Oklahoma’s offense got off to a slow start last week but eventually got the ball rolling with a touchdown pass from Dillon Gabriel just before halftime. The rest was history as DG led the offense to three straight scoring drives after that. It’s safe to say he won the quarterback battle last week. Collin Schlee looked good at times, but he was more of a threat with his feet than he was through the air. Dillon Gabriel indeed stole the show once again.
The Sooners are 2-0 as they head to Lincoln this weekend to take on the Cornhuskers. They’ll take on a Nebraska team that is 1-2 and has an interim head coach after the firing of Scott Frost earlier this week. However, this won’t be a cake walk for Oklahoma by any means. I’d be willing to bet that Memorial Stadium will still be at capacity and provide a loud environment for the Sooners. Obviously OU is the better team here, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any obstacles to overcome in order to find a win on the road.
This week the Sooners will take on a familiar foe at the quarterback position. Casey Thompson is the man in Lincoln after transferring from Texas. This will be Dillon Gabriel’s toughest competition yet. Let’s take a look at the quarterbacks in this weekends matchup.
Sooner fans either seem to love or hate Dillon Gabriel. You probably have way too high expectations if completing 70% for 529 yards and 5 touchdowns isn’t good enough. Three of those touchdowns and 296 yards came last week against Kent State. He wasn’t given the opportunity to air it out much early in the game. But, when given the chance he made the most of it.
One area I would like to see improvement in is his reaction time. Last week we saw way too many missed looks downfield because he was hesitant to pull the trigger. We also saw a lot of sacks that most likely could have been thrown away. I think these are both things we will see improvement in as the season goes along and Gabriel continues to develop under Jeff Lebby.
The biggest test for Gabriel this weekend is going to be the hostile environment. He seems to be settling in as the QB at Oklahoma, but without a true first road test it’s hard to know what to expect. He’s going up against a defense that has given up 38 points per game and a total of 15 touchdowns on the season. It’s not like the opportunity for a big game isn’t going to be there, it’s whether or not Gabriel can capitalize. It will be important for him to block out the noise and focus on the task ahead.
Casey Thompson transferred to Nebraska looking for a better opportunity and it’s hard to say whether or not he found himself in one. Nebraska has struggled recently, but there was a big expectation that this season might be a little different. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case because the 1-2 start and being on the hunt for a new coach is not necessarily considered turning things around.
Casey has made his share of bad plays this season, but he is by no means the reason behind the bad start for the Cornhuskers. He will still be a serious threat to the Oklahoma defense on Saturday. This season he has thrown for 866 yards. He has 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has also found the endzone with his feet 4 times.
The key for the Sooners defense will be to make Thompson uncomfortable. In high pressure situations and after getting roughed up a few times in the pocket he tends to make some mistakes. But, if OU allows him to get comfortable and find a rhythm it could be a long afternoon for the defense.
DG And The Sooners Remain Undefeated
Oklahoma is going to win this game whether it’s pretty or not. I have a feeling it will be close early on with the Sooners pulling away by a good margin at the end. I think both quarterbacks will have their moments, but it will be Dillon Gabriel who has the better day and leads his team to a victory.