The MVP of Oklahoma’s Spring Football Game hands down was the wind. With gusts reaching up to 50 mph the idea that one of Oklahoma’s quarterbacks would separate himself in the scrimmage literally blew out the window.
That said, Saturday proved that the quarterback battle is a lot closer than expected with Kyler Murray and Austin Kendall both showed flashes of greatness and signs of inexperience. However, you can’t make a firm judgement based soley on Saturday’s sample size because the wind legitimately played a major factor.
“It was challenging,” Lincoln Riley said about the wind. “It was similar to the Kansas game last year in that, when you’re into the wind, there’s parts of the field that are just off limits because you just can’t throw it that far into the wind. Downwind can actually be more challenging at times. You saw that one ball that Austin Kendall threw and the wind just grabbed it and whipped it. So it’s a little tougher to throw the ball up in the air, because the wind just takes it and it loses control. But we’re used to it, we practice in that.”
The fact that one of the signal callers failed to out play the other doesn’t mean that they turned in poor performances. Murray completed 11 of 21 passes for 85 yards while Kendall completed 11 of 18 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown, but he also threw an interception. On the ground, Murray rushed for 35 yards and Kendall ran for 32.
“Austin is a mobile guy. There’s probably not another quarterback in the country that’s as mobile as Kyler,” Riley said. “Austin can move well. Today you saw him move around the pocket and move well. All camp he’s been back and healthier than he’s ever been. He’s a person that when he’s back there, teams are going to have to account for him. He’s different than Kyler but certainly very effective. He’s settled in here. I felt like early in spring, Kyler was playing pretty well and probably playing a little better than AK, but that was to be expected. You have to remember, all last year, Austin was running the scout team. It was the same way last spring except opposite, AK came in and worked with us. He’s really played well this second half of the spring. I thought he did a lot of nice things today, as well. It’s neck-and-neck right now.”
Most expected Oklahoma’s quarterback competition to go into the summer. I’m just not sure that anyone truly expected the competition to go into the summer this close.