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Sooners 52 – Bearcats 26, Final Thoughts


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The Cincinnati win taught us a few things about this Oklahoma team. First, they are really good on offense! I don’t think we have reached the point yet where we can start comparing them to the 2003 team but this may be the fastest offensive unit that Bob Stoops has ever worked with. The addition of Ryan Broyles to the mix was almost unfair.

Second, the linebackers are solid. It was a point of concern going into the season because Ryan Reynolds was the only one with experience. Keenan Clayton adds versatility to the position and has transitioned smoothly from safety and Travis Lewis is just a player. There was a lot of talk heading into the Cincinnati game that Austin Box would get some significant playing time but it appears that Lewis isn’t letting anyone else on the field. He was in on 12 tackles Saturday and had 2 sacks. Even though he is just a redshirt freshman he could be the hardest hitter on the defense.

Finally, we learned that this team has attitude! Call is swagger or arrogance or whatever else you’d like but Oklahoma showed something on Saturday that we haven’t seen in a long time. They were nasty! When the Bearcats got in their faces they didn’t back down, when they were shoved they shoved back and they just seemed to be ticked off that Cincinnati thought that they belonged on the same field with the Sooners.

Under Stoops Oklahoma has always had talent but at times seemed to lack mental and physical toughness. Watching them on Saturday reminded me of Torrance Marshall talking smack to the Florida State captains at the coin toss of the Orange Bowl and the backing it up with his play on the field.

 

This is the attitude that Oklahoma has been missing for a while.

Report Card

 

Quarterbacks – Sam Bradford set a personal record with 395 passing yards. He added 5 touchdowns to it and I am willing to bet that he passes these marks before the season ends. He did throw two interceptions but you could argue that one of them wasn’t his fault since it bounced off the receiver’s chest.

Grade: B+

 

Offensive Line – No sacks allowed and 592 yards of total offense. Yep, they did their jobs!

Grade: A+

 

Running Backs – The touchdown production was down from the week before but total yardage production was up by 15 yards and yards per carry were up from 4.0 the week before to 4.5.

Grade: A+

 

Receivers/Tight Ends – Hello Ryan Broyles! He set a record for Oklahoma receivers making their debut with 7 receptions for 141 yards. Jermaine Gresham had 93 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns were spread among 4 different receivers.

Grade: A+

 

Defensive Line – Dustin Grutza was sacked three times but two of those were linebacker Travis Lewis. Oklahoma’s defensive line did harass Cincinnati quarterbacks all afternoon and held the Bearcats to under 100 yards rushing and just 3 yards per carry.

Grade: A-

 

Linebackers – A combined 25 tackles between the three starters and several big hits. They did get burned a few times on short middle passes in the first half but that was fixed at halftime and they led the defense to completely shutting down Cincinnati in the 3rd quarter.

Grade: B+

 

Secondary – Lendy Holmes and Dominique Franks each snagged interceptions but Oklahoma gave up over 200 passing yards in the first half before the adjustments were made.

Grade: B-

 

Special Teams Oklahoma was 7/7 on extra points and 1/1 on field goals. That would be an A+ if we could stop there but we have to address 265 yards surrendered on kickoff returns. Expect some changes this week in that department.

Grade: C-