With just three weeks remaining until Oklahoma's season opener against Akron the Sooners took to Owen Field on Saturday for a scrimmage that ended up lasting about an hour-and-a-half. With multiple positions up for grabs it was an opportunity for the players to show what they're capable of in a "game like" situation. Here's what we know from Saturday.
Joe Mixon Runs Hard
We already knew this from the typical practice reports but Oklahoma's redshirt freshman made hard cuts and was quick to hit the gaps. I'm not shying away at all from my stance that he'll only be on campus for two more seasons.
We Have A Tight End Sighting
One of the touchdown receptions on Saturday belonged to redshirt freshman Mark Andrews who has the inside track to starting at tight end. While it still isn't the same as seeing the position used as a downfield threat in an actual game, it warms the heart a bit to know the tight ends have made an appearance in the month of August.
Is Daniel Brooks Getting A Serious Look?
When I first started hearing reports that junior running back Daniel Brooks was getting some solid practice reps I chalked it up to being early in camp and the necessity for everyone to work on fundamentals. However, Brooks also had a good number of reps in the scrimmage on Saturday which also could be chalked up to a couple of things as well. It could be that the coaching staff pulled Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon early to avoid any chance of an unnecessary injury, but it could also be that the new offense will require the Sooners to be significantly deeper at all positions and Brooks is doing enough to continue getting a good hard look.
We're Learning More About Lincoln Riley's Offense
Before Saturday the only sample that we had of what Oklahoma's new offense was going to look like was the Spring Game. Now that we've had a second look I think there are a few things that we can say for sure.
- The quarterback will remain mobile and be a running threat in this offense. This gives an advantage to both Trevor Knight and Baker Mayfield who are mobile in the pocket as opposed to Cody Thomas who is a pocket passer.
- The offense will go vertical. While I don't think the Sooners will ever move away from the horizontal passing game, because if its effectiveness, Riley is a big fan of taking his team downfield and they can get there in a hurry with a vertical passing game.
- The running backs will be used and used often. Oklahoma's backs are being asked to both carry the ball, against a defense that is spread out, and to also be a threat in the passing game by catching the ball out of the backfield. They'll serve a dual purpose in this offense.