September 15, 2008

Sooner Hot 11: Washington

The Sooner Hot 11 is a ranking of the previous Saturday's top performers and in Oklahoma's 55-14 dismantling of the Washingotn Huskies there were enough worthy applicants that it was near impossible to distinguish No. 1 from No. 15. However, the choices have been made and there are many familiar faces along with a couple of players making their first career appearance in the Hot 11. Take a look at this week's breakdown of Oklahoma's stars!

11. Brian Jackson, Cornerback - Stats: Five tackles (four solo), two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery.
Analysis: Jackson was solid, but probably a bit unspectacular, in the Sooners game against Cincinnati. However, he took a major step forward in Oklahoam's first road test of the season. The physically impressive defensive back not only did a great job in coverage and helping to limit Jake Locker's options but showed the opportunistic ability for turnovers by forcing two fumbles from Washington including the one that seemed to turn the game full in Oklahoma's favor in the first quarter.Last Week: N/A

10. Demarco Murray, Running Back - Stats:16 carries for 100 yards and one catch for five yards.
Analysis: This wasn't Murray's most impressive game, and certainly didn't include some of his runs that could be deemed truly special but from the first minute of the game he kept picking up yardage and helping the Sooners progress down the field. From the start of the game it was clear that the Sooners wanted to put a physical stamp on the game and Murray did a good job of finding his holes and hitting them rather than dancing from place to place.Last Week: No. 8

9. Auston English, Defensive End - Stats: Three tackles (two solo), one and a half tackles for loss (three yards)..
Analysis: English still hasn't looked quite himself so far but the Washington game was definitely a move in the right direction as he continues to recover from his appendectomy just a few months ago. He is starting to get more continuous pressure on the quarterback and is beginning to look like the player that had people picking him as the Big 12 defensive player of the year prior to the season.Last Week: N/A

8. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: Three catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Analysis: The talented Norman high product took a lot longer than expected to open his scoring account at Oklahoma but now that he's opened the book, no one can seem to close it. Broyles for the second straight week had perhaps the game's most impressive play when he broke a 77-yard touchdown after looking to be wrapped up for less than a 10-yard gain. It looks as though Oklahoma has born yet another big-play threat.Last Week: No. 1

7. Keenan Clayton, Linebacker - Stats: Nine tackles (seven solo), two tackles for loss (11 yards), one sack (nine yards).
Analysis: Clayton was solid in the first few weeks, but it is fitting that his emergence is aligned with the Sooners meeting back up with Washington. Of course as most remember it was Clayton's dodgy tackling at the safety position that marked his final start at the position. With the move to linebacker Clayton was disruptive both against the pass as well as behind the line of scrimmage. Clayton gives Oklahoma a level of athleticism at linebacker they've lacked for the past few seasons.Last Week: N/A

6. Chris Brown, Running Back - Stats: 13 carries for 110 yards and two catches for 17 yards.
Analysis: Last week Brown had possibly his best game as a Sooner and then went ahead and topped it this week against the Huskies. Brown and his backfield mate compliment each other so well running the ball with Murray's breakneck speed mixed with Brown's enviable patience. The talented back used his offensive line well but seems to best know how to use blockers on the edge like Matt Clapp, Brody Eldridge and Jermaine Gresham and allow their blocks to dictate his runs.Last Week: No. 9

5. Travis Lewis. Linebacker - Stats: Seven tackles (six solo), one sack (four yards).
Analysis: Lewis is the compliment to Clayton's athleticism at the linebacker position. He was all over the field throughout the day and seems to suddenly be developing a knack for sacks that hasn't been seen from a Sooner linebacker in quite some time. Lewis makes his second straight appearance in the Hot 11, and by looking at his play it seems that a trend may be developing.Last Week: No. 2

4. Jermaine Gresham, Tight End - Stats: Three catches, for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
Analysis: Gresham might as well set up shop on the list for the rest of the year, that's the good news. The bad news is that you all are most likely enjoying your final act of Gresham's ever-heightening career. Gresham may finally have his career highlight play as his 64-yard touchdown was the perfect example of both his speed and power. Look at Gresham as the emerging favorite for the John Mackey award at this point in the season.Last Week: No. 5

3. Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: This is flat out the first time an offensive lineman has ranked in the top three of a Hot 11. That's partly due tot eh reality that it's hard fo ran offensive lineman to stand out that completely and partly because since the departure of Davin Joseph truly herculean offensive line performances have been few and far between. Williams sealed, drove, and slide-stepped his way into dominating the Huskies in every way, shape, and form. He's been overlooked as an elite NFL prospect for the Sooners, look for that to change quickly.Last Week: No. 11

2. Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle - Stats: Three solo tackles. Two tackles for loss (nine yards), one sack (eight yards).
Analysis: Each time it seems like he can't be as good as he was advertised to be coming out of high school he looks even better than anyone had imagined he could be. His sack of Jake Locker was such a scary display of the power to blast through the offensive line while having the speed and quickness to track down a very capable running quarterback like Locker. This may not be McCoy's last year but it won't be long before the NFL realizes just what a special one Oklahoma has at the heart of their defensive line.Last Week: N/A

1. Sam Bradford, Quarterback - Stats: 18-for-21 for 304 yards and five touchdowns.
Analysis: I almost felt like I robbed Bradford last week, but this week there was no question who the man was. I mean more touchdowns than incompletions against a BCS conference program? Not only does it sound like something out of a video game it's beyond probably anyone's wildest dreams. Bradford is firmly in the Heisman race and with the way he is going, it's doubtful that will change anytime soon.Last Week: No. 3

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