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View from the Couch: OU

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, err Mason Fairchild. You’re my only hope.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 15 Kansas at Oklahoma Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Note before we get started. There are a lot of links this week in addition to the Twitter embeds. I found a full game stream of a Sooners open game thread on Youtube. I clipped many of the plays I reference from it and provided them as links. If I find these in the future, I may do more clips, especially for more interesting plays that are not KU-scoring plays. Those kinds of plays have not been easy to find on the internet in the past.


No pregame stories this week since it is a road game. Instead of a drive to Lawrence and tailgating near Th Hill, it is a dog walk around the neighborhood, Starbucks, and bagels. Are any of you as obsessed with Starbucks stars as my wife is? We often end up there because there are bonus stars if you buy certain items. I argue the better deal is not to go unless you want what the offer is, otherwise you are spending way more than whatever the bonus stars are worth. Just not worth trying to convince her otherwise.

Unlike my bold prediction of KU winning this game outright, I am not feeling confident in the Jayhawks’ ability to actually win, but I am certain they will make it a good game. Too many years of seeing them lose to OU is hard to put out of my mind. The bonus to a road game is I will not be wakeup on Sunday with a sore throat after yelling at the game for three-plus hours.

First Quarter

  • Dillion Gabriel is in fact playing and misses on his first deep pass.
  • I hoped he would not actually play today, but it only makes it harder, not impossible, to win.
  • Kenny Logan misses two tackles early, this is not good.
  • Come on defense, force a field goal attempt.
  • Gabriel runs over Berryhill, but he is stopped short.
  • Well, that was quick. Berryhill was in the hole, but a blocker blew him up.
  • Less than three minutes and we are down 7-0.
  • The first pass attempt for Bean misses so badly that I am not sure he was trying to complete it.
  • Bean draws them off with a hard clap. Nice.
  • Mason Fairchild is open, as usual, on the sideline. Why do we not through to him more?
  • Watch the bouncing ball. Arnold with the nice catch on a dangerous throw.
  • Tie game. The offense doing what it does. 7-7
  • The Solo Stove Pizza Oven commercial during the break catches my family’s eye.
  • Turnover please defense.
  • Pick up the tackling effort, please.
  • And another quick OU touchdown. 14-7.
  • Sterlingice in the open game thread mentions seeing an anti-Derek Schmidt ad airing in Texas. The ad makes me laugh out loud when they show the car soaring off the cliff ‘Thema & Louise’ style at the end.
  • The offense needs to answer again.
  • Morrison and Neal with back-to-back nice runs.
  • Uh-oh. A false start and two short Ky runs later and it is third and long.
  • Breaking news, Mason Fairchild is open and catches it again. First down.
  • This week Jason executes the pitch on the option to Skinner nicely.
  • Neal runs through a big hole for the touchdown. 14-14.
  • More breaking news, Rod Gilmore and his partner are owners of a spot in the terrible announcer hall of fame (TAHOF).
  • Announcers make the excuse that maybe the OU receiver lost that ball in the sun. The receiver’s back is to the sun on that play. Look at the shadows on the field! SMH.
  • FUMBLE!! KU ball. Thank you, Dillon.
  • Let’s go offense. Get us in front.
  • And we have to punt.

Second Quarter

  • Tied to start the second quarter. I will take it.
  • The defense needs to figure it out.
  • OU scores fast. Not good. 21-14.
  • Can Gabriel make this big a difference to the Sooners? They better hope he doesn’t get hurt again.
  • What was up with that dive/slide Bean? You had a chance for a first down!!
  • Really need the defense now.
  • Yes. Finally a true defensive stop.
  • I whack my toe on the table as I get up during the commercial break. Man, that hurts!
  • What is up with the delay of the game followed by a timeout? Just can’t happen.
  • Amazing pick by OU. I know Bean is turnover prone, but that was a great play by the defender.
  • Man, OU turned that around quickly. Touchdown. 28-14.
  • My afternoon calendar may fill up fast. Is it a waste of time to continue watching?
  • No. I am in for a while longer. A touchdown before the half and coming out of the half and it is a tie game.
  • Jeezuss. Three and out by the offense. OU is getting the ball back again.
  • After a slight hiccup 35-14 OU.
  • The logic above gets us to 7 down, There is hope! Come on offense.
  • Big run by Neal!
  • Who is open? Mason Fairchild, who else? Touchdown. Hope I say. 35-21.
  • The defensive scheme is so bad, the players are on the field too long and now Cobee is down.
  • Well, that could have ended worse. At least the defense prevented a late touchdown.
  • The first half was pretty much a disaster. It is amazing we are only down 14.


After watching the first half, my friends are pushing for an early departure for our afternoon plans. I hold them off. KU scores a touchdown on their first possession and the ‘Hawks are only down 7. I say it via text, so they cannot tell I do not say it with not much conviction. I feel like it will take more than a small miracle for KU to win this game. It doesn’t feel like the defense can keep the game close enough for the offense to pull out the win.

