The team on the field may not have been perfect but their record remained so after a hard fought victory over Nebraska on Saturday afternoon. Some of the troubles that plagued Oklahoma in the season opener appeared again, resulting in a frustrating victory. However, it was indeed a victory and the Sooners left the field against the Huskers with a 3-0 season record.
Oklahoma’s offense was held to just 23 points which is the fewest points since they scored 23 against Houston to open the 2016 season. The Sooners ran for 194 yards, and two touchdowns, at a clip of 5.5 yards per carry and Spencer Rattler threw for 214 yards in another score but just seven first half points left a lot to be desired as the teams hit the locker room at the break.
Defensively the Sooners accomplished their goal of taking away the Nebraska running attack but it came at the expense of the secondary who was exposed a bit. The Huskers were held to just 95 rushing yards, on 38 attempts, but Adrian Martinez had one of the best passing days of his career, throwing for 289 yards and a touchdown on 25 attempts.
Game Defining Moment
A game that was already too close for comfort could have been even more so had it not been for a fantastic special teams play in the third quarter. After Nebraska scored to cut Oklahoma’s lead to 14-9, Isaiah Coe crashed through to block the PAT, deflecting it off Ethan Downs and into the hands of an expectant Pat Fields who returned it more that a hundred yards for a safety.
The play not only swung the momentum back to Oklahoma’s favor but also boosted what would have been a 14-10 lead to 16-9.
Yes, an argument could have been made that you just knock this ball down and get better field position but instead of chasing that rabbit how about we talk about what an amazing interception this was by DJ Graham.
Points Left On The Field
Had Gabe Brkic not missed a 54-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter this game could have taken a turn towards a more comfortable win for the Sooners. However, Nebraska missed two field goal attempts and had a blocked extra point, so…
The Penalties Came Back
Oklahoma missed an opportunity to take advantage of Nebraska’s miscues. The Huskers were flagged eight times for 70 yards but the Sooners matched that same yardage on just seven penalties.
Eric Gray Looked Really Good…Again
After a shaky season opener Eric Gray has bounced back with two consecutive impressive games. The Tennessee transfer averaged 5.6 yards per carry against what is arguably the most physical defensive front the Sooners have faced this season.
Oklahoma has yet to produce a 100 yard rushing in a game this season but the combo of Gray and Kennedy Brooks chewed up 159 yards, on 29 carries, with a combined average of 5.5 yards per carry.
Drake Stoops Killed A Man!
Jadon Haselwood Is Emerging
You have to love what you saw from Haselwood on Saturday as he is taking advantage of the attention drawn by Marvin Mims. The 6-3/202 sophomore caught a team high six catches for 61 yards on the day.
Defensive Pressure Was There
This is where we need to give Adrian Martinez credit for being difficult to bring down. Oklahoma’s defensive front regularly made appearances in Nebraska’s backfield but the Husker quarterback wasn’t an easy target. The Sooners recorded 5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, and 10 tackles for loss. Nik Bonitto led the way with two quarterback sacks and three tackles for loss.
The Problem Child
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez was really good in the passing game, completing 19-of-25 passing attempts for 289 yards and a score. Tight end Austin Allen (who was questionable before the game) caught six passes against the Sooners for 43 yards. He entered the day with seven catches through the first three games and nearly doubled that on the afternoon.
I think you have to default back to Spencer Rattler on the offensive side of the ball. He wasn’t spectacular but he did account for 249 total yards of offense (214 through the air/35 on the ground) and two touchdowns (1 running/1 passing).
DeShaun White led the Sooner defense with 10 tackles but we also need to tip our hats to Perrion Winfrey who only 10 three tackles and a half a sack show up in the box score but definitely was a bigger factor than that. Watch how many blockers Winfrey occupies in the middle of the line on this Jalen Redmond sack.
The Sooners open Big 12 conference play next Saturday when they host West Virginia.
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