On Sunday night Oklahoma racked up 686 total yards of offense (354 rushing/332 passing) on their way to 49 points, 30 fist downs, 9.6 yards per rush, and 16.6 yards per carry. It was an offensive performance for the ages as Lincoln Riley unleashed Jalen Hurts on the Houston Cougars. Obviously on a night like that position grades are going to be on the positive side.
I used the word “unleashed” when describing Jalen Hurts in the opening paragraph because I believe that is the most appropriate adjective for what we saw on Sunday night.
Hurts completed 20-of-23 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 176 yards, and three more touchdowns, on 16 carries.
Even if you had the highest of expectations for Hurts on Sunday night…he exceeded them. Showing maturity, a calmness under pressure, strength and athleticism from the quarterback position was everything and more Oklahoma fans needed to see as the 2019 season gets underway.
Overall Position Grade: A+
Ten different players caught at least one pass on Sunday night with seven of them having multiple catches. On a relatively quiet night for Grant Calcaterra and CeeDee Lamb it was Charleston Rambo stealing the show with a team-high 105 yards, and a score, on just three catches.
Rambo, Lamb, and fullback Jeremiah Hall were on the receiving end of touchdown passes Sunday night but the best stat of game, with this group, came from the fact that nine of the ten pass catchers had at least one reception of fourteen yards or more with three going for forty or more – Jadon Haselwood (42), Lamb (45), and Rambo (56).
Overall Grade: A+
If anything, you could argue that the running backs were a bit underused on Sunday. Trey Sermon carried the ball eleven times, Rhamondre Stevenson had six carries, and Kennedy Brooks was only given the ball four times.
Brooks paced all rushers with 11.5 yards per carry, Sermon averaged 8.3 and Stevenson was the only running back to score a touchdown on a rushing play while also averaging 6.8 yards per carry.
News of T.J. Pledger having surgery broke just days before the season opener but, even in his absence, you can’t help but feel good about Oklahoma’s depth at running back.
Overall Position Grade: A+
Immediately following the game I felt as if Oklahoma had played eight or nine offensive lineman but it turns out the number was actually much less than that. In all, Oklahoma played just seven offensive linemen in the game leading me to believe that Bill Bedenbaugh has a tighter line drawn with his five guys than I had initially thought.
At times the offensive line looked a big sluggish off the snap, particularly on the left side, but you can’t question the end result. Jalen Hurts stayed upright in the pocket and both the running and passing games were smashing successes.
Overall Position Grade: A-
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