Conundrum: A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma. This is the plight I face on a regular basis.
As Eminem so eloquently put it: "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity/To seize everything you ever wanted/One moment/Would you capture it or just let it slip?"
So how should one tackle a weekly column when there is so much to delve into? Would you recap last weekend's gridiron action or preview the coming week's colossal clash? Both? Deal.
Tulsa posted a 55-47 statement victory over BYU. The Sooners 54-3 dismantling of Utah State did just enough to ratchet up more columnist knob-slobbing over OU, to the neglect of the real story which was the TU win.
But, perhaps what we need is a breakdown of everything wrong with the $52 million team, OSU?
A good old fashion pummeling at Troy in which the Cowboys looked outplayed, outcoached, outhearted . . . on second thought, I don't think UTW has enough ink to print all the university's issues.
Do you want to read about Paul Smith throwing 35 times for 454 and five touchdowns? His 21 completions went for an average of almost 22 yards each.
Hopefully the Case Athletic Complex has state-of-the-art ice makers. Something tells me Paul "Sneaky" Smith's arm will need an ice bag attached for a day or two.
I am not what you would call a big Stoops guy. Does he deserve respect for the job he's done in Norman? Absolutely. It's something about his demeanor and attitude that rubs many the wrong way. Somehow, it just seems to happen to all OU coaches becoming god.
However, credit must be given for calling off the dogs in last weekend's rout of Utah State. It could have been a lot worse. Many will question why the Sooners were still throwing the ball in the fourth quarter, but it was a necessary evil.
Starting quarterback Sam Bradford has proven himself on the field.
Backup Keith Nichol needs live reps. The only way to bring him up to speed is live game action. Simple handoffs will not accomplish this.
It was good to see OU get back to a ground attack. Should full credit be given for running over the Aggies? Probably not. But look at this line--39 for 343 with 3 scores and a gaudy 8.8 yards per carry average. Very nice.
Oklahoma State: Ugh
The sad part about the blowout loss to the Troy Trojans? It wasn't even close. Troy took a 41-10 lead into the 4th quarter and coasted to victory.
Here is one of the most telling quotes you will ever get from a player: "I got pretty tired at the end. Some of my throws started sailing a little bit. I definitely got pretty fatigued," said newly appointed starting quarterback Zac Robinson.
So you mean to tell me, a starting quarterback admits to getting tired during the course of the game? Maybe the Cowboys' coaching staff could mix in a little cardio at practice.
One last note, the Cowboys lost three fumbles including one on the opening play of the game. They weren't up against the '85 Bears. Maybe they should mix in a little contact drills this week with the previously mentioned cardio. Egad.
Sooners Set to Invade Chapman Stadium. The bright lights of ESPN2 will cast the national spotlight on Tulsa once again this Friday night. The Sooners bring their lofty No. 3 national ranking into T-Town. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm.
If the Golden Hurricane somehow, someway manage to defeat OU; it will eclipse the Appalachian State/Michigan game as the biggest upset in college football to date.
The more likely scenario? A true litmus test for both squads. Here are a few keys to watch for on both sidelines.
When Tulsa has the ball. Can Tulsa's offensive line provide adequate protection for Paul Smith? When given the opportunity, Smith has the innate ability to pick apart a defensive backfield. The question is, will he be upright long enough to get the passes off?
Speaking of the offensive line, can they provide running lanes for the Hurricane backs? A few timely runs could keep the Sooners defensive linemen honest and on their heels just a bit. The last thing TU needs is to have OU linemen pinning their ears back and attack, attack and attack some more.
Let's say Smith sets his feet and surveys the field. Will one of his newfound receiving treats be open? Can the youngsters at TU find separation from the vaunted Sooner defensive backs?
Tulsa will have to score in bunches. Oklahoma will light up the scoreboard. The Golden Hurricane's offense will be responsible for keeping it close.
When OU Has the Ball
All eyes will focus on Sam "Bam Bam" Bradford. So far so good in the early stages of his career. Can he continue to put up extravagant numbers?
The national attention will soon shift from "Michigan and Notre Dame are god-awful" to "OU's quarterback is pretty damn good." Once those headlines surface, can the young, homegrown quarterback thrive or will he wilt under the intense pressure?
Look across the nation. Upper echelon colligate programs have multiple tailbacks who can get it done. OU is no different. Allen Patrick garnished the Sports Illustrated cover. However, SoonerNation collectively rises to its feet when DeMarco Murray touches the ball.
Lest we forget the workman like performance of Chris Brown, the forgotten man. Of course, it all starts up front with the fatbodies. This version of the OU offensive line may be one of the best. Ever. There are times you and I could scamper through the gaping holes for five yards.
Can TU pull off the upset? Hey, anything is possible. It's just not probable. Can TU put up a few points on the stellar OU defense and keep it competitive? Absolutely.
A solid showing (read: no blowout) would actually do wonders for our home team. And by home team I do mean TU although I figure to see more red in the stands come kickoff.
So TU, just remember what Eminem said: "You can do anything you set your mind to, man."
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