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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Keegan

Keegan: Unhurried, Bradford picked Kansas apart

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing is helped up from the turf after being sacked by the Oklahoma defense. Reesing threw for 342 yards, but was intercepted twice and sacked five times in a 45-31 loss to the Sooners on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing is helped up from the turf after being sacked by the Oklahoma defense. Reesing threw for 342 yards, but was intercepted twice and sacked five times in a 45-31 loss to the Sooners on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

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Audio clips

2008 KU-OU football

Podcast episode

Spodcasters

Spodcasters Postgame: Oklahoma

The guys (Jesse Newell, Tom Keegan) break down KU's 45-31 loss to Oklahoma and discuss whether KU's defense can play better against next week's high-scoring opponent, Texas Tech.

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— To hear Oklahoma University quarterback Sam Bradford tell it, he faced all the stress of a fisherman vacationing on a hot summer day, with nowhere to go, nobody to see, nothing on his to-do list, waiting, waiting, waiting to strike, knowing he will.

"I can't tell you how much time I had back there in the pocket today to just look, figure out what they were running and find open receivers," Bradford said after leading the Sooners to a 45-31 victory Saturday against Kansas.

Oh, go ahead, try. Tell us again what life was like in the pocket.

"They played a lot of zone coverage tonight," Bradford said. "But most importantly, the offensive line gave me all the time in the world to sit back and analyze what they were doing, and I was just able to find some open receivers, and once again our receivers played great tonight, finding some open spaces and settling down once they got there."

Part of Bradford praising his offensive line so effusively could be attributed to modesty. After all, he did throw some beauties on the run. And part could be attributed to him making sure to rebuild the confidence of his blockers a week after they weren't as effective in a loss to Texas. But for the most part, Bradford simply told the naked truth. He made it look easy because he's great at making it look easy and because the Kansas defense has a way of keeping strong offenses right in their comfort zones.

Sure, Oklahoma has as good an offense and quarterback as any team in the country, but don't forget, South Florida, and for a half, Iowa State also abused the KU pass defense.

Numbers don't always capture a game, but they did in this one, revealing just how comfortably the fourth-ranked Sooners moved the ball. Numbers such as:

¢ Ninety-seven snaps for Oklahoma and nary a turnover.

¢ A whopping 674 total yards for the Sooners, including 468 passing yards.

¢ Thirty-six Sooners first downs.

Oklahoma's extraordinary snap total in part was caused by the clock stopping so often after Bradford showed remarkable accuracy squeezing the ball into tight spots as receivers tested the width of the field and on a play or two the (in)ability of the officials to properly read that width. The middle of the field also was open for Bradford.

Todd Reesing (342 yards passing), Dezmon Briscoe (269 receiving yards) and Jake Sharp (103 rushing yards) spurred a Jayhawks offense that stalled for just one stretch with five consecutive possessions ending in an Alonso Rojas punt. Against Big 12 South teams, one stall is all it takes to lose touch.

The beauty of the Big 12 - or is it the bane? - is that the next chance for a reeling defense to prove it can handle a high-octane spread offense never requires a long wait. Next up for Kansas is Graham Harrell and Texas Tech, in Lawrence, at 11 a.m. Saturday. Off in the distance, leading Heisman Trophy candidate Colt McCoy and Texas await.

Yet, for all the issues schedule-burdened Kansas faces on defense, from front to back, a victory next week still means KU has as good a shot as any school of representing the North in the Big 12 title game.

Comments

davidsmom 11 years, 7 months ago

Guys - Both offense and defense - No one should have to say this, but either you bring your A+ game and make zero mistakes, or you might not win another game this season. And that's excluding Reesing, about whom I have no complaints whatsoever.

troutsee 11 years, 7 months ago

I was there and it was an absolutely horrible display of defense by the Hawks. We looked disorganized and shell shocked. Bradford has all night to throw. Unless our pass rush improves, it is going to be rough from here on out. How can we get 9 out of 11 returning starters on defense and look so horrible?

justanotherfan 11 years, 7 months ago

troutsee,Our d-line doesn't have a guy that commands double teams. That means in order to get pressure, we have to blitz. Unfortunately, with OU having so many weapons, blitzing leaves you one on one with Iglesias, or Broyles, or Gresham, or Murray. When we sent pressure, Bradford dumped to the single coverage. When we sat back, Bradford waited until someone broke open. This was my fear going into the game, that we wouldn't be able to stop OU's offense because Bradford would sit back and pick us apart, or Brown and Murray would gash us on the ground. Both happened, we gave up a million yards, a hundred first downs and a ton of points. Hopefully, since TTech isn't as adept at running the ball, we can control them. I don't know what we are going to do with Texas, though. They present the same sort of problems that OU does, and as they showed last night, if you give McCoy time, he probably won't miss many passes.

Michael Leiker 11 years, 7 months ago

I said all last week that they should have played an extra safety, d-back something. There is no point in blitzing and playing a 4 man front against a team like OK. I would have loved to see more of Patrick Resby in that game.I do agree that KS wins this Saturday. Hawks are the better team.

rolo2383 11 years, 7 months ago

I see three more wins this year plus a win in our bowl game. Our biggest weakness by far is our D line. Chris Harris is a good corner but he's not great. our other corner position has struggled all year. If we can't get ANY pressure on the QB then it doesn't matter who is playing corner. There is no cornerback in the world who can cover a good WR for ten seconds every play.

Armen Kurdian 11 years, 7 months ago

I was happy to see Jake Sharp start to make some noise. But the OU offensive line is what won the game for OU. And all throughout the year, we have not been pressuring quarterbacks. It happened against USF, ISU, and now OU. If we can bring the heat, we can compete against any team in the country. Otherwise, no matter how good your pass D is, you simply can't cover for that long against talent like that.

Jeff Hargate 11 years, 7 months ago

I know 36 for 53 is an impressive completion perentage (67.9%), but if he had ALL day to throw is Bradford as good as everyone is saying? Sure, they dropped a couple passes and he missed a WIDE open TE for a sure TD, but shouldn't he be more like 80-85% if he did not get touched? Todd runs for his life every week and is around 70% for the year. Maybe you can be too wide open.

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