Week six as it happens – Oklahoma hammers Texas

Landry Jones enjoyed beating a high school team wearing Texas jerseys

I’ve just finished watching Oklahoma vs Texas – a completely one sided game that made it difficult to learn anything new about Landry Jones. He made some pretty throws, particularly on fade routes to the left looking for Kenny Stills, but he also missed a few times and had a lot of unnecessary drops from his receivers. He ended 31/50 for 367 yards and three touchdowns – but I can’t say I learned any more about him against a shambolic Longhorns outfit. The game ended 55-17, but Oklahoma probably should’ve won 70-0.

When he’s given time in the pocket and when most of the work is done pre-snap, Jones looks sharp. He’s capable of precise throws, he can put it into a tight window or simply just make life easy for his receivers. Unfortunately it’s inconsistent and he will miss in the same comfortable environment too. There’s a lot of screens and blind throws into the flats in this OU system. He received precious little pressure off the edge in this one, and when Texas brought a safety blitz he picked it up easily to drop back and dump off to the checkdown or screen. He’s a lot less effective when teams bring the edge rush and force him to move, thinking on his feet isn’t a big positive and it’s where the accuracy departs. Outside of the pocket, Jones is not comfortable.

We’re going to have to wait a while to see the Sooners and their QB really challenged. Ryan Tannehill and Texas A&M got the better of them in 2010, but they don’t meet this year until November 5th. Kansas State the week before could be a test on the road, but the game that stands out is Oklahoma State in the final week. That’s a game we can really judge Jones’ progress – whether he can keep up with OKSU’s prolific offense without making mistakes, because that’s where he’s come unstuck in the past when the pressure was on. There was no pressure today from Texas – on either side of the ball – and the Longhorns made a mockery of their ridiculous #11 ranking for a team that is a million miles away from relevance.

Last night I watched the first half of the Fresno State vs Boise State game, which was another one sided affair and a big win for the Broncos. I’ve spent a lot of time talking up Fresno’s defensive lineman Logan Harrell and he didn’t disappoint here. He’s not a big guy who plays at around 285lbs but he just finds ways to get into the backfield. He was never going to carry his team to a competitive level against the Boise State offensive machine, but he was consistently quick off the snap and exploding into the backfield to disrupt plays. He has an effective swim move but his real asset is speed. On one occasion he just ploughed his way through a lineman to meet the running back for a loss, so he does have some power with room to add some weight. His role at the next level isn’t obvious, but I think he has a role at five technique potentially moving inside on passing third downs. An under rated player with a big future who deserves more attention.

Elsewhere, I have tape from Louisville vs North Carolina to watch tomorrow. I’ll be taking another look at Quinton Coples – a player I’ve criticised this season and questioned his legitimacy as a top pick. I’ll also be watching receiver Dwight Jones who had another productive day with four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Jones has all the skills to be a very good NFL receiver and for me he’s the #1 at his position right now. Linebacker Zach Brown is another player to monitor for the Tar Heels.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, South Carolina) is back among the big numbers. With Stephen Garcia benched, Jeffery had six catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns as the Gamecocks took apart Kentucky 54-3. Georgia Tech wide out Stephen Hill struggles for the same level of production in the triple option offense, but he’s a big play threat with NFL skills and had two catches for 50 yards in a 21-16 win over Maryland.

Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia) continues to prosper and is still a quarterback with some pro potential. Today he had 450 yards passing, four scores and zero turn overs as WVU defeated Connecticut 43-16. Bruce Irvin (DE, West Virginia) also had his first sack since week one. It’s been a disappointing year so far for Irvin, who had 14 sacks in 2010.

Tyrann Mathieu (CB/S, LSU) is a star in the making. He had an interception against Florida today to going along with the cluster of big plays he’s made this year. He’s not going stunning physical qualities (5-9, 175lbs) but he’s just a pure playmaker who finds ways to impact a game. He’s only a sophomore, but he’s one to watch for 2013.

Austin Davis (QB, Southern Miss) had another big day. He’s an underrated, talented quarterback who deserves much more attention than he’s getting. The Golden Eagles defeated Navy comprehensively 63-35, with Davis throwing three touchdowns for 283 yards and completing 21/23 passing. He added another touchdown on the ground, with 75 rushing yards from 12 attempts.

Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers) had a slow day in an easy win over Pittsburgh. He finished the game with just two catches for 27 yards and no touchdowns.

Arizona have been a bad team for a while now, not making the most of the talent they have at their disposal. Today they lost to previously disastrous Oregon State, with Nick Foles throwing two interceptions and one touchdown in a 29/39 354 yard performance. I wouldn’t draft Foles, I suspect scouts are starting to have similar thoughts with more evidence to pick through. He’s a late rounder at best.


  1. Seahawk Steve

    I put together a possible draft analysis for the 2012 Seahawks 1st round draft. I correlated last year’s league wide team records and where those teams drafted in the 2011 draft. Using the results I projected this year’s possible season ending record scenarios for the Seahawks. Then looking at Seahawks greatest position needs I can give a projection of who the Seahawks will draft in the 2012 draft.

