Happy Friday, friends and fans!
Thursday night marked the start of Week 1 in college football, but there was also some NFL preseason action going on as well. Baker Mayfield received his first and only start of the preseason, as the Cleveland Browns traveled north to take on the Detroit Lions. Check out how the young gunslinger started the night:
First play of the Great Lakes Classic: Baker Mayfield to Devon Cajuste for 41 yards! pic.twitter.com/lo88T6nyWl— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 30, 2018
Mayfield connected with ‘Hard Knocks’ favorite Devon Cajuste for a 41-yard gain, and No. 6 wasn’t done there. Next, he found running back Matthew Dayes over the middle for 30 yards.
The last throw I want to highlight came in the second quarter. Mayfield zipped one on a frozen rope to fellow rookie receiver Damion Ratley for 21 more yards.
On the night, Mayfield completed nine of his 16 passes for 138 yards, and through his four appearances he went 35-61 for 501 yards with two TDs and one interception.
In my estimation, it’s pretty obvious that the No. 1 overall pick is the most talented QB on Cleveland’s roster, and while he may not start for a while as the regular season gets underway next week, he’ll continue to learn and work under Tyrod Taylor’s veteran leadership until the time is right for him to become the face of the franchise.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! It’s almost time for Mike Stoops’ defense to start that redemption tour, Mark Andrews continues to shine for the Baltimore Ravens, the FCS has claimed its first FBS victim in 2018 and more!
- If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Jack Shields and Matt Ravis on the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast as they preview Game 1 along with other topics related to OU athletics.
- In case you missed it, Oklahoma finally released its depth chart ahead of the season opener, although there are still several starting spots that remain publicly up-in-the-air with the all too vague ‘or’.
- Here’s the uniform you can expect to see tomorrow morning when the Oklahoma Sooners take the field. One word — fresh. The Sooners are rocking the standard red-red-white, and which never looks bad.
- Check out Grant Calcaterra and Trey Sermon on when the feeling hits them. That feeling is an adrenaline rush that can’t be duplicated or simulated in any other environment. Sooners know what it’s like.
- Oklahoma faces the very real possibility of getting into an offensive shootout against Florida Atlantic, which is why Mike Stoops’ defense needs to prove it can and will be better right away.
- Rodney Anderson is living through a remarkable journey that almost saw his playing career derailed without ever truly beginning. After suffering two devastating injuries in back-to-back years, he’s become one of college football’s premier running backs. Now he has a chance to solidify himself as one of the all-time greats if he’s able to take his game to the next level.
- Maine graduate transfer point guard Aaron Calixte was cited this past Saturday for paraphernalia. It’s not always wise to speculate on this kind of thing, but I don’t imagine that much will come of this.
OU statement on #Sooners PG Aaron Calixte, who was cited on drug paraphernalia charge:— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) August 31, 2018
"We are aware of the matter and will respond to it internally."
More on Aaron Calixte citation on possession of drug paraphernalia:— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) August 31, 2018
* Pulled over at 130am on 8/25 (Boyd and Asp) for improper left turn
*Police smelled burnt marijuana, found small blunt
*Calixte admitted to smoking earlier in day and didn't know it was in vehicle.#Sooners
- At this rate, the NFL is going to become the OFL (Oklahoma Football League) with all these Sooners. Okay, that was trash, I accept it, but these guys are the opposite of my bad jokes. From left to right you see Tony Jefferson, Mark Andrews, Adrian Peterson, Trent Williams, Samaje Perine, Orlando Brown and Tress Way. What a group...
- Speaking of Mark Andrews, last season he caught passes from a Heisman Trophy winner, and it looks like he’s continuing to do just that after this 45-yard reception from a Lamar Jackson pass.
- Steven Parker also got in on the preseason festivities after recording this nice interception for the Los Angeles Rams.
- Former offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, now the head coach at UCF, is thankful for what he learned while coaching at Oklahoma, and for how it ended. He has continued to work on bettering himself as a coach and as a family man, and now he’s in the best situation of his career.
Around the Sports World
- On Thursday night, San Jose State became the first FBS team to lose to an FCS opponent in 2018 by falling short in a high-scoring affair against UC Davis. Welcome to college football, ladies and gentlemen.
- Miami has the Turnover Chain, and other schools have their own gimmicky turnover props. Now Tulane has joined the festivities with these giant Mardi Gras beads. It makes perfect sense, though, with them being in New Orleans, but Turnover Beads doesn’t sound that cool.
- On the opening kickoff against UCONN, UCF’s Aaron Robinson suffered a frightening injury that required a stretcher to be brought onto the field. Robinson was able to give the crowd a thumbs up as he exited the stadium through the tunnel. It’s been reported that he remained at a hospital in Hartford, Connecticut through the night.
- They say the rich get richer, and the New York Yankees are definitely rich with talent (and money). Now it’s being reported that the Pinstripe boys are working to add San Francisco Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen, winner of the 2013 NL MVP award.
- Usain Bolt made his pro soccer debut in Australia with the Central Coast Mariners club. The fastest man in the world still has some mechanics and timing issues to work through on the field, but you can’t coach that speed.
Stick to Sports!
- Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman is in support of campaigning for the hit film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and not only for the new — and somewhat controversial — award for Most Popular Film. In a recent interview, Boseman spoke about how difficult the film was to create, and how its worldwide success is more of a testament to its cultural significance than its popularity.
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