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Oklahoma Sooners Football | Running Backs Take Center Stage In Home Opener

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Brett Deering

The Oklahoma Sooners' offense got off to a solid start putting points on the board on their first four drives. With confidence and patience, Trevor Knight delivered the ball to his targets although a handful were batted down at the line of scrimmage. At the end of the day, Knight netted 253 yards through the air and another 20 on the ground. However, fans were left scratching their heads as to why the backup QB never saw the field with a large lead late in the game.

Cody [Thomas], we feel will be back to 100 percent next week. We could have put him in there just to hand the ball off, but we didn't feel we needed to put him out there when we hadn't been doing it. Baker [Mayfield] isn't cleared. Not knowing the whole future with Baker, we didn't want to burn Justice's [Hansen] redshirt. We had guys ready. Blake was ready to go and Justice was ready to go if we had to. It's just kind of odd we had to finish it out that way. It's okay. It's one game. - Bob Stoops

Meanwhile the running backs displayed power and stability in the ground attack headlined by the versatility of Keith Ford who crossed the goal line twice on 117 total yards of offense. Not to be outdone, Alex Ross scored two of his own. Yet, the true story may be freshman Samaje Perine who received a team high 13 carries on the evening racking up 77 yards while adding a score in the 48-16 victory. This group certainly has a team first attitude but it appears as if the Sooners have three capable backs with differing styles for different situations.

It's great to see guys lower their pads and start to run through other linebackers. We have guys who have that potential to become complete backs. They run physical through the hole. They have the speed to get out in the open field and they're a big part of our offense. - Bob Stoops

There is no doubt that Oklahoma left room for improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Decision making as well as protecting the ball stay at the forefront of the conversation moving forward. Now that the rust has been shaken off, this is a team building character and momentum heading to Tulsa next week.

Position Grades

Quarterback - Protecting the future of Knight after last season became a concern. With the tools in place to avoid major collisions, it was evident the coaching staff wanted to get the ball out of the quarterbacks hands fairly quickly. That may have played a part in some of the passes meeting an extended hand at the line of scrimmage. At other junctures, the ball came in a bit high. Let's write that off as getting back into the groove of things. Knight orchestrated an efficient offense to seal the opener without trying to do too much. Overall Grade - B+

Receivers - Sterling Shepard passed his late father on the school's all-time receiving list. With that said, it was the blocking that stood out the most to me during Saturday's game. An inexperienced group proved they have what it takes to compete with anyone in the nation. Although the group scored a single touchdown, I'm giving them an Overall Grade: A-

Offensive Line - Instrumental to the success of the offense, the line refused to give up a sack. The protection was clearly there behind the unit coming off the ball fast and furious. Wondering why the backs were so successful tonight? Look no further than the push this group got up front to open holes allowing the backs to run north and south.Overall Grade: A+

Running Backs - How can you not be impressed with this group. Combining to score five times, this crop of running backs has shown promise. Obviously, Ford flashed an unexpected versatility while the true freshman Perine looked to be a power back. But, the one thing most fans were looking for was ball security out of this group. The trio delivered on the expectation by hanging on the ball all night long. Overall Grade: A+