The Lincoln Riley era at Oklahoma got underway with a convincing 56-7 win over UTEP in Norman on Saturday afternoon. Oklahoma scored on it’s opening possession and went on to see eight different skill position players cross the goal line on the afternoon.
Key stars Baker Mayfield, Mark Andrews, Abdul Adams and others were pulled after the first half opening the door for Kyler Murray, Marcelias Sutton, and Trey Sermon to have impressive debuts.
On the defensive side of the ball the Sooners were just as dominant. Oklahoma held UTEP to just seven points, 167 total yards, and 4-12 on third down.
Here are some quick thoughts as the Sooners now turn their attention towards Ohio State.
Baker Mayfield Picks Up Where He Left Off In 2016
Baker was a blown pass interference call away from the perfect outing. His final stat line read 19/20 for 329 yards and three touchdowns in just two quarters of play. He was poised, patient and seemed to already have a great rapport with a new crop of receivers.
Speaking of receivers, looks like Mayfield was right when he Tweeted this out on August 9th. Fourteen different players caught passes on the day for the Sooners with four of them going for scores.
But the great thing about that is, we're just going to show the world in less than a month. 🤐
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) August 9, 2017
Mark Andrews Is Becoming The Weapon We’ve Longed For
Oklahoma hasn’t had a lethal weapon at tight end since the days of Jermaine Gresham. That looks to be changing with Mark Andrews emerging as a go-to guy. Growing up in the shadow of Sterling Shepard and Dede Westbrook, Andrews was unleashed to the tune of 7 receptions for 134 yards and a score in barely over two quarters of playing time.
The Offensive Line Was As Dominant As Expected
The real challenge will come next week but the line did what they were expected to do. They paved the way for 180 yards and four touchdowns on the ground (4.7 YPC/). For the most part they kept the quarterbacks jerseys clean with Mayfield going down once on a play that he overextended.
Running Back Committee Must Be Narrowed Down
Yes, it’s fun watching seven different backs carry the ball but Lincoln Riley’s first big personnel test comes when he must narrow it down. Abdul Adams looked the best overall, Marcelias Sutton looked the quickest, and Trey Sermon looked the most powerful. Where does that put Rodney Anderson? Big decisions loom at this position.
The Defensive Line Needs Matt Romar
UTEP scored with retaliative ease on their opening possession largely in part to Romar being absent. Some reports were that he had an equipment issue, others state that he was ill. Regardless he showed his value to the defensive line. UTEP went 78 yards on their opening drive and then finished the game with just 167 total yards. The difference? Matthew Romar.
Corner Is Suddenly Lacking In Depth
If you’re praying for this team then pray that they stay healthy at the cornerback position. While there’s no official announcement made on Jordan Parker’s injury, it certainly didn’t look good. The fact that several teammates were consoling him on the sideline doesn’t bode well either.