The Oklahoma Sooners throttled Florida Atlantic, 63-14. Lincoln Riley’s high-powered offense didn’t miss a beat with Kyler Murray running the show, but the story of the game was when FAU had the ball. Last season’s defense was heavily scrutinized at times, but shutting down a Lane Kiffin offense in dominant fashion is a great way to open the 2018 season.
Former Oklahoma quarterback Chris Robison got the start for FAU on the day. Out of the gate, there were shades of the 2017 defense when the Owls started the game with the ball. A few first downs later and fans were beginning to dust off their Mike Stoops complaints. A timely FAU penalty resulted in a punt, and it was time for the Kyler Murray show to begin.
The Sooners immediately began moving the ball at will, which proved to be the norm throughout the contest. The most precarious moment on the initial drive came when Murray scrambled back and forth several times before finally stumbling around for a first down.
Rodney Anderson found the end zone shortly after Murray’s scramble for Oklahoma’s first score of the year and the route was on. The defense forced a quick three-and-out and followed it up with a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Late in the second quarter with Oklahoma up 35-0, Murray rolled to his left and connected with Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown for a 65-yard bomb. It was the perfect note to end Murray’s day on.
In just under a half of play, Kyler Murray looked comfortable and confident throwing the ball. Aside from a short dump-off pass that was thrown behind Brown, Murray was right on the money. On the day, he completed 9 of 11 attempts for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 23 rushing yards on four carries.
Some key members of Oklahoma’s supporting cast also had field days. Anderson finished with 100 yards and two TDs on five carries, while Brown caught six passes for 133 yards and a score. In total, seven different running backs/receivers found the end zone.
Most fans and analysts coming into the game figured Oklahoma’s offense would be pretty potent, but the surprise of the day was how the defense performed. Brendan ‘Bookie’ Radley-Hiles and Ronnie Perkins were a couple of true freshmen who made noticeable impacts on the field, and the D as a whole swarmed to the ball all day long.
There were a couple missed tackles, but some of that could be attributed to this being the first game against a different opponent. If the issues persist, it could be a problem against better teams, but for now it’s not alarming.
Backup QB Austin Kendall saw a considerable amount of reps after Murray’s day was done, but in the 4th quarter he ran into a cart on the FAU sideline, which ultimately ended his day. Riley didn’t have an update on Kendall following the game, but was optimistic about the outlook:
Riley says they don’t have an update yet on Austin Kendall but are optimistic.— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) September 1, 2018
Addison Gumbs was also announced to be out for the year after sustaining a non-contact knee injury during practice on Friday. It’s unfortunate because Gumbs was in line to receive a lot of playing time coming into his sophomore season, but now the opportunity for the next man up is here. However, Gumbs had the highest ceiling of anyone at the position.
Addison Gumbs sustained a non-contact knee injury during Friday’s practice and will miss the season.— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) September 1, 2018
Other than Kendall and Gumbs, it was a relatively clean day from an injury standpoint.
At the end of the day, Oklahoma is now 1-0 and will begin preparing for the UCLA Bruins. It was as dominant of a performance as you could ask for, especially for a first game against a quality opponent.
Follow Crimson & Cream Machine on Twitter!