Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Sooners 49 – Houston Cougars 31 | Notes & Quotes

M. Hofeld



“One of the first things I told the guys in the locker room that there’s going to be a lot that we want to do better from this game. A lot that we’ve got to do as far as penalties, as far as finishing the game, maintaining our intensity and our focus on all three sides. The day that we get tired of winning, I’m done. We beat a good football team there tonight without a doubt. These first games are challenging for a lot of people, certainly when you’re playing a new staff and then obviously having a lot of new pieces on our football team as well. I thought our team really responded well. I’m proud of the way that we played the majority of the football game. I thought our defense flew around. (The defense was) extremely active, extremely disruptive for the majority of the game. We had a couple of penalties that let drives continue on when we had them in some pretty tough situations. A couple busted calls, and some things we just have to do better on that side. I love the way our guys flew around, and I loved how disruptive our front was especially. We’ve got to keep building on that. There were a lot of positives there. Offensively, we really ran the ball well the majority of the night. We had several guys that were extremely productive in the run game, so we’re excited to continue to build with that. I thought we did some good things in the throwing game. We were pretty efficient. We missed a couple that we had opportunities on. The offensive line has been a hot topic here. They had a good first start. We’ve got to continue to grow. Special teams was kind of the same things. Some ups, some downs there. Some little things that we’ve got to continue to do better. That’s the fun in this. First games are always like this. There’s always so much, regardless of what’s on that scoreboard and what everybody reads in the headlines. There’s always so much to go back on, and that’s the fun. Now you’ve seen these guys play – and we played so many guys tonight – we’ve seen them play, so we’ll have a lot better idea of who we are as a team and what we need to do to get better, and obviously we’ve got to get that done quickly with a short week coming up.” – Lincoln Riley Opening Statement

“He played good. He played good. Several things he could do better. I thought he handled the moment good. You could tell out there that he’d been in it, certainly. I’m sure he had some nerves, but he did a good job managing them. I thought he made good, sound decisions and managed the game well. Honestly, other than the fumble, and I think the second fumble was a combination of him and Rhamondre [Stevenson], I thought he was efficient and that it was a good starting point, and he’ll have to continue to get better.” – Lincoln Riley on Jalen Hurts Overall Performance

“Obviously, number one, you want to have a fast start. Along with that, you want to be elite finishers. We certainly couldn’t make that claim tonight. I saw some positives early on. As much as anything, I look at it and we’ve got to be better at the end. I looked at it from the standpoint that we expected maybe a little bit more of a passing fourth quarter and [Houston] likes to run the football. I go back to myself – I don’t think I did a good enough job in that regard, assessing the situation, assessing their mindset there in the fourth. In any event, not enough plays on our side got made there in the second half.” – Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch On The Defensive Performance

“I was in a situation or position where I am back to where I am supposed to be. I can’t say that I haven’t done it before maybe with a little rust on. But being out there with this team, this group, is very exciting and I enjoyed it a lot.” – Jalen Hurts On Being A Starter Again

“I was trying to step up in the pocket honestly. I ended up making the throw to CeeDee and he did a great job of getting open. He was very open. I got him the ball and he made the play.” – Jalen Hurts On His Touchdown Pass To CeeDee Lamb

“It was great to have a guy like that in my back of the corner that can fly around and make plays for not only themselves but the defense. I am so thankful to have him playing behind me. He is definitely going to accomplish a lot of good things.” – Neville Gallimore On Kenneth Murray

“It is definitely just a sample. We’ve still got Trejan [Bridges], Theo [Wease], Lee Morris, more Grant [Calcaterra] and it’s a lot. The ball getting spread around, we are going to show more.” – Charleston Rambo On Oklahoma’s Receivers

“I actually lost him. When I turned around I didn’t know where he was, I just saw the ball in the air. He told me when we got to the sideline that he had to scoot into the pocket, and then that’s when I lost him, because I didn’t know where that was. He did a great job throwing the ball in the run and getting the ball where it needs to be.” – CeeDee Lamb On His Touchdown Reception

“It’s a lot different from what we have done in the past. Coach (Alex) Grinch prides himself on being simple and keeping that simple consistent. I think that this is something that is new for us. It is not like we are coming in every week and trying to learn new stuff so, we are able to focus on the rules and just play for us.” – Kenneth Murray On The New Defensive Scheme

“He definitely exceeded my expectations tonight. I already expected a lot from him, just by being good friends with him but, he went out there and played a great game. We threw well and ran extremely well. Overall, he played a really good game.” – Trey Sermon On Jalen Hurts

“It made me feel good. It definitely showed me like okay this defense really works, we really can play this defense. It also made me feel like I was a true believer, but it made me even more believe in coach Grinch and everything he told us is true. If you execute this defense and run to the ball, good things will happen.” – Ronnie Perkins On The Defense Starting With Two Three-And-Outs


• Oklahoma has now won 14 straight home openers.

• A total of 15 players made their first appearance in an Oklahoma uniform on Sunday. Eleven players made their first OU starts: QB Jalen Hurts, OL R.J. Proctor, OL Marquis Hayes, OL Tyrese Robinson, OL Adrian Ealy, WR Charleston Rambo, DL LaRon Stokes, LB DaShaun White, OLB Jon-Michael Terry, S Delarrin Turner-Yell and S Pat Fields.

• Oklahoma totaled 686 yards of offense (354 rushing, 332 passing), the most in program history in a season opener. The previous opening-game high of 676 yards came against UTEP in 2017.

• Sunday night marked 41st time in 55 games since the start of the 2015 season that OU registered at least 500 yards of total offense, and the 21st time in that span the Sooners topped 600 yards of total offense.

• Oklahoma scored a touchdown on its season-opening offensive possession for the fourth consecutive year. It is the longest such streak in program history.

Jalen Hurts

• Completed 20 of 23 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed 16 times for a career-high 176 yards and three TDs. He compiled a 251.3 passer efficiency rating.

• His 508 yards of total offense (332 passing, 176 rushing) were the most by a player in an OU debut, surpassing the previous mark of 396 total yards by Baker Mayfield against Akron in 2015 (388 passing, 8 rushing).

• Became the first OU player to ever pass for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 150 yards in a game. He is only the fourth Big 12 quarterback to accomplish the feat, and the first to do so while completing 80 percent of his passes.

• His 176 rushing yards were the second-most by an OU quarterback. Only Thomas Lott (195 vs. Kansas State in 1976) ran for more in a game.

• Became the second OU quarterback to ever pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in a game. Kyler Murray did it three times last season (at Texas Tech, at West Virginia and vs. Alabama).

• Accounted for six touchdowns, tying for second-most in program history (been done nine times). He is the third OU quarterback to pass for three TDs and rush for three TDs in a game (Josh Heupel vs. Texas A&M in 1999 and Trevor Knight vs. Iowa State in 2014).

Jeremiah Hall

• Caught three passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.

• Scored his first career touchdown on a 14-yard reception from QB Jalen Hurts in the first quarter.

CeeDee Lamb

• Scored his first touchdown of the season on a 45-yard reception from QB Jalen Hurts in the second quarter. It was his 19th career TD catch. Finished the game with 46 yards on two receptions.

• The 45-yard TD reception gave him more than 2,000 career receiving yards. He is the 10th OU receiver to eclipse 2,000 career receiving yards (now has 2,011).

Charleston Rambo

• Led the Sooners with a career-high 105 receiving yards on three catches and scored a touchdown.

• Recorded his first touchdown of the season on a 56-yard catch and run on the first possession of the third quarter. It was his second career TD, and the longest reception of his career.

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