If you made it this far, give yourself the biggest pat on the back, because there’s only One. Day. Left. in our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! Tomorrow, the Oklahoma Sooners host Missouri State in what has gradually become a highly-anticipated season opener. Before the fun begins on Saturday, I want to take a look back at some of the most electrifying moments in recent OU history. Since Lincoln Riley was promoted to head coach, his offenses have scored a touchdown on the first play of a drive 10 different times! Come with me as we revisit and relive each and every one of those ultra-quick strikes!
First up, we’ve not only got a one-play scoring drive here, we’ve got the longest possible play from scrimmage one can have in a college football game. When Oklahoma visited Baylor in 2017, Abdul Adams wasted absolutely no time to make OU history. 99 yards later — BOOM!
Later that same season, Baker Mayfield and the Sooners strolled into Stillwater for an epic Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma State. The game certainly lived up to the hype as both teams traded TDs until the very end. One such score came in a hurry, as the eventual Heisman Trophy winner connected with Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown for an 84-yard catch-and-sprint. Now this is a dazzling one-play house call.
What also happened in 2017 was the return of the Big 12 Championship Game. Oklahoma rematched TCU for the conference crown, and for all intents and purposes this one was over relatively early. Immediately coming out of halftime, Mayfield found Mykel Jones streaking into the open field. 55 yards later and it was six.
As Mayfield passed the torch to Kyler Murray, the Sooners’ seventh Heisman Trophy winner didn’t take long to log the first one-play scoring drive of his Sooner career. In the 2018 season opener against Florida Atlantic, K1 linked up with his former Allen High School teammate — Lee Morris — for a one-play, 65-yard drive.
Kennedy Brooks became a household name in 2018, and during the late stages of a rout against Baylor, he broke into the open field via hand-off to start the drive. As the theme of this article goes, he wouldn’t be denied the entire 49 yards of his single run to pay dirt.
Perhaps the most memorable and iconic one-play scoring drive of the Lincoln Riley era came in a loss during the 2018 Red River Showdown. As Kyler Murray and company furiously battled back from a sizable deficit, K1 showed why he is usually the greatest athlete on the field. He just needed one play and one inch of space to catch the sideline for a 67-yard trip to the house. It may not have led to a win, but it probably helped him hoist the Heisman. Besides, he got his revenge over the Longhorns in the conference title game just a couple months later, so really it’s all good.
Kyler Murray: 1 play, 67 yards, touchdown.pic.twitter.com/YaKo7qjZUU— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 6, 2018
In 2019, newcomer Rhamondre Stevenson quickly asserted his presence as a force to be reckoned with in OU’s offense. Against South Dakota, he only needed his number called once as the Sooners held a comfortable 49-7 lead in the third. He’s a powerful running back, but his ability to move 75-yards with haste was as impressive to see as anything else.
CeeDee Lamb scored more times in his career than most college football players ever dream of, so it only makes sense that he’d have a play (or two) that both started and ended an OU scoring drive. This first one came against Texas Tech, and it’s almost embarrassing to watch him completely disregard the TTU defense as if they weren’t even there. A 71-yard touchdown never looked so easy.
Here we have Lamb once again, only this time he set his team up with a short field after returning a Kansas punt for a huge gain that was compounded by a Jayhawk penalty. 10 yards from the opponent’s goal line is child’s play for a Riley-led offense and should never take more than one play to reach the end zone when this beast of a receiver is on the field.
Finally, here we have a second appearance from Stevenson, and like Lamb’s before him, this quick-strike also came against KU. Like I said, Rhamondre’s speed is nothing to scoff at, but it’s his power that makes him especially dangerous. Watch as he plows through the hapless Kansas defense and rushes to the promised land without breaking a sweat.
Overall, it’s been a fun three years with Lincoln Riley manning the ship in Norman, and as long as he’s calling the shots, I think it’s safe to expect at least a few more one-play scoring drives. Who knows, maybe the list will grow as early as this weekend when Missouri State comes to play. To find out, you’ll have to stay tuned. Thanks for following along in this year’s rather unconventional countdown series, and Boomer Sooner!
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