Looks like the UM bandwagon is going to get a little bit lighter after this week. This game was supposed to be an opportunity for the University of Miami to make a loud statement on national TV against the country's fifth-ranked team. Instead, the Canes are leaving Norman with a whimper and appear headed toward some more quarterback controversy.
The game itself looked ugly at first. The Canes were down 21-3 when an ineffective Kirby Freeman was replaced by Kyle Wright. Then it was 21-13. But the Canes just couldn't seem to defend Oklahoma's passing game today, which has gone for over 230 yards. The secondary couldn't match the speed of OU's receivers. UM's running game? Virtually non-existant. The offense, which basically has been non-existant for years, has proven yet again it can't produce in the big game.
The real question is where the Canes go from here. Do they fall apart like they did last year after getting housed by Louisville on the road? Or does this game light a fire in their rears? I'll be in the lockerroom after the game to get a sense of how they feel.
Now, you tell me how you feel. How do you feel about Kyle Wright now? I've always felt he was the better passer. And so far at least today, he's proven to be more effective than Kirby. What are your thoughts on him replacing Kirby permenantly? Robert Marve anyone? Where's Patrick Nix's new and imprved offense?
IN GAME SUMMARY
CANES WHO DID WELL
- Kyle Wright entered the game at quarterback with 7:52 to play in the first half and led UM to a few solid drives, including its only TD right before the half.
- Calais Campbell had a sack and made a huge play on a fake field goal to setup Miami's only touchdown.
CANES DOING NOT SO WELL
- UM's secondary has been beaten early and often for touchdowns. Randy Phillips was beaten three times for scores.
- Kirby Freeman, who struggled all afternoon. Both of his completions were screen passes. He had two passes nearly intercepted.
4th quarter highlights | lowlights
- Can't say I honestly paid attention after it was 31-13. Just noticed how Randy Phillips continues to get burned.
- Why Freeman is in the game is beyond me. I think this proves he can't run this offense against quality competition. Wright isn't much better, but better.
3rd quarter highlights | lowlights
- OU picks up two quick first downs to start the half before Kenny Phillips forces a fumble and Randy Phillips recovers at the OU 46.
- After Wright connects with Jenkins for a 15-yard gain, the Canes are forced to settle for a field goal. But Francesco Zampogna delivers, drilling a 45-yarder to make it 21-13.
- Oklahoma gets a huge return by Orlando Iglesias down to the UM 47. Carlos Armour had a chance to make the tackle at about the OU 40, but missed it. Kicker Daren Daly ended up making his second tackle of the game.
- Dwayne Hericks has limped off the field with a right leg injury with 9:48 left in the quarter. Lovon Ponder also has gone out with 9:12 left.
- OU is going for it on the UM 27. Chris Brown picks up the first down to keep the drive going.
- The drive gets help when Tavares Gooden gets flagged for a late hit while Bradford was running out of bounds. The Sooners eventually score on a 6-yard TD pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham to make it 28-13.
- UM does nothing with its next possession and the drive ends in a 3-and-out when Wright gets sacked at UM 17.
- Oklahoma gets another good possession and adds 3 more points to its lead on a 30-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley with 36 seconds left in the quarter. It's now 31-13.
FIRST HALF KEY STATS
UM: Miami has 6 first downs and 36 yards rushing on 22 attempts. Passing: Kyle Wright is 5 of 9 for 45 yards and a touchdown. Rushing: Cooper has 11 carries for 21 yards. James has 6 carries for 17 yards. Receiving: Darnell Jenkins 2 catches, 20 yards, Ryan Hill has two catches for 18 yards.
OU: Sooners have 9 first downs, 14 yards rushing on 16 attempts. Sam Bradford is 8 of 13 passing for 2 touchdowns. Rushing: Patrick Allen has 5 carries for 38 yards, Chris Brown has 18 yards on 6 carries.
My thoughts: The Canes are lucky to be down only 11 points. The story has been Kyle Wright, who replaced Kirby Freeman at quarterback with 7:52 left in the half. He drove Miami to its only touchdown, moving the team down field on 5 of 9 passing for 45 yards and a score. He was 3 for 3 on third down passing attempts on the drive.
Calais Campbell has had two huge plays -- a sack and special teams play in which he picked up a first down on a fake field goal attempt.
Miami fell behind 21-3 when Oklahoma returned a Javarris James fumble to the house. The secondary -- Randy Phillips and DeMarcus Van Dyke -- got beat for two touchdown passes in the first half.
