October 30, 2006

Holmes leads way in Oklahoma Hot 11

Oklahoma has become famous for it's ability to tinker with positioning of players, and even what side of the ball they play on. Turning players who may be dogpiled on the depth chart on one side of the ball, into effective starters on the other. Another good example of this was the amazing game of sophomore cornerback Lendy Holmes on Saturday. Take a look to see where the the corner ranked in this week's Sooner Hot 11.

1. Lendy Holmes, Cornerback - Stats: Three tackles, one fumble recovery, one interception, three pass break ups
Analysis: Name something you wanted Holmes to do, and he got it done on Saturday. The phrase 'a star is born' is overused and cliché at this point but there may be no better way to describe exactly what happened with Holmes on Saturday. He went head up with arguably the league's best tight end in a jump ball situation and slowed down one of it's best receiver, [db]William Franklin[/db]. That's completely forgetting his great work in run support. If he continues at this rate, Oklahoma's defense starts to build serious momentum towards 2007.

2. Rufus Alexander, Linebacker - Stats: Seven solo tackles, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one sack.
Analysis: After blowing his first opportunity at a three and out by missing [db]Chase Daniel[/db] on a third down scramble it seemed a disappointing day might be on it's way for Alexander, but from that point on 'Ruuu' played his best game of the season and was dominant from almost every angle. He blitzed well, got into some passing lanes and twice nearly intercepted Daniel. You mix in his always solid work in run defense and you're talking about ap layer finally fulfilling his pre-season hype.

3. Allen Patrick, Running Back - Stats: 36 carries, 162 yards
Analysis: Some said he lacked vision, but I thought at the time it was clear Patrick had been informed to simply hit the hole and not waste time attempting to be fancy against a sturdy Colorado defense. Against a Missouri team that is fast, and somewhat lacking in gap support, there were more cutback lanes and chances to display his vision. Patrick yet again passed a big test. The last question of Patrick, and something I know he can do, is his influence in the passing game both as a blocker as a receiver.

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