Game of the Week Review: Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Cam Newton, definitely the favorite for the Heisman at this point, dominated a very a good LSU defense on Saturday. No, he is not your prototypical NFL QB and needs another year in college before he even thinks about the NFL, but let’s not be so fast in saying this guy has zero chance to be a QB in the NFL. I have watched three of his games this year and the guy has an arm, is pretty accurate and knows where to place the ball. No, he does not have good footwork or mechanics yet and he is a run first quarterback, but he is still learning the game and could develop into a player. Michael Vick and Vince Young both are capable QB’s in the NFL and at times dominant so don’t dismiss Newton.
Taylor Martinez, I hope his 5 touchdowns and 323 yards passing has silenced those wanting a Zac Lee return….Ridiculous in my opinion.
Sparty’s, don’t book your tickets to Pasadena just yet, I was at the Northwestern game on Saturday and MSU looked like a very beatable team. Junior WR Billy Cunningham played very well showing good hands and concentration. I think he could be a very interesting player for MSU next year.
Northwestern, you worked your game plan pretty well for 3 quarters vs. MSU but how are you not ready for the fake punt (AKA “Mousetrap”) in that situation. I like Pat Fitzgerald but a coach has to be prepared for that play call, and in that situation just play special teams straight up if necessary and forego the return, you would have had lousy field position irregardless. That play changed the entire game.
Alabama, I know they lost to South Carolina but I honestly think people are forgetting about this team especially based upon the BCS, Coaches and AP rankings. While I don’t think this team has the invincibility it did early in the season and there are some chinks in the armor (secondary and offensive line) let me say that I think this team is going to make it back to the BCS championship and beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl later this season.
Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Where I think Missouri really won this game was in the trenches. Oklahoma failed to get a pass rush on Blaine Gabbert the entire game and as a result he was allowed to just sit back in the pocket, go through his progressions and find the open man. Defensively, the Missouri Line dominated as well, not allowing Oklahoma to establish a run game and putting just enough pressure on Landry Jones to make him uncomfortable. Missouri appears to be a very disciplined team and I think Gary Pinkel is doing an outstanding job this year with the Tigers.
DeMarco Murray – Lined up quite a bit at WR on this night and looked comfortable, playing quite well. Some draftniks think this will be his best position in the NFL. I tend to agree with them, not so much because I think he is an outstanding receiver, but because I think he is not a great RB prospect for the NFL. Watching Murray on Saturday night I think he still plays too upright even though he has improved from last year, but still is not a back that demonstrates the ability to run between the tackles. He just is not thick enough in the lower half of his frame and therefore does not possess the power or explosion to be an every down back in the NFL. I do not envision him as a straight WR at this point but more of a Reggie Bush situational player, who may develop into a receiver only in time. DeMarco also put the ball on the ground twice during the game which he better clean up before he hits the next level. I do not see him as a first rounder and because of his deficiencies seems more like a 2nd or 3rd rounder to me.
Ryan Broyles – To me the most impressive player on the Sooner team. Physically Broyles is a step below Green, Jones and Floyd, being only 5-11 and only 183 but I think he may have a higher football IQ then all three at this point as he plays a very cerebral game. As well Broyles exhibits a very good understanding of coverages and has an innate ability to get open regularly, not to mention his good hands, speed and quick twitch ability. At this point I would probably not use a first round pick on the guy because you want a guy that can dominate on the next level as a first round pick. I would definitely want him on my team though as I think he could be an outstanding slot receiver on the next level and would give him a high second round grade.
Blaine Gabbert – There is a lot to like with what Gabbert did on Saturday, he has quite a bit of athleticism for a 6-5, 235 guy and exhibited the ability to run when necessary. I like his arm; he throws a tight and catchable ball, good throwing mechanics and appears to have his footwork in order. He needs to work on his decision making while under pressure and his route progressions because many of the balls that he threw during the game would have been intercepted in an NFL game. Additionally, he could needs to show improvement in his ball placement and accuracy. Definitely, Gabbert could benefit from another year of seasoning in college but with improvement he could be a top QB prospect in 2012 draft.
Aldon Smith – Looks like a pass rush specialist on the next level to me based upon how he plays the run and his frame at 6-5, 260. On many occasions he was dominated at the point of attack and pushed back in the run game. Smith does show excellent quickness, explosion and agility off the snap, demonstrating a good rip move along with his speed rush. Missouri rotated him throughout the game and I think his ankle injury is still bothering him as he was not nearly as aggressive later in the game as he was at the start. I am unsure if that is conditioning or he just does not have a consistent motor. I will make it a priority to see him again this season so I can get a better feel for him. Probably a second or third round pick as he can get to the next level on his pass rushing ability alone.
Guys who impressed me
Roy Finch, at 5-8, 180 he is never going to be a dominate every down back, but he is built low to the ground, showcases good instincts and vision, exhibits shiftiness and a second gear. Definitely a guy who is going to help the Sooner offense in the future.
Jerrell Jackson, 6-1, 190, clearly Blaine Gabbert’s favorite target, he demonstrates explosion and quickness in the open field and from what I saw has nice hands and body control. I was not able to see how well he gets in and out of his breaks and how refined of a route runner he is but I definitely see some potential. He and Gabbert could be one heck of a tandem next year.
Guys who didn’t impress me
Travis Lewis, 6-2, 232, not sure why this guy is a 1st rounder in so many mock drafts. Watching him the entire game I think he has some bad instincts for a linebacker and almost looks like he would do better as a safety. Lewis took false steps on nearly every play and does not seem to possess the ability to disengage from blocks at all. Looks like a pure coverage linebacker at the next level. He should stay in school as long as he can because I do not see him as much of an NFL prospect.