The expectation was that Oklahoma’s offense was going to be fast. The expectation was that the Sooners were going to be powerful upfront. The expectation was that OU would be able to score from anywhere on the field. On Saturday Oklahoma’s offense exceeded all of the expectations.
As they walked off the field, following their 63-14 victory, the Sooners had piled up 650 total yards of offense 56 points (7 of Oklahoma’s points came on special teams). Even more impressive, they averaged 14.5 yards per pass and 8.1 yards per carry in a performance that will have the pundits talking and defensive coordinators burning the midnight oil.
The Sooners weren’t limited in any aspect of the offensive game as they moved the ball at will against the Owls. The biggest thing to stand out to me was the efficiency of the offense. Oklahoma scored on five of the six offensive possessions that Murray played, with the one non-score being a missed field goal.
The Sooners made a believer out on Lane Kiffin on Saturday for sure. “I’ll be shocked if that team isn’t playing in the playoffs,” the Florida Atlantic coach told reporters. While Kiffin gave praise for Oklahoma’s improved defense, he also showed appreciation towards Lincoln Riley’s offense for lifting Kyler Murray early.
“He does a great job,” Kiffin said of Riley. “I’ve said it, Baker (Mayfield) is great and was the No. 1 pick and Heisman winner, but watching film I said during the week that I don’t know that it’s better to play against Kyler (Murray) because he’s faster and harder to get down and we saw that today. Thank God they took him out or he could’ve broke every school record there is.”
Offensive Position Grades
Quarterbacks | Kyler Murray was as close to perfect as he could be on Saturday. He was 9/11 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball four times for 23 yards (5.8 yards per carry), including a scramble that was just silly.
Austin Kendall and Tanner Mordecai were effective in relief or Murray. The duo completed 10-12 passes for 125 yards and a score. In all the Sooners went 19/23 for 334 yards and three scores from the quarterback position. Overall Position Grade : A+
Offensive Line | Here’s your unsung heroes of Saturday’s offensive performance. The line paved the way for 300-plus yards in both the rushing and passing categories with very few mistakes. Murray was sacked once, didn’t recognize the blitz, and Bobby Evans drew a personal foul penalty. If you want to get stuck on those two things then you would be justified but I’m just going to counter with 56 offensive points. Overall Position Grade: A+
Running Backs | In my offensive preview I said that Rodney Anderson should be able to keep to his 2017 average of 6.17 yards per carry. I was wrong. He averaged 20 yards per carry and scored twice on five touches.
Rodney Anderson out here gaining mileage pic.twitter.com/gDoyidTSKJ
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 1, 2018
Trey Sermon was impressive in limited touches as well. The sophomore ran for 69 yards and a score on 9 carries. Overall Position Grade: A+
Receivers | I was surprised how little Grant Calcaterra and CeeDee Lamb were used when Murray was in the game. However, good teams are able to find a way to exploit defenses and the Sooners used Marquise Brown to do that. Hollywood ended up with a team-high six receptions for 133 yards and a score.
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 1, 2018
In total, nine receivers caught at least one pass for Oklahoma on Saturday. Lee Morris and AD Miller joined Brown in hauling in touchdowns.