Caleb Williams’ first start as a Sooner did not disappoint. The true freshman accumulated 361 total yards of offense and was responsible for five touchdowns in his debut as the new starting signal caller for Lincoln Riley’s offense. Without taking shots at Spencer Rattler, it’s just clear that things work in the offense for Williams where they didn’t for Rattler. Oklahoma hung half a hundred for the second week in a row after producing 52 points and 525 yards.
Williams completed 18-of-23 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns while also using his legs to pick up another 66 yards and a rushing touchdown. It was the first time an Oklahoma quarterback accounted for four passing and a rushing touchdown in his first start.
The Game Defining Moment
TCU took Oklahoma’s opening volley of points and bounced back from a 14-0 deficit to within 17-14 of Oklahoma with just under four and a half minutes in the first half. Oklahoma responded by going on a 5-play/76-yard touchdown drive to take a 24-14 lead into the break. Aided by two pass interference penalties that wiped out his only incompletions on the drive, Williams was 3-for-3 for 55 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown strike to Jadon Haselwood.
Going up by two scores was monumental for OU because TCU, who would receive the ball to start the second half, no longer was within a possession of tying or taking the lead. The Sooners would continue riding the momentum by forcing a 3-and-out to start the second half and then made it a 31-14 score three plays later.
We don’t talk punting enough but the Sooners punted three times against TCU and Michael Turk averaged nearly 60 yards per punt (59.66) and dropped two of the three inside the 20-yard line.
Understand What’s Happening In The Secondary
This absolutely isn’t an excuse but it is an explanation. Oklahoma’s defensive secondary is depleted by injury. Woodi Washington, Delarrin Turner-Yell and Jeremiah Criddell were already missing from the group and then DJ Graham got banged up during the game. The secondary struggled but you’ve got to think that those four would have made a significant difference.
The good news is that Oklahoma travels to Kansas next week, then hosts Texas Tech on the 30th before having a bye week on November 6th. That’s a favorable schedule for a team that is looking to heal up before closing out the season with two of the final three games on the road.
Made The Right Move
It wasn’t just the Caleb Williams decision, it was also keeping Kennedy Brooks as the starting running back as well. Brooks made his first start of the season last week against Texas and remained the go-to running back a week later. The payoff was 153 yards (7.65 YPC) and a touchdown from Brooks. Williams and Brooks combined for 509 total yards of offense and six touchdowns.
The Problem Child
Quentin Johnson came into this game as one of the top receivers in the Big 12. He absolutely lived up to that billing as he wrecked Oklahoma’s defense for 185 yards and three touchdowns on seven catches.
I already mentioned Caleb Williams and Kennedy Brooks but Jadon Haselwood also had a special night. Oklahoma’s redshirt sophomore receiver caught three touchdown passes on a six catch/56 yard night.
It’s crazy to think that Oklahoma’s defense didn’t record a quarterback sack but DaShaun White had 1.5 tackles for loss. He was also one of four Sooner defenders to record 7 total takedowns in the game. Pat Fields led the defense with 8 total tackles.
The Sooners are heading to Lawrence, Kansas next week to take on the Jayhawks. That game has been set for an 11:00 AM kickoff.
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