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Jermaine Gresham Smashes Molotov on Earl Thomas and the Longhorns

The hurry-up offense is potent, too potent. Spread offenses like Oklahoma use the hurry up to bewilder and break defenses. Good coverage on one play can betray weakness on another.

To keep football entertaining, the NFL and NCAA must maintain a fine balance between offense and defense. Offense has benefitted from rule change after rule change and the modern NFL is higher scoring than ever before. Eventually points will become cheap and high scoring games will be duller than bad basketball. I am not advocating a return to grind`em out, smashmouth football, but before long, alley-oop, last-possession-wins, high-flying football will cheapen the thrill of the touchdown, the thrill of the first down, the thrill of the clock killing drive, the thrill of the goal line stand and the thrill of a game that is as much about defense as it is offense.

1. 1st and 10 at OKLA 27 DeMarco Murray rush for 1 yard to the Okla 28.

Earl Thomas is ten deep, over left slot. Inside handoff to Murray for one. DNF.

2. 2nd and 9 at OKLA 28 Sam Bradford pass complete to DeMarco Murray for 8 yards to the Okla 36.

Impulse control doesn't peak at 19, who would have guessed? Thomas bites on the same play that sent Murray streaking up the sideline in the first, and pursues the reverse right. Roddrick Muckelroy demonstrates discipline and caps the play after eight.


3. 3rd and 1 at OKLA 36 Chris Brown rush for 6 yards to the Okla 42 for a 1ST down.

Oklahoma split one wide, right, 2 TEs, right, I formation. Thomas is playing across the outside tight end, eight yards deep. Sooners run a stretch right. Thomas crashes very wide, perhaps containing the outside, but Brown cuts in and off tackle and Thomas is way out of position.

4. 1st and 10 at OKLA 42 Sam Bradford sacked for a loss of 9 yards to the Okla 33.

Thomas is 10 deep, center and after the snap, stands and spies the quarterback. Bradford sells play action, backpedals. Brian Orakpo cuts in on Phil Loadholt, flies free and sacks Bradford in his backpedal.

5. 2nd and 19 at OKLA 33 Sam Bradford pass complete to Manuel Johnson for 15 yards to the Okla 48.

Thomas is 11 deep, over left slot. Oklahoma is split 2WR, left/right, RB, right, shotgun. Thomas initially backpedals. Sooners runs a tunnel screen to Johnson. Johnson follows his blocker and brings a head of steam into the third level. Thomas squares to tackle, lowers his shoulder, hits Johnson clean but bounces off. Johnson is tackled over top a few yards later.

(Hurry up)

6. 3rd and 4 at OKLA 48 Sam Bradford pass complete to Jermaine Gresham for 52 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.

Identical formation. Thomas and the right outside linebacker bite on the screen and Gresham runs a corner route towards the left sideline. He's wide open. Wide, wide open. And it's Thomas' fault. Bradford waits for Gresham to stop and square towards him, passes, Gresham receives and is off to the end zone, untouched until the goal line. Touchdown.