1st quarter highlights | lowlights
- Marcus Walker's beautiful one-handed interception on the first play of the game gets reversed on review. But the Canes can't cash in and are forced to punt after a quick 3-and-out. Bosher's punt was 36 yards.
- Sooners are moving the ball early through the air and the ground. Rain is now coming down hard.
- Malcolm Kelly caps Oklahoma's 1st drive with his 100th career reception, beating Randy Phillips for a touchdown strike. OU has 82 yards of offense. Miami has 7. OU leads 7-0.
- OU Redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 23 consecutive passes between the opener and today.
- Reggie Youngblood and Javarris James get beat by OU defensive end Auston English in giving up the Canes first sack of the season on Miami's second possession. Freeman nearly gets picked again before the Canes are forced to punt again. Miami has 9 yards of total offense -- all thanks to Javarris James. Matt Bosher gets off an unimpressive 32-yarder. Rain has stopped.
- Oklahoma is forced to a quick three and out and the Canes catch a huge break when sophomore Derek Shaw snaps the ball way over the head of OU's punter, giving UM possession at the OU 8.
- The Canes, however, can't capitalize and are forced to attempt a field goal from the 3-yard line. The 20-yard attempt by Francesco Zampogna is good. Oklahoma 7, UM 3.
- OU is driving again, inside the Miami 40. Miami's secondary seems to be making every tackle along with Tavares Gooden.
- Oklahoma makes it 14-3 when Bradford hooks up with Kelly for a 24-yard touchdown pass. Freshman DeMarcus Van Dyke gets beat for the first time in his career, failing to wrap up on Kelly despite having his arms around his waist.
- This is where having something other than a running game comes in handy! Miami's pass offense has to step up now.
- Canes finally pick up a first down with 1:20 left in the quarter when Graig Cooper picks up 9 yards and 2 yards on the ground. Looks like offensive coordinator Patrick Nix might be turning to the run.
- Quarter ends with a big 3rd and 1 at UM 40. Oklahoma has 102 yards total offense -- that with the bad snap that wiped out about 50 yards. UM has 35 yards total offense. 3 passing.
2nd quarter highlights | lowlights
- Javarris James gets hit in the backfield on that big 3rd and 1 and Miami is forced to punt for the third time.
- Calais Campbell comes through with a huge sack, pushing OU back on a 3rd and long. Cooper makes a nice return on the punt before OU picks up a 15-yard flag for a facemask giving UM possession at the OU 35.
- But the momentum quickly swings on UM's first play. Freeman gets a bad snap. James fumbles, OU's Reggie Smith returns it 62 yards for a touchdown with 12:29 left in the second quarter. It's 21-3 OU.
- UM's sixth drive goes three and out. Lance Leggett stops on a deeply thrown ball. In a nutshell, Leggett's career.
- Nice play by Randy Phillips, stripping Juaquin Iglesias of the football on a 14-yard pass play. UM takes over at its 44.
- Canes can't do anything with it and are forced to punt again. Miami's passing game doesn't exist. The Secret O looks more like Secret "Doh!" UM has come out in a no-huddle offense. It's not working. Miami has one first down, 35 yards total offense. Freeman is 2 for 7 for 10 yards. Is it time for Kyle Wright?
- It's Kyle time. And his first pass is completed to an OU band member!
- Kyle comples a first down pass to Darnell Jenkins down to OU 41. Another third down, another first down for the Canes to Jenkins down to OU 28. Kyle picks up another first down on third down, this time to Ryan Hill. Miami is at the OU 15.
- What a play! Fake field goal. Calais Campbell catches the flip and falls forward, first down and goal at 3.
- What a crazy possession. Canes have first and goal at the OU 2 after a defensive pass interference play with 1:15 left in the half. Miami finall scores when Ryan Hill is found wide open in the end zone for a 6-yard score. OU 21, UM 10.
PREGAME: Norman is beaming with excitement. The student section inside Owen Field is already filled to near capicity two hours before the game. Field is wet. Been raining most of the night. But at least it looks the rain has stopped. I've got some photos to share. I'll post them later. Stay tuned for today's live blog which will constantly update. Kickoff is set for 12:08 p.m. Humidity is 88 percent. Temperature is 78 degree. Coin flip is coming up. Oklahoma won and has deferred to the second half.