Oklahoma's 31-24 win over Utah State was about as ugly as they come but at the end of the night it was still a win. That's more than we can say for last year's season opener when the Sooners fell to another team from the state of Utah. At this point last season hope was gone and dreams were dashed. Fast forward now back to 2010 where concerns have been raised and a bit of disappointment (or shock) is in the air but every goal is still on the table. However, to achieve them the Oklahoma offense is going to have to work some over time to correct some key issues that arose Saturday night.
Offensive Players Of The Game
DeMarco Murray - 35 carries/210 rushing yards/2 TDs
Ryan Broyles - 9 receptions/139 yards/2 TDs
It wasn't all bad for Oklahoma's offense but like the color orange, ugliness just stands out. Oklahoma did manufacture five plays of 20 yards or more while racking up over 400 yards of total offense and scoring 31 points. Still the only aspect of Oklahoma's offense that functioned properly was all night was DeMarco Murray. In his debut as Oklahoma's only feature back he rushed for 210 yards on 35 carries (6.0 YPC) and two scores. Other than that the offense showed flashes of brilliance mixed in with a whole lot of ugly. This is a trend that will continue until the Sooners can address, and fix, the following key issues.
Figure out the blitz and blocking schemes - The Sooners gave up two sacks Saturday night but Landry Jones faced relentless pressure and was hurried into several passes. I get that you're not going to get everyone picked up on every blitz but there were a few occasions where blockers straight up missed and others when the Aggies got pressure without blitzing.
DeMarco Murray gained over 200 yards on the ground but that could be a bit deceiving when it comes to line blocking. Murray tabbed 102 of his yards on two carries when he got sprung to the outside and was able to hit the edge and turn on the jets. Oklahoma's offensive line didn't get the consistent push needed up front to have the type of dominating performance we had hoped to see. Running between the tackles the Sooners were average at best.
Find a third threat. Preferably a tight end - Murray is one of the best running backs in the conference and Ryan Broyles is the best receiver in the Big 12 but to have a truly great offense the Sooners need a third option. Kenny Stills showed promise but I'm not sure he's ready to be the second option just yet. Dejuan Miller and Cameron Kenney had cameo appearances in the passing game but what Oklahoma really needs is a tight end. The closest thing that OU had to a tight end reception was a pass interference call against Trent Ratterree.
Get some chemistry with Landry Jones and the receivers - Two things are obvious here. First, Landry Jones is very comfortable throwing the ball to Ryan Broyles. Second, he's not real comfortable throwing to anyone else. It appears that when Broyles is covered then Jones goes into panic mode and either throws it away, makes a bad pass or holds the ball to long resulting in a sack.
Jones was off target all night to most of his receivers but seemed to have little trouble finding Broyles. Part of the problem was that receivers didn't run their full routes at times and broke them off even after the ball was in the air. The other part was that Jones just looked like he didn't know who to trust and held the ball too long resulting in either a rushed pass or a sack.
Offensive Report Card