October 26, 2009

Standouts in Lawrence Favor Hot 11

The Sooner Hot 11 is a SoonerScoop.com ranking, compiled by associated editor Josh McCuistion, of the previous Saturday's top performers and in Oklahoma's surprisingly comfortable 35-13 victory over Kansas there were more than eleven players worthy of recognition. This week's Hot 11 has many of the familiar faces but much like Oklahoma's starting line-up is also full of players beginning to make their mark this season. Have a look at the player-by-player breakdown of Oklahoma's two-fold domination of a previously ranked group of Jayhawks. The lopsided win left plenty of question marks, particularly on offense but was an important win in the Big 12 season. Oklahoma's defense continued to show shy it's starting to be mentioned among the nation's very best.

11. Brody Eldridge, Offensive Guard - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: Openly the move of Eldridge to offensive guard has been questioned by just about everyone who follows Oklahoma football but on Saturday he undoubtedly put together his biggest effort of the season. While it remains to be seen how he'll fair against a front four with a bit more talent than the Jayhawks there is no denying that his run blocking and continued learning curve is on a steep upswing.Last Week: N/A


10. Adron Tennell, Wide Receiver - Stats: Six catches for 47-yards and one touchdown(9).
Analysis: Tennell's notice on this list probably has something to do with simply making a step in the right direction after a start to the year that was a massive disappointment to most everyone. Reportedly Tennell was having some eye troubles early in the season but those seem to have been cleared up and on Saturday it showed that the rumor may be more than just idle talk. If he can continue to break tackles and make some plays it could be a huge thing for Landry Jones and the Sooner offense moving forward.Last Week: N/A


9. Jonathan Nelson, Safety - Stats: Nine tackles (three solo), one pass break-up.
Analysis: If two weeks ago someone would have told me that Nelson would end up in my Sooner Hot 11 at any point this season, much less two games from then, I'd have said they were crazy. The talented defensive back has really given Oklahoma some coverage abilities that they may have lacked with some of the other personnel packages that have been trotted out so far this season. Nelson is playing only in certain packages but if he can continue to play as he has it's hard to deny that those packages might be more and more used as the season wears on. Last Week: N/A


8. Dominique Franks, Cornerback - Stats: Two solo tackles, one interception with an 85-yard touchdown return, one pass break-up.
Analysis: Franks' big-play ability has shown itself at various times this year but perhaps none was more noteworthy than his interceptions against Kansas. With the Jayhawks looking to tie up the game that Oklahoma seemed to be dominating while watching it Franks read Kansas quarterback [/db]Todd Reesing[/db] and took a long pass to the flats all the way back for a game that created some space between the two teams that Mark Mangino's bunch never could really eliminate. Last Week: N/A


7. Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: It's hard to believe that Oklahoma has two offensive line on this list on a day in which they didn't reach 100-yards rushing however Oklahoma's quarterback, when he wasn't running, saw almost no pressure thorugh the day. Oklahoma's offensive line is an athletic group that is still learning the physicality they'll need to succeed at this level of football but their ability to move their feet is slowly starting to form a solid group of pass protectors and none is more proficient than Oklahoma's future first-rounder. Last Week: N/A



6. Auston English, Defensive End - Stats: Nine tackles (5 solo), one and a half tackles for loss (11 yards), one sack (nine yards), one quarterback hurry.
Analysis: English probably had his best game since a sophomore season that seemed to have destined him for future college stardom. The talented senior was in the backfield each and every play and seemed to make an impact even when he wasn't finding plays that would show up on the stat sheet. It was a return to force for him with a motor that seemed to be running high from the first snap until the last. With so many talented young defensive linemen in Oklahoma's stable it's hard to think of a better example of how to play the position than English on Saturday. Last Week: N/A


5. Landry Jones, Quarterback - Stats: 26-for-38 for 252-yards and two touchdowns (9, 8).
Analysis: Jones' stats are solid and could have been even better if not for some dropped passes, however there were times in the first half when he failed to help his own cause. That said Jones looked like a player that had a full week of practice and really seemed to find his groove in the third quarter. Jones showed more zip on his passes than he had displayed in past weeks and really seemed to be throwing the out route as well as any point so far this season. If he can keep improving on this performance Oklahoma has every chance to win the remainder of it's game this season, a statement that didn't seem so sure just a few weeks ago.Last Week: N/A


4. Jeremy Beal. Defensive End - Stats: Four tackles (one solo), one tackle for loss (five yards), half a sack for three yards, one interception (four yard return), one pass break-up, two quarterback hurries.
Analysis: If there is a defensive end in the country playing at any higher level than Beal this season it's hard to believe. You name the way he can impact a game an on Saturday he did, whether it was against the run, the pass, driving up field or dropping into passing lanes he seemed to always be in the middle of things. If Beal can keep this up the talk of him playing professional football next season won't seem nearly as far-fetched as they did before the season. Last Week: N/A


3. Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle - Stats: Four tackles (three solo), two tackles for loss (four yards), one pass break-up.
Analysis: Soak it up, enjoy watching him make these plays, because in the coming years he won't be in any Crimson and Cream. McCoy's level of play at defensive tackle is as good as anyone at the position in the last decade of college football. The scary part is he is matched step for step with by Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and the two may be pushing one another towards their peak level of play. Last Week: N/A


2. Adrian Taylor, Defensive Tackle - Stats: Four tackles (two solo), one sack (six yards), one pass break-up and two quarterback hurries.
Analysis: Week in and week out we talk about the great play of his fellow defensive tackle, but Taylor was simply sensational and showed why many think a lengthy NFL career awaits him when the time arrives. While many have talked about Beal's interception few have paid tribute to Taylor's play to get into Todd Reesing's face and get his hands up when he realized he couldn't get there. Taylor has also become very dangerous against the run and got plenty of penetration on Saturday. Last Week: N/A


1. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: 11 catches for 121 yards.
Analysis: I admit that there was a time I thought Broyles was soft and would never show the toughness of the player that has been on display the past few weeks. That stuff is easy to see though, what's difficult to quantify is how much it has meant to a team that has been robbed of it's playmakers to have someone step-up and playing at a level that he showed at times last year but never consistently reached. Broyles both in role and play has emerged as one of the Big 12's best. Last Week: N/A


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