona #1 FS Robert Golden (6'1, 200, SR) is making a fine transition back to his more natural position after spending time at the cornerback spot a year ago. Like last season, he continues to get his hands on balls. Golden dropped two potential interceptions in this game, including one that would have been a pick-six to the house when the team was trying to reverse momentum. Golden is a good prospect with decent feet, but he needs to finish plays better on the ball after recording just one interception in 2010.
Senior WR #82 Juron Criner (6’4, 210) didn’t play due to emergency appendectomy surgery on the Monday prior to the game.
Senior QB #8 Nick Foles would lose his accuracy when he got inside pressure. Last season, he threw three INTs in the 36-10 Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma State. At the beginning of the night, it seemed he was destined to go down that path again, but he settled down in a hostile environment after a rough start.
Foles is better vs. zone coverage schemes. This became increasingly evident as Oklahoma State built a lead and went to more packages that dropped eight defenders into coverage. He was very accurate most of the night and took advantage of soft zones in the quick passing game. Late in the second quarter, he also showed better footwork and pocket feel once the game became a down-to-down passing affair.
Foles’ decisiveness and touch were apparent on short, crossing routes; often allowing WRs, RBs to get yards after the catch by leading them accordingly.
#67 OT Jack Baucus (6’6, 280, Soph) and his brother, LT #68 Mickey Baucus (6’8, 295 FR), man the edges for the Arizona offensive line. The elder Backus is a former tight end with above average agility. The duo has a lot of potential but their inexperience shows up from time-to-time, mostly in the form of penalties and technique. Backus had a false start early in the 2nd quarter and it was a theme that continued for most of the game’s first 30 minutes.
Overall, the Wildcats had five penalties in the first half and struggled mightily to get anything going on the ground. The line’s strength is passing off 3-man and 4-man line games, but they seem to struggle on assignments versus multiple disguises and line games. This becomes very evident vs. run blitz-type schemes. The Wildcats will have to prepare for a variety of looks from opponents in the weeks to come.
Oklahoma State Defense
DC Bill Young would often show eight up front and confused the Arizona offensive blocking assignments. These were mixes of zone pressures with three deep and four deep principles.
Oklahoma State stymied the Wildcats’ ground attack for the entire game. This became particularly evident in the Red Zone. On 3rd and 5 in the first half down 21-0, Arizona tried a lead draw but the Cowboys didn’t bite and it forced the Wildcats to go back to the air. Their defense tightened in the Red Zone vs. a good Arizona offense, but the Wildcats have struggled over the last two years to punch scores in when in opposing territories. On a 3rd and 1 early in the game, the defense stopped Arizona RB #2 Keola Antolin for no gain. HC Stoops did a good job of not going on for it on 4th down when he was deep in Arizona territory.
Oklahoma State FS #10 Markelle Martin (6’1, 195, SR) showed up quickly when closing from the deep quarter or half field vs. broken plays or the short passing game. Martin will leave his feet on some of those inside out angles and tackle around the ankles. When he’s breaking from his Cover 2 angles, he needs to do a better job of maintaining his inside-out angles. He will occasionally overrun some tackle opportunities.
#99 Richetti Jones (6’3, 259, SR) fought pressure on an inside stunt and got across the face of Arizona sophomore LG #62 Chris Putton for an early QB pressure and forced throw. He also recovered a late fumble in the second quarter with about 1:05 seconds remaining.
On 3rd and 1 in Arizona's territory early in the game, the defense stopped Antolin for no gain. Arizona HC Mike Stoops decided not to go for it on 4th down, which would prove to be a sound decision.
FS #8 DayTawlon Lowe (6’0, 188, Soph) did a good job stepping in again for suspended safety Johnny Thomas. He broke up a key 4th and goal pass intended for #85 Douglas on a ball that had good location from Foles on a quick slant vs. a blitz. Lowe has been active as a tackler in the team’s first two games.
Arizona Special Teams
#13 P Kyle Dugandzic (5’11, 195, JR) kicked a towering 59-yard punt that was called back, and then served up a very returnable ball to Oklahoma State WR #25 Josh Cooper (6’0, 190), who almost broke it up the middle for the score.
Oklahoma State Special Teams
Cooper is very definitive when catching balls moving forward and the team’s best slot WR took one to the house in 2010.
Oklahoma State preseason All-American #13 Quinn Sharp (6'1, 189, JR) continued his touchback magic on both of first two kickoffs. He strives to get more distance than height, but he can generally get his kickoffs about 75 yards in the air from the 30-yard line.
He went about 4.22 seconds on his first punt and didn’t place the ball inside the 20-yard line, instead kicking it out of the back of the end zone.
Did his leg begin to get tired by the end of the half? He missed a 42-yard field goal at the end of the half in which he pushed the ball to his right. Sharp had an up-and-down half, but continues to be a candidate for All-American honors.
Sharp showed some running skills on a fake punt late in the 3rd QTR, with a 24-yard run on 4th and 5.
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