There are three things that really stood out from Oklahoma’s massacre of Tulsa on Saturday afternoon. Hint: They’re all in the title. However, before we get there, we need to fist talk about the guy who didn’t make it into the title. I realize there are still some fans who aren’t sold on Dillon Gabriel just yet, but you can’t ignore his body of work this season. He completed 90% of his passes against the Golden Hurricane, for 421 yards and five touchdowns. There are going to be those of you that want to point out the interception as if that’s the only thing he did on the afternoon, but even with that pick he’s got a ratio of 12 touchdowns to just the one interception on the season.
Through three games Gabriel has been exactly what this team has needed. He’s a master at running the offense. He’s making good decisions and is accurate with the football. He’s efficient. He’s a great leader and the team rallies around him. Now, for the other things.
For the second time in three weeks, Oklahoma has scored 65-plus points. That’s impressive! I’m not really sure how far back in time that you’ll have to go to find a better start for the Sooners, but I do know that the 2008 Sooner started out with 57, 52, and 55 point performances. That was a record-breaking offense for OU and it was actually run by current Tulsa head coach Kevin Wilson. The point is, not even that offense scored 65 points or more until November.
There was a lot of criticism about Jeff Lebby and the Oklahoma offense after only posting 28 points against SMU a week ago. That should die down for at least this week.
The two primary criticisms of the defense this season, despite outstanding overall performances, has been a lack of getting to the quarterback and just a handful of takeaways, through the first two games. Again, those criticisms should be silent for at least another week. Oklahoma’s defense recorded three quarterback sacks, and picked off five Tulsa passes, with Danny Stutsman returning one for a score. Let’s just take a minute and realize exactly how many interceptions that actually is. This defense isn’t perfect but they seem to be way ahead of where they were this time a year ago. They only had 8 interceptions all of last season!
The Receiving Yards
I had written coming into the game that I was expecting Dillon Gabriel to a have a productive afternoon. What I didn’t see coming was three receivers having over a hundred yards each in receptions. Jalil Farooq (126), Nic Anderson (120), and Andrel Anthony (112) all went over the century mark in receiving yards. Anderson did his on just three catches and they were all touchdowns.
Other Quick Thoughts
- I give up on trying to figure the running back situation. I had fully accepted Tawee Walker as being Oklahoma’s lead back and he didn’t even log a carry. I’ll just trust Jeff Lebby and DeMarco Murray to trot out the best guy each week and accept that they know what they’re doing a lot better than I do.
- This was the Jalil Farooq that I’ve been begging to see for three weeks!
- It wasn’t all good. Turnovers reared up this week and for the second game in a row there were far too many penalties (7 for 65 yards).
- Depth and health in the defensive secondary are starting to be a bit concerning.
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