Let’s start dissecting this game by asking ourselves a couple of questions and being completely honest. Did you pick OU to cover the spread? Did you pick the over? If your answer to either of these questions was yes, then it probably skewed your opinion about the flow and ultimate outcome of the game.
Yes, Oklahoma ultimately covered the 15.5-point spread, thanks to SMU failing to convert on fourth down late in the fourth quarter, but getting there was quite the journey. This is the part where we admit that the Mustangs are a pretty dang good football team, and Preston Stone is a heck of a quarterback. In my opinion, it won’t be much longer before we see SMU in the Top 25.
The bottom line is this, Oklahoma moved to 2-0 on the season. They worked on some new things and seem to be on track to getting their player personnel in place. They also found some things that they probably should continue to work on as well.
Here are a few other thoughts from Saturday night’s 28-11 win over SMU.
Special Teams Are Back With A Renewed Focus
Last week, it was Gavin Freeman returning a punt for a score. This week, it was Peyton Bowen blocking a put that ultimately led to a score.
These are great plays to see early in the season because they’re ultimately likely to pay pretty big dividends in a crucial game.
Andrel Anthony Continues To Be “That Guy”
Dillon Gabriel completed 19 passes on Saturday night, and seven of those went to Anthony. Jeff Lebby used him in a different way than I expected, choosing not to stretch the field but play the short game. Even so, Anthony proved that he’s going to be the key figure in the Sooner passing attack.
First Half Communication Issues With Dillon Gabriel And The Receivers Was Unsettling
The chemistry between the receivers and the quarterback just looked off in the first half. There were a handful of plays that could have been made had everyone been on the same page. It was better in the second half, particularly the fourth quarter, but you just wouldn’t expect that to be the case with some guys who are in their second year of playing together.
Too Many Penalties!!!
The Sooners were flagged nine times for 88 yards. These aren’t penalties where you can argue any type of bias from the officials either. These were some crucial and costly, mistakes that made me wonder if it was a lack of focus or succumbing to pressure? Either way, it’s not a good sign with conference play looming just two weeks away.
Speaking Of Penalties…
Not a great night for the offensive line. Yikes!
Dillon Gabriel Had A Better Night Than It Seemed
Let’s start with the fact that he threw four touchdown passes. Then, we can move on to his 70% completion percentage. I get that 176 passing yards is a bit underwhelming, but the game plan was kind of weird, and Gabriel did what he was asked to do.
Let’s also not overlook dropped passes from Anthony, Freeman, and Drake Stoops.
It Was Great To See Jalil Farooq Find The End Zone
I had just written in my notes, “Is it time to start worrying about Jalil Farooq?” Then he caught a pass from Gabriel, made a fantastic open field move, and then found the end zone for a 21-yard score. It was the play that changed the momentum of the game, in my opinion, and deflated an SMU squad who was just starting to get rolling.
The Read And React Of The Defensive Front-7 Was Outstanding
SMU did motion, misdirection, shifts, and anything else that they could to try and neutralize Oklahoma’s defensive power and speed. None of it worked! I felt like you could really see the way this crew had been coached up to be disciplined and aware. Great reads, and reactions, by the defensive line and linebackers blew up a lot of SMU plays on Saturday night.
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