September 21, 2009

Hot 11 Features Both Offense and Defense

The Sooner Hot 11 is a ranking, compiled by associated editor Josh McCuistion, of the previous Saturday's top performers and in Oklahoma's 45-0 victory over Tulsa there were more than eleven players worthy of recognition. It seems that one of Oklahoma's fastest rising stars has found his way to the Hot 11's top spot in the second edition of the site's weekly rankings. Have a look at the player-by-player breakdown of Oklahoma's two-fold domination of a game group of Hurricanes. The lopsided win showed many around the nation that Oklahoma just might be back on the right track. It was another dominating performance from the Sooner offense while the Sooner defense continued to show signs of emerging into a special group.

11. Jarvis Jones, Offensive Tackle - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Jones had one really debatable moment in the game when on the Sooners final drive of the first half he allowed a defender to beat him to the outside in what would have been a drive-ending sack if not for a facemask. However, while re-watching the game it's clear that Jones got beat by a player who had no intention of doing anything but running as far and as wide as possible. Jones didn't do a great job getting out to him but it's a play that could have been helped by a more experienced quarterback stepping up in the pocket.Last Week: No. 7

10. Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle - Stats: One tackle, one tackle for loss (three yards).
Analysis: McCoy may have the most modest stats of any player among the list but few played any more complete of a game than the guy I'm not afraid to call the best player in college football. McCoy made one play after another but it seemed that he almost seemed to make them for everyone else. The big man opens up plays for any number of players, including the player currently holding the top spot.Last Week: No. 2

9. Demarco Murray, Running Back - Stats: 10 carries for 60 yards and two catches for 38 yards and one touchdown (13).
Analysis: Much as Oklahoma seems to be easing Murray back into the role of the superstar it seems more and more that they may not be able to hold him back anymore. Murray just seems to keep making one big play after another and his ability to take short modest runs and turn them into potentially six points makes him one of the game's most explosive backs. As Oklahoma's offensive line continues to mature, he becomes even more lethal.Last Week: No. 5

8. Ryan Reynolds, Linebacker - Stats: 13 tackles (nine solo), two sacks (five yards).
Analysis: It is simply amazing that Reynolds keeps coming back the way he has the past few seasons. While some may write off the coverage Oklahoma had in the middle of their zone as 'it's only Tulsa' it shouldn't be forgotten that Charles Clay is as talented a tight end-type player as Oklahoma will face throughout the rest of the season. If Reynolds can help slow him to simply two catches for 13 yards then it would seem that he may be well on his way to the great year he has more than earned.
Last Week: N/A

7. Brandon Caleb, Wide Receiver - Stats: Five catches for 104-yards and two touchdowns (7, 63).
Analysis: Is there any revelation of last weekend that has Oklahoma fans more excited than the potential emergence of a second option at wide receiver for Landry Jones? Caleb has been thought of as a possession receiver but his 63-yard touchdown catch and run after showed more speed than most people thought he might have. The big receiver will need to show his performance on Saturday night can be duplicated but it's a major step in the right direction for Oklahoma's offense.Last Week: N/A

6. Travis Lewis, Linebacker - Stats: Seven tackles (five solo), one sack (five yards), one pass break-up.
Analysis: The talented linebacker has gone from being a really talented athlete learning to play the position to a guy who not only understands his role schematically but has stepped up to be an emotional leader for the defense. Lewis is a player who seems to be growing into his role all the way around and should be starting to earn some real notoriety as not only an All-American but on Butkus award lists.Last Week: No. 6

5. Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Some wondered why Williams was moved to left tackle but go back and watch the footage of Oklahoma's game against Tulsa and get a feel for why such a move was made. Williams simply put a clinic on of how to play the position and made sure that his quarterback faced almost zero backside pressure. On running plays Williams was his typical beastly self running over any and all defenders in his path.Last Week: N/A

4. Quinton Carter. Safety - Stats: Nine tackles (three solo), fumble recovery (15-yards), one interception.
Analysis: It seems that this may be a two-sided award because as great as Carter was his back-line mate Quinton Carter also had a stellar game for his third career start. That being said Carter made some of his typical big hits but showed that he really has developed as a pass defender as well. His pass break-up in the second half was fortuitously underthrown but Carter still made a serious play to prevent it from being a Tulsa touchdown and perhaps changing the face of the game.Last Week: N/A

3. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: 11 catches for 128 yards and three touchdowns (10, 14, 35).
Analysis: I admit it, I questioned whether Broyles could be a No. 1 option at wide receiver but with each passing week he seems more than happy to prove me wrong. I still think that his role on the outside is a debatable one but if you put Broyles into the right situations it's clear that time and again he is going to answer the bell. Now it's time to see how he can do when he faces comparable athletes like those of Miami and Texas. Last Week: No. 1

2. Landry Jones, Quarterback - Stats: 25-for-37 for 336 yards and six touchdowns (7, 63, 13, 10, 14, 35).
Analysis: Jones would have been No. 1 if not for a pair of interceptions but even with those in mind it's hard to have him anywhere else. Tulsa featured an experienced defense and throughout four quarters Jones carved the Hurricane crew up. Some had wondered if his accuracy, following a slightly below average completion percentage during the Idaho State game, was going to be a problem but aside from the first pass of the game Jones was on point nearly from start to finish and his six touchdowns set a new school record.Last Week: No. 3

1. Jeremy Beal, Defensive End - Stats: Six tackles (five solo), three sacks (15-yards), one forced fumble.
Analysis: Honestly I have no idea how anyone but Beal could be at the top of this list. While some, including myself, have talked about how much McCoy opens everything up for the rest of the line and it is still true but Beal is starting to have a similar effect as perhaps the Big 12's best defensive end. He was equally adept at disrupting Tulsa's run and passing game, from the start to the finish Beal was a holy terror for G.J. Kinne and the rest of the Tulsa offense.Last Week: N/A

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