Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma 76 – Western Carolina 0 | The Defining Moment, Heroes, And Problem Child

M. Hofeld

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Oklahoma didn’t disappoint this weekend. After struggling with Tulane to open the season the Sooners walked off the field on Saturday night with a win that was every bit as dominant as was expected…and needed. OU racked up 624 yards of offense, 31 first downs, and 8.2 yards per play on offense.

Defensively Oklahoma was much more disciplined than they were a week ago. Western Carolina only managed 178 yards of total offense as the Speed D forced three turnovers for the second-consecutive week and produced four quarterback sacks in a shutout win.

Game Defining Moment

The Sooners needed to flex some muscle early in this one and that’s exactly what they did. After forcing Western Carolina to punt on their opening possession, Oklahoma took eight plays to go 70 yards in a drive that was capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Rattler to Jadon Haselwood.

Rattler was 4-for-5 on that first drive but the primary difference between this week and last week was found in the performance of running back Eric Gray who carried the ball three times for 27 yards on the drive.

Wait…What?

Oklahoma’s 76-0 blowout win actually could have been worse. The Sooners and Catamounts only played a 12-minute fourth quarter in an effort to speed up the game and keep players healthy. Oklahoma outscored Western Carolina 14-0 in the fourth.

Everything Went Right

We got exactly what we wanted to see in all three aspects of this game. On offense the Sooners looked more poised, and physical than the were a week ago. The Sooners were also extremely efficient on the offensive side of the ball.

Defensively there was better communication, focus, and a quicker response to in game adjustments.

Special teams were exceptional for the second week in a row.

The Problem Child

Western Carolina was outmatched pretty much across the board against Oklahoma. However, Catamount running back Kenny Benjamin had a decent night. The 5-7/180 senior hauled a team best six catches for 34 yards. He also carried the ball six times for 10 yards.

Totally Unexpected

Mario Williams and Jadon Haselwood recorded four receptions each to lead a total of 13 Sooners who caught passes on Saturday night. What was unexpected is that Marvin Mims was at the bottom of that list with just one catch on the night for 19 yards.

The Heroes

Spencer Rattler threw five first half touchdowns while working his way to a 20-of-26 night for 243 yards. However the offensive heroes on the night were the running backs. Eric Gray ran the ball nine times for 74 yards (8.2 YPC) and also caught a 20-yard touchdown pass. Kennedy Brooks carried the ball just six times for an average of eight yards per carry.

Danny Stutsman was having a fantastic night for Oklahoma’s defense until he left the game late with an injury. The true freshman led the Sooners in tackles with eight.

Up Next

The Sooners remain at home next week with the renewal of the Nebraska rivalry.

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