October 19, 2011

Broyles Takes His Deserved Top Spot in 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 we've all touched on that Oklahoma's 47-17 win over Kansas was one of the more confusing performances in recent memory. On one hand Oklahoma seemed to never find a rhythm, at least offensively, but at the same time the Sooners offense racked up over 600-yards passing and held one of the Big 12's better offenses to 252-total yards of offense. As such there is perhaps the most interesting collection of Hot 11 players to date.

11. Michael Hunnicutt, Kicker - Stats: Four field goals (36, 19, 27, 20).
Analysis: For all of the complaining, right or wrong, that has surrounded the placekicking game in recent years it should be more surprising that Hunnicutt hasn't received much credit for how steady he has looked so far. It's not time to call him automatic but he looks comfortable and seems to be hitting the ball true just about every time he addresses it. Really the final frontiers for Hunnicutt are to hit some longer chances and to do so in bigger situations. He answers those two questions, separately, or better yet - simultaneously- and he is on his way to locking down the job for the next 3-plus years. Last Week: N/A

10. Landry Jones, Quarterback - Stats: 29-for-48 for 363-yards and three touchdowns (17, 57, 43).
Analysis: This guy is the embodiment of that lead paragraph, look at those numbers and try and figure out how he is No. 10? This list is based on just my gut feeling about what I see after watching the game live and then doing 'The Monday Morning Idiot'. And though I know some are going to call me crazy, as some did when I had him No. 1 last week, I just felt that things were so off and out of order in the first half and when things are good (like Texas) he gets perhaps more credit than he deserves and when they aren't as much so (Kansas) he probably takes too much blame.Last Week: No. 1

9. Javon Harris, Safety - Stats: Five tackles (three solo), one forced fumble.
Analysis: For a guy that is a big-play type of player it was just a really quiet workman-like performance from him. The physical safety of course lowered a huge hit to set up something of a different mentality to start the second half and got things rolling for the Sooners after an, at times, shaky first half performance. Also, if not for a very narrow offsides call Harris would have had a pick that slowed down Kansas moving up the field.Last Week: N/A

8. Tress Way, Punter - Stats: Three punts for 137-yards (45.7-per punt) all three inside the 20.
Analysis: He probably should have made this list before this, Way is performing like one of the elite punters in the country. Now that I've said that, some will look at his avg. yardage per kick and forget that with Oklahoma's problems kicking at distance as well as their offensive firepower and forget that he neither gets many opportunities or that he often is having to kick at short fields. Way is probably the best punter of the Stoops era, a period with plenty of talent at the position.Last Week: N/A

7. Roy Finch, Running Back - Stats: Six carries for 58-yards and an 8-yard touchdown.
Analysis: His numbers don't seem that staggering but early on Finch was one of the few guys who seemed willing to take the bull by the horns and helped Oklahoma to establish it's expected place as the game's protagonist. The thing one has to love about Finch is that in spite of his quickness, his agility, and open field ability it's hard not to watch how hard he runs and marvel at it.Last Week: N/A

6. Trey Millard, Fullback - Stats: N/A.
Analysis: People have been bringing this guy up to me for weeks and I felt like this was his best performance of the year, regardless of whether or not he had any stats in this one and not in others. However you watch the yardage picked up by Finch and Whaley and a near-constant is a lead, seal, or edge block by Millard. The big fullback is following in a line of talented Sooners at the position and he has eastablished himself as the best of the lot.Last Week: N/A

5. Travis Lewis, Linebacker - Stats: Nine tackles (six solo), one tackle for loss (one yard), one quarterback hurry.
Analysis:It's crazy to believe that this is the first time so far this season that Lewis, a pre-season All-American has made the Hot 11. However, this is the first time this season that Lewis truly looked himself - though the issue is no fault of his. When a player's game is built on speed and you give him an, even slightly, bum wheel it's going to take away a large portion of his repertoire. Lewis looked like he was back to full speed on Saturday night and his ability to make plays outside the tackle and as such he finds himself back in familiar territory.Last Week: N/A

4. Aaron Colvin, Safety - Stats: Eight tackles (six solo).
Analysis: Every Oklahoma defense has had it's Colvin player, well every good Oklahoma defense has had it's Colvin. When things are on the edge of going bad it's Colvin that bails the Sooners out time and time again. A receiver gets by his solitary defender? It's Colvin there to keep a big play from happening. Running back slips out and finds his way to open space? It's Colvin making things look seamless. So much of what he does is hard to see but Colvin has a big hand in how dominant this defense is becoming.Last Week: No. 8

3. Corey Nelson, Linebacker - Stats: Four tackles (two solo), two sacks (18-yards), pass break-up, one quarterback hurry.
Analysis: In a discussion on the board I used the ever-cliched 'the light is coming on' but the more I think of it, I'm not sure there is a more apt, and less tired, description. The talented linebacker has been a guy I've been waiting for dominance from and against Texas I thought he flashed it but against the Jayhawks he took over at times in the second half. The scariest part of that is that Nelson is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker who as often as not is taking on offensive tackles that are, at the very least, 80-pounds his superior. But he keeps holding up and when the tables turn to passing situations, he is taking advantage of his speed.Last Week: N/A

2. Dominique Whaley, Running Back - Stats: 30-carries for 165-yards and a 10-yard touchdown run. Also two catches for seven-yards
Analysis: I was glad to see that Rivals.com finally started to take notice of just how good Whaley has been playing this season. The big and physical back seems to be finding a groove with his offensive line, with one untimely exception, as the timing between himself, his blockers, and Landry Jones has come together nicely. When you watch Whaley play his incredible balance seems at times almost supernatural, before it's all said and done, he'll take home Big 12 honors.Last Week: N/A

1. Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver - Stats: 31-for-50 for 367-yards and three touchdowns.
Analysis: For the first time ever, I'm not going to say anything. Just watch his video from Saturday night and be thankful you got to see such a player wear your beloved Crimson and Cream.Last Week: No. 6

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