The Sooners battled against the Cyclones in their first road test of the season. Everyone remembers the second half collapse by Oklahoma against Iowa State last season, and this rematch was a chance to settle the score.
Before the game began, I fully expected the Sooner’s offense to run up the score, and show the Cylones that this year was going to be different. I also anticipated the defense would continue to show improvements, and on both accounts I was incorrect.
Marquise Brown had himself a first half, going for a Sooner record 189 yards before the 30 minute mark. Brown showed a lot of versatility in Ames, catching passes all over the field. But of course, the deep ball was his best friend. He scored the games first TD on a 75 yard bomb from Kyler Murray.
With the loss of Rodney Anderson, it was interesting to see how the offense would look running the ball, and it looks like the focus will be on more designed runs for the speedy quarterback. Kyler used his legs frequently in Ames, rushing 15 times for 77 yards. It seemed like Oklahoma switched the game plan in the second half, focusing on the run instead of the pass. Kyler still let it fly, throwing for a total of 350 yards with three TD’s. He’s looked great through his first three games and has definitely thrown his hat into the Heisman conversation.
Trey Sermon and Marcelias Sutton were the feature backs, but Trey did more with his opportunities, rushing for 70 yards and a TD. He only caught one pass for two yards, and will need to work his pass-catching skills if he hopes to fill the void left after Rodney Anderson’s season ending knee injury. T.J. Pledger who had a few solid runs against UCLA, only received on carry this game, showing that Sutton and Sermon are probably going to be the guys moving forward.
The biggest problem for Oklahoma was on the defensive side of the ball, more specifically, the ability to wrap-up the ball carrier. Brendan Radley-Hiles seemed like the only Sooner who could get make a solid tackle, racking up 8 total. With the front seven allowing Iowa State in the secondary a ton, Bookie was able to make some strong open field plays on David Montgomery, and played some pretty solid coverage as well.
The biggest surprise on either side of the ball was the play of Zeb Noland, who made his first career start against Oklahoma. He dazzled fans with 360 yards through the air, including a huge 57 yard pass to Hakeem Butler. At 6’6″, Butler terrorized Oklahoma’s corner backs all afternoon, racking up only 5 catches but turning them into 174 yards and two scores.
If the Sooners want a shot at the College Football Playoff then the defense will have to improve dramatically as Big 12 conference play has now begun.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.