Happy Monday, friends and fans!
Jalen Hurts is finding his way in a big way with the Oklahoma Sooners. Through two games, he’s completed 34 of 41 passes for 591 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s also added 223 rushing yards and three more scores on 24 carries. Those numbers are outstanding, but check this out for some perspective.
Here's a combo you don't see every day...a quarterback leading the nation in pass efficiency rating and all other QBs in rushing yards. That's where @JalenHurts is after 2 games. Has a 252.3 rating (next highest is 219.1) and has 223 rushing yards (next most by a QB is 177).— Mike Houck (@mhouckOU) September 8, 2019
Basically, since Hurts joined forces with Lincoln Riley, he’s reached another level that few believed was even possible. Sure, he hasn’t faced a fearsome defense as of yet, but that argument will only hold up for so long as he continues to defy expectations. Still, his own personal view of his performances has not met with celebration, and for some that’s been difficult to watch unfold. Clay Horning from the Norman Transcript has more:
Jalen Hurts would have you believe the extraordinary is merely all right and good enough is entirely regrettable. Can he take such an approach all season long without wearing himself or his #Sooners teammates out?https://t.co/qshaynJLmY— Clay Horning (@clayhorning) September 9, 2019
While I can understand why we’d want the message being sent to these student-athletes to be about enjoying the process and not tearing yourself down along the way, I also don’t have any issues with how Hurts has conducted himself. I certainly don’t think it’s a front, either. One has to understand a few things: he’s a coach’s son, he played for Nick Saban, and he knows what it takes to reach the mountaintop.
Plus, while it seems that Hurts may be nitpicking himself or the team in his assessments at times, there are very real and measurable areas that Oklahoma can and must improve on to become a serious national championship contender. As prolific as the offense has been, it’s also been a bit sloppy in stretches, and the amount of penalties should unacceptable for anyone.
It’s okay for Horning and others who think like him to feel strange or even sorry for Hurts’ approach, but up to this point the team around him clearly feels differently. They chose him as their captain, so maybe just maybe they look at his method of operation as a necessary breath of fresh air.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Hollywood lights up Miami, Kyler doesn’t win or lose in his debut, Boston’s Dombrowski is out and more!
- Alex Grinch’s defense finally forced a wave of turnovers on Saturday, and spear-heading the efforts was sophomore NB Brendan Radley-Hiles. OU Insider’s RJ Young detailed why ‘Bookie’ is the key to pushing the Sooners over the hump in the takeaway department.
- Tyler Palmateer from the Norman Transcript wrote about why the backup reps in the latter portion of the South Dakota game were valuable both for this season and the future of Oklahoma Football.
- Marquise Brown aka Hollywood had himself quite the NFL debut, catching four passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns, including this 83-yard strike from Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Miami Dolphins, 59-10. Brown was also the first player in NFL history to have multiple 40-plus-yard TDs in his NFL debut.
- Kyler Murray also had himself quite the introduction to the league. After his Arizona Cardinals trailed big against the Detroit Lions, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner led his team on a furious fourth-quarter comeback. Ultimately, the game went into overtime, but ended in a 27-all tie.
We've got ourselves a new game pic.twitter.com/qxpjWK1UQZ— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 8, 2019
- Former Oklahoma TE and 2017 Mackey Award winner Mark Andrews went nuclear against the ‘Phins, catching eight passes for 108 yards and this three-yard touchdown. OU produces so much firepower for the NFL its ridiculous.
- Baker Mayfield’s first season opener as a starter did not go well. After his Cleveland Browns were thoroughly thumped by the Tennessee Titans, 43-13, Mayfield was seen wearing a wrap on his throwing hand. Reportedly, x-ray results showed nothing serious.
Am told Baker Mayfield’s throwing hand just bruised. X-ray was precautionary. Not serious. https://t.co/xvJljq6JuZ— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 8, 2019
- In case you missed it, the latest SB Nation FanPulse Top 25 has been revealed following Week 2’s college football action, and Oklahoma remains No. 4 in the poll while Sooner fans kept OU at No. 3. Check out the poll in its entirety, and if you’re just learning about this, know that you can still sign up for future polls!
Around the Sports World
- Rafael Nadal captured his 19th Grand Slam Title after defeating Daniil Medvedev in the US Open Final. Dude’s a living legend.
- ESPN’s Bill Connelly checks in on the new college football offenses in 2019 and assesses how they are coming along two weeks into the season.
- Team USA Basketball defeated Brazil, 89-73 to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals next week. Even without any of the major superstars of the NBA, this team is gelling together and starting to dominate the competition.
- President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski and the Boston Red Sox have reportedly parted ways. The timing of this comes out of nowhere, but it seemed to be inevitable eventually.
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