Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Sooners quickly rebounded from the their week one loss against Houston with a 59-17 win over Louisiana Monroe. This was the first game played in the newly renovated stadium, and was it a sight to behold. The bowled in south end zone not only looked great, it gave the stadium a very refreshing atmosphere. It was certainly louder, but it also felt more energized which is something I didn’t expect after seeing fans reactions to last week’s loss. Moving on to the game, many will discount this win based on the level of competition, that doesn’t mean there weren’t takeaways. Here are a few observations and thoughts:
- The starters looked great. I’m sure many were relieved that both Mixon and Perine were on the field together for a considerable amount of time for the first offensive drive.
- The run game was used liberally this time around with a total of 43 carries between 5 guys.
- Interesting stat: Mayfield had no rushing attempts this week.
- Mayfield seemed much more poised. Progressed through his reads and got guys like Flowers and Miller involved early.
- More on Mayfield. Boy, did he look like himself again. After throwing a 62 yard bomb to Nick Basquine, he sprinted down the field to celebrate the big-play by the walk-on. He wasn’t there to steal the spotlight, he was just genuinely happy for the guy.
- The wide receiver play was felt from the last game, partly due to an established run game. The second touchdown was due to nearly the entire ULM defense biting on the fake sweep to Perine, leaving Flowers wide open. I think this just goes to show if Oklahoma can establish the run game, it really will open up the passing game. Real test will be against Ohio State.
- It is hard to judge the o-line play, if anything they looked cohesive as a unit. Appeared to understand their responsibilities each play, that’s about as much as you can get.
- Mykel Jones certainly had a nice start to his career with 6 receptions for 48 yards. Displayed some nice moves in space, as well.
- Thought Kendall looked nice for the most part, certainly showed he is a freshman on a couple downs.
- Overall, can’t say how much the the o-line and wide receiver play improved from week 1. We’ll get that answer this week against Ohio State. The future looks bright with Jones and Adams. Play calling was certainly better, and I hope the Houston game was merely an outlier.
- Who stood out the most on defense? It is toss up for me but I’m going to go with Caleb Kelly. Man, does he close on the ball fast. Kelly was very active and showed he had a real nose for the ball.
- The other standout to me was Neville Gallimore. This guy has a big, BIG motor. Going back through the game, I’m finding it very hard to find a down where he takes a play off. Very active, very explosive off the line, played with a lot of intensity. He will certainly see more time on the field.
- The starting secondary played well. It is hard to gauge just how much improved they are based on the competition, but there weren’t many blown coverages.
- Jordan Evans is invaluable. Stayed in a majority of the game to direct the second team squad who struggled in the 3rd quarter. A little concerning he had to do that.
- Speaking of, seemed like there was some miscommunication between the corner and safety. Cobb released on his guy, Sunderland however did not pick him up. Cannot make those mistakes.
- Other names I thought played well: Ricky DeBerry (fumble recovery), Emmanuel Beal, and Amani Bledsoe. Bledsoe ended up covering a running back that cut up field from the flats. Pretty impressive for a big guy.
- Overall, not much to take away from the first string guys. The second string had a pretty rough start but finished ok. Biggest question this week will again be the cornerback spot opposite of Jordan Thomas.