On another note, I am a fan of alternative uniforms. If a team like USC, Notre Dame, Penn State, and others do not want to do them fine, but I like the effort to try different uniforms. Buuuutt, these OU uniforms are bad. In what way do they provide “Unity” any more than any other uniform they would wear? Any uniform provides unity, it is kind of the definition. Just bad and dumb.

Third Quarter

  • Alright, score now.
  • Surprisingly, the sideline reporter is saying Cobee is not headed to the hospital to fix his ankle. She didn’t say the x-rays were negative, just he is not headed to the hospital.
  • Jason is learning. He gets the first down then slides.
  • Almost a pick 6 for OU. Wow. lucky that was incomplete.
  • And there’s the pick.
  • Has the defense made adjustments to provide hope?
  • And now Berryhill is headed off with an arm injury.
  • Let’s see. Significant injuries so far include Cobee, Lonnie, and Taiwan. Not trending well for the defense.
  • Dotson had a shot at a pick, but couldn’t get it. That would have been big.
  • Hate that stat. Most OU offense in the first half since ‘86 against MU. Uhhhg.
  • OU receiver doesn’t make the catch, he believes the only explanation was he was held. Quit crying, your team is up 14 and probably 21 in a minute.
  • I don’t really want more rules for the officials to negotiate, but if I was in charge, it would be 15 yards every time a player yells at a ref to throw a flag. How is it not unsportsmanlike conduct?
  • Nice hit by Burroughs to prevent a TD on the goalline.
  • Now they have us doubled. 41-21.
  • What? Down 21 and the KU offense comes out with two runs, and now a Bean draw.
  • Punt time again.
  • Nearing time to head out for the afternoon. This seems over now.
  • Spoke too soon, hope! Pick for Kenny.
  • Kenny couldn’t not catch that.
  • Bean is just not very accurate play in and play out.
  • Random question: What’s up with the guys holding up banners to block the view of the signal calling? Does this help in any way? The team on the other sideline can still see you.
  • Hope! Nice catch and run by Arnold for a touchdown.
  • Another question: why no targeting for offensive players? If a defender did what running backs do all the time, he would be tossed.
  • OU TD. Every time there is a glimmer of hope, the defense disappoints. 49-28.
  • For as fast as Bean is, not many designed runs for him.

Fourth Quarter

  • How is the Stoops kid killing us?
  • Fumble again. Thanks, OU.
  • Can KU convert?
  • If we do not get a TD, it is on Bean. He goes down easy again.
  • Three Ky Thomas runs later, touchdown! 49-35
  • Is that hope I see? Down 14 with 10:33 left. It is a long shot, but there is still a chance.
  • And the defense is just not up to the challenge.
  • McCaskill, figure out the helmet dude! How many times does it have to come off?
  • Want a sign the defense is not working today? Like last year, and unlike this season, Kenny is having to make too many tackles. The defensive line and linebackers should be making more tackles if the KU defense is going to be successful.
  • Field goal attempt. Miss it!
  • It is good. OU 52-35. That finally feels like the final nail in the coffin after KU used all their timeouts in that drive. Three scores in 5 minutes are too many even for the optimist in me.
  • If we were not in garbage time, we are now.
  • Rod Gilmore, a TAHOF member, is now pumping up Jason Bean. What’s the point? The game is over.
  • How many times will I say it? Mason Fairchild is wide-open and gets the touchdown. 52-42.
  • Fairchild = Kelse, why do we not find him more often?
  • After a miss fire on the first onside kick attempt, the second also fails. The game is officially over.
  • What a disappointment. I thought it would be a much better game.


A few observations and questions:

  • Is “picket fence defense” becoming a buzz phase? Not only did TAHOF member Rod Gilmore use it, but I have also heard it used by others recently. I know the term has existed for a long time, but the last time I heard it referred to in a college or pro game in the last 30 years was probably never.
  • A fact I knew was true but didn’t need ESPN to show near the end of the game, KU has the #1 strength of schedule for the remainder of the season. I still think we will get 6 or 7 wins, but it will not be easy.
  • If going into the game, you did not know why Bean lost the starting spot to Jalon, now you know.
  • I know the defense is the weakness of the team, but until today they were good enough. Not today. Berryhill did return to the game, but Lonnie and Cobee missed significant time today. Those injuries did not spell the difference in today’s game, but their absence may be a problem in future games if they are out for a while.
  • KU has to face Baylor next week, I wish it was the bye week instead. These guys need an extra week to heal up and regroup.
  • Shoutout to KU Athletics’ social media people. They are the best of the teams we have played this year in posting clips. It may ruin future posts for you, but if you are trying to follow the game and do not have access to a TV, they do a terrific job of posting clips of big plays and/or coaches’ post-game comments to Twitter. Football, volleyball, and soccer all do a great job.

Oh well, time to move on. I am headed out with friends for an afternoon of beers and an early dinner.

P.S. - If you have not watched the game, have the stomach to do so, and the post has not been pulled down, here is the full game replay of the ESPN2 coverage.