Image via rantsports.com
Coming into a season where people were quite hesitant about certain positions and where they stand, Oklahoma’s home opener vs the University of Texas-El Paso should calm Sooner Nation for a few hours before they realize Lincoln Riley is taking the boys to Columbus, Ohio next week.
Here’s your immediate analysis:
Defense: During the first defensive series, I think many people started breathing heavily with an ounce of anxiety in their step. Wow. It seemed like the Miners were able to punish the Oklahoma front seven, get to the edge, and go. Suddenly, that sort of opening drive makes a person question whether or not the Sooners have depth on the DL. Well, after that opening series of hot garbage, the defense composed itself, stopped letting linebackers getting easily scraped by varying linemen and fullbacks, and it was a tough day for the Miners thereafter.
Of course there were a few hiccups in coverage where Oklahoma was lucky that UTEP receiver may drop the ball after a hit, or seeing Kenneth Murray physically unsure what he should do once or twice, but some of that is to be expected during the first game of the season. I think this is simply a very unfeatured gameplan that didn’t give Ohio State much to think about on what the Sooners may do a week from today. The major knock on the defense after today is the Jordan Parker injury: he was spotted in a brace with crutches on the sideline— that is sincerely unfortunate and it shortens the bench in Cooks’ backfield.
Tackling: B— quite a few moments when the Sooners went to tackle by hitting with their shoulders instead of wrapping up.
Coverage: A— I truly enjoyed seeing Oklahoma play in coverage knowing that there are competent players able to step up when needed. There are no more 5’8, 145lbs cornerbacks at OU.
Trenches: B— Immediately after the first series, many were worried; but it turned out to be nothing ado about it. Did a decent job of containing and even getting after UTEP’s QB.
Offense: This evaluation deserves to be short and sweet; and here’s why:
-Baker Mayfield and Mark Andrews were what many thought they should be (and are)
-The Offensive Line is a bruiser. The 2’s on the Offensive Line are also bruisers. Oklahoma running backs will love them.
-I enjoyed seeing what Abdul Adams, Rodney Anderson, & Marcelius Sutton could do. Lots of varying skill sets.
-I lost track of how many different receivers caught balls. But great job.
-FRESHMEN: Grant Calcaterra (Español for “Golden Badass”) and Ceedee Lamb both caught Touchdowns and reeled in some nice catches as well. This bodes well for the Now and Future.
-Kyler Murray has Oklahoma in decent hands should anything happen to Baker Mayfield.
Consistency: A— The play calling was consistent along with the play of the offense. Felt very scripted and comfortable. You knew Oklahoma was putting up 50+ after the first quarter.
Passing Game: A- (this is being nit-picky)— At times when Baker would scramble for the open man, his receivers didn’t do too much to help him in running back to the ball.
Trenches/Running Game: A+— Not a lot to say here. The 1’s, 2’s, and even 3’s were dominant against the inferior Miners.