    First some cost/benefit analysis:

    A record of 3/13 or below buys a 1st -4th pick (pick # depends on how many other teams finish with a 3/13 record or below)

    A 4/12 record buys a 2nd-7th pick (pick # depends on how many other teams finish with a 4/12 record)

    A 5/11 record buys a 5th- 7th pick (Pick # depends on other records)

    A 6/10 record buys a 7th-12th pick

    Now based on current needs what positions are most likely to be filled by the Seahawks 1st round pick:


    If we now take the current consensus mock draft college players for picks 1-12, we can make a projection. If the Seahawks finish with a record of:

    <3/13 Luck or Barkley (depends on pick # and who’s left on board)

    4/12 Barkley or L. Jones (QB’s)

    5/11 L. Jones or Q. Couples (DE)

    6/10 D. Kirkpatrick (CB), J. Crick (DE), T. Richardson (RB), M. Claiborne (CB)

    Note: If the Seahawks finish with 6/10 or better record there aren’t any quarterbacks worthy of a 1st round selection. Even Landry Jones is scouted as a” project QB” only Luck or Barkley could step in and start their first year.

    What do you think?

    • Rob

      Hi Steve – thanks for putting that together and it’s interesting to see what range the Seahawks may be picking depending on how many wins they get this season.

      I’m not a fan of Kirkpatrick, he looks like a guy who gets promoted above his means because he plays for Nick Saban and he’s tall. Not seen anything from him so far that screams high pick cornerback if I’m honest. I think whatever happens the Seahawks have to aggressively pursue one of the top two quarterbacks.

  2. PatrickH

    I got a chance to watch Rutgers for the first time today. They were starting a freshman QB today. Given that and the fact that the Pitt offense was self-destructing with turnovers, the Rutgers coach played it safe and run more than pass. That said, to me Mohamed Sanu didn’t appear to be very fast in this game. The Pitt CB was able to cover him well on most passing attempts. Sanu was also returning punts today, but couldn’t do much since the Pitt punter did a great job putting up long hangtime, giving time for the coverage guys to get downfield.

    Rob, what is your opinion on Tyler Wilson (the Arkansas QB)? I’ve watched him last week against Texas A&M and today against Auburn, and he has been impressive. He was completing 18 passes in a row during a stretch in today’s game, and they were not all dink-and-dunk passes. He was running a pro-style offense as well. If he keeps this up, he could become a high draft pick in 2013.

    • PatrickH

      I also caught a few glimpses of the UNC game. In those few plays that I saw, Coples lined up as DT. I could be mistaken, but I thought that the game announcer mentioned that Coples now weights around 290.

    • Rob

      I’ve seen Wilson play three times now. There are things I like, there are things where I go ‘this guy isn’t Ryan Mallett’ but then I would never expect him to be. I don’t think he’ll ever grow enough to be a high pick, but there’s something there that I like and he’s one to monitor going forward. I had him on my watch list published at the start of the year.

  3. JosephS

    Rob, considering our current trajectory, I have us at 5-7 wins. Looking forward to the draft, do you really feel the Seattle Seahawks will be able to acquire Matt Barkley?

    The way I see it, if the Colts end up with the #1 pick, they will almost certainly take Luck, leaving the Dolphins with the #2 pick, which they will use to select Barkley. If, say, the Dolphins end up at #1, the Colts are very likely to trade down. This of course, still poses quite the predicament for Seattle, as they will surely be competing with teams like Denver, Washington, and Kansas City. Other teams who could pose a possible trade up threat include Oakland (Campbell is a game manager, AKA a better version of T-Jack) and Cleveland (not convinced McCoy is their guy).

    Couple this, with the possibility of both Arizona and St. Louis having high draft picks, and not wanting to trade with a divisional rival, Seattle could easily end up drafting the 4th QB taken overall in the 2012 draft. If you dislike Landry Jones, then this might be a good thing, as I feel the QB’s will go in this order 1. Luck 2. Barkley 3. Jones (although Jones reminds me of less instinctual Philip Rivers, and I’d like the pick as a Hawk fan).

    Do you feel comfortable predicting Seattle will get either Barkley or Jones (hate aside) next year?

    • Rob

      It really depends on how teams grade certain prospects. I’m not a Landry Jones fan but other really like the guy. Would Miami take him instead of Barkley in that scenario? I hope for their sake not so, but who knows in October? If Miami pick #1 overall, I think Indy would give very serious consideration to your Kalil’s, Richardson’s – players like that. I can see a situation where Barkley falls a bit – I would argue wrongly, but I can see it for sure.

      I don’t think the Seahawks would draft Jones – and I base that on what they appear to be looking for in a QB not based on my own judgement (which is why I also say he could still go top-10 when I think he’s not even worth a R1 pick). I will have a better feel for what Seattle will and won’t be able to do after these next two games. If they win in Cleveland and then at home to Cincy (very possible) at 4-3 I’m not sure what will happen especially with four remaining games in the NFC West all of which are perfectly winnable. They could lose both – seriously – and be 2-5 and suddenly we’re looking at the top five again. A really strange season that makes it impossible for me to project what will happen on draft day. Whatever happens, they need to aggressively pursue a quarterback worthy of being a long time center piece.

  4. Hawkspur

    Walterfootball reckons that the Oklahoma DE Frank Alexander had a massive game in this one and believes that he may be boosting his stock as high as the 2nd round. Is he somebody that has crossed your radar?

    • Rob

      He did look good but in fairness I’m choosing not to grade anyone on that Oklahoma defense vs Texas. The Longhorns were so hopelessly awful on offense that a high school defense would’ve given them a rough ride.

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