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Assessment of Alex Grinch’s performance at the University of Oklahoma

In our Riley Files series, Oklahoma insider Kegan Reneau had a lot to say about not only Riley, but also his defensive coordinator with the Sooners, Alex Grinch. We asked Reneau what significance or significance we should take from OU’s blowout loss to LSU in the 2019 Peach Bowl, a college football playoff semifinal.

“Lincoln Riley brought an identity to Oklahoma’s offense. Alex Grinch brought an identity to Oklahoma’s defense,” Reneau said. “They were going to do more stunts, they were going to twist more, they They were going to do more blitz. They were going to put the pressure on. They were going to do that. They were going to do that more. They were going to be more aggressive in their coverage. It really brought a change of scenery that was welcomed by a lot of people in Oklahoma at the time in 2019. They were way better than 2018. This LSU game (the 2019 Peach Bowl playoff semifinal) is over the top at times.

“Ronnie Perkins was still under suspension from the NCAA and he missed the Peach Bowl against LSU. So Oklahoma’s defense became a top-15 and top-20 unit in 2019 and 2020 because of Ronnie Perkins, and he missed the LSU game. His presence was therefore absolutely missed on this ground. Delarrin Turner-Yell also walked out of the Peach Bowl with a broken collarbone. Joe Burrow and LSU did what they did. They just attacked Delarrin’s substitute Turner-Yell the whole game, as well as Neville Gallimore in a triple team along the defensive line. So that really left Oklahoma’s defense helpless in the Peach Bowl. So this game, for me, I was always kind of thrown off, but I think it told an interesting story.

“What that story was saying was that the Oklahoma defense in its structure was vulnerable to certain things, especially attacking in the middle of the field and really in the back on the outside thirds of the defense. LSU just attacked this area all night.

“In 2020, that didn’t necessarily turn out to be too big of a deal because the Sooners were able to put so much pressure (on opposing quarterbacks). Then in 2021, that’s the interesting question with Alex Grinch. Things were going in a good way. I think some of the offenses had answers for him that he didn’t necessarily expect at first, and they didn’t adjust much throughout the year. The same issues that were the issues of Oklahoma’s defense at the start of 2021 were the issues at the end (of the season) Every good coordinator that we sit and talk about here in the college football space, usually their sides of the ball, their units, s They’re getting better every week, and they’re at their best at the end of the season. That wasn’t the case for Oklahoma last year.

“Alex Grinch is an interesting piece at USC. The results at the start of those first two years (at OU, in 2019 and 2020) have been great. And then Year 3 is just a warning, a flag red that I really don’t have a good answer as to why it happened. Their pass defense was one of the worst past defenses in college football. The good news: the run defense was as good as it gets. possible in college football. It was an odd mix of personalities on the Oklahoma defense a year ago.

“I think they’ve had success the first two years. With every good coach when you have success like they have, you won’t stray too far from what got you there. I think what brought the Oklahoma defense back (in 2019) was what ended up being their biggest downfall in 2021, because they didn’t adjust much.

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