The No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners buried the winless UCLA Bruins, 48-14, behind another Herculean effort from Heisman Trophy frontrunner Jalen Hurts. With the win, OU improves to 3-0 on the season and wraps up its non-conference slate heading into a timely bye week before kicking off Big 12 play.
This one looked like a heavy mismatch on paper before the game started, and it played out that way from the jump. On the first drive, Hurts accounted for 99 rushing yards and a score. In fact, the senior captain was so on fire in the opening 30 minutes, he became the first QB in OU history to account for over 200 yards passing and over 100 yards rushing in a half. In total, Hurts completed 15 of 20 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns in addition to 150 rushing yards and another score on 14 carries.
The Sooners outgained the Bruins with 611 yards to 311 yards. For the third consecutive contest, Oklahoma eclipsed the 300-yard passing and 300-yard rushing mark in the same game. This offense simply refuses to take a dip.
An underrated yet promising storyline coming out of Saturday night was OU starting placekicker Calum Sutherland making both of his field goal attempts in the first half after missing both of his tries in the season opener. That’s great, because Oklahoma will definitely need that position to be reliable heading into Big 12 play.
On the defensive side, the overwhelming point of emphasis has been forcing turnovers, and for the second week in a row the Sooners met DC Alec Grinch’s quota of two takeaways per game. The first was a Tre Brown interception in the second quarter, and the other was a fourth quarter pick secured by LB Ryan Jones.
After OU was flagged for 12 penalties against South Dakota, Riley’s team was able to play a cleaner game in Pasadena with just five fouls for 68 yards.
Overall, Oklahoma looked and played like the superior team, but UCLA was able to carve out a decent bit of success after opening the second half with a 14 play scoring drive that covered 75 yards and ate up over seven minutes off the clock. In spots throughout the night, Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was able to find open receivers down field for chunk yardage, but ultimately Chip Kelly’s team was unable to string enough of those types of plays together consistently.
Now that the non-conference portion of the schedule is officially in the books, Oklahoma enters a bye week before commencing conference play at home against Texas Tech. Time and TV information is still to be determined.
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