I have to admit, I was conflicted watching the game today. There were rumors swirling that Neal Brown, and potentially Shane Lyons, could be fired as early as today if there was a poor showing. With the way the game started, it looked like we were well on our way to a house cleaning in The Puskar Center. I found myself almost accepting that a loss today might actually be a long-term win for the program. However, I hate Oklahoma as much as any team in the Big 12. When Garrett Greene started the comeback, I decided I could live with Neal Brown for two more games (I still think he gets fired at the end of the season).
1. Garrett Greene - Just as I said last week after the Iowa State game, Garrett Greene should be the starting QB for the rest of the season. He willed our team to a win today. Greene put up 138 yards passing plus 119 yards rushing and 3 total touchdowns from the second quarter on. But more importantly, he gave an offense that was on its way to a second straight uninspired performance a spark. His energy was contagious on the field and the sidelines. As JTalk Sports said on Twitter, what has been keeping Greene off the field the last two seasons?
2. Neal Brown & the coaching staff - Neal Brown just coached the best game of his career in Morgantown. That doesn’t mean I’ve changed my mind on him long term, but he got the job done today. He learned from past mistakes. Being super aggressive on 4th down, especially with the fake punt to Sam James, as well as changing quarterbacks when his starter was struggling. In the past, this was a game Neal would have found a way to lose, but on this day, he learned from his past mistakes.
3. The defense - The run defense had issues (more on that in a minute), but overall, the defense stepped up when we needed them the most. While this wasn’t the Oklahoma offenses we saw under Lincoln Riley, this was still an extremely talented team that we managed to keep in check. One thing that was really apparent was how hard they played. Even on plays where we gave up big yards, the defense was able to track down the Oklahoma ball carrier from behind to keep them out of the end zone. After looking like they gave up last week in Ames, the defense brought the effort for 60 minutes today.
1. The run defense - While the defense played well overall, the run defense was gashed for 236 yards. Eric Grey rushed for 211 yards (8.4 yards/carry) on his own. There were gaping holes for him to run through all day. Fortunately, that didn’t cost us the game.
1. JT Daniels - After a poor performance last week against Iowa State, JT hit rock bottom in the first half today. He finished 7/12 for 65 yards & an interception. While those numbers aren’t horrible, the offense was completely uninspired while he was on the field. JT looked totally checked out. His draft stock has plummeted this season. If I had my way, he would not see the field the rest of the season.