I’ll be the first one to say it, I overlooked this Oklahoma Sooners football team. Baker Mayfield was the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. They lost their left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., to the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Mark Andrews provided a void at the tight end position after being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. If you can’t tell, there’s a trend of some incredibly talented players in Norman, Oklahoma. There were question marks to start the season but as of right now, the Sooners have been on fire.
In week one, they put up 63 points on a Lane Kiffin’s FAU football team. Meanwhile, they beat Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins by a score of 49-21. Even though every game is tough in football, right now, they are on track to bury every team they play. At least, until, they play TCU in week seven. Maybe Texas gives them a game the week before but with the way they’ve looked so far this season, it looks unlikely.
But why are the Sooners rolling over the competition? Good coaching would be everyones first guess and it’s an accurate guess. Don’t doubt the talent of this roster like I did, specifically, this offense. The Sooners offense has some serious firepower and is incredibly talented. Let’s dive into some film and look at what this offense provides!
Kyler Murray, Quarterback
Playing the year after Baker Mayfield has to be incredibly difficult. For the 9th overall pick to the Oakland Athletics of the 2018 MLB Draft, Murray had a tough decision to make. Pass on a signing bonus over $4 million dollars from the Athletics or forego his senior season and start playing baseball. He made the right decision and signed the contract. He’ll play this year for the Sooners and then join the Athletics on the baseball diamond.
Even though I was critical of Murray potentially passing on the money to continue to play football, he’s still proved me wrong with his impressive play on the gridiron. In fact, he’s been electric for the Sooners. On the season, he’s 28/44 for 515 yards and five touchdowns. Adding to that, he’s ran the ball 14 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Watching the play above, he makes a great read and keeps the ball on his way to the end zone.
Not only do you have to watch Murray with his ability to run, you also have to find ways to stop his arm. If he’s given a clean pocket, he can stand there and deliver an absolute strike. For example, Murray takes a three-step drop and finds his wide receiver, A.D. Miller (#12) on a slant route. Through two games, Murray has show a lot of poise in the pocket. He’s extended plays with his feet but has also shown good anticipation.
Mainstream media has already compared him to Russell Wilson but let’s just say Kyler Murray is Kyler Murray. His development each week will be fun to monitor. If we’ve learned anything, he’s flashed great potential on the gridiron and head coach Lincoln Riley has found ways to make him more dynamic than just a one-trick pony within his offensive scheme.
Rodney Anderson, Running Back
This one is unfortunate and I’ll talk briefly on it. Anderson was a big-time running back prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s now suffered a serious knee injury and will be out for the rest of the 2018 season. Odds are, we won’t talk about his draft stock until next year for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Through the first week of the season, he had 5 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Against UCLA, he added 6 carries for 9 yards and a touchdown to his junior campaign. At 6’1 and 220 pounds, Anderson has been a fun back to watch with his power and burst. He’s got good contact balance and has the ability to be a home run threat anytime he touches the football. Last season he had over 1100 rushing yards for 13 touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry.
Without any word on his injury, it’ll be tough to determine how this backfield will look. Through the early going, Trey Sermon has led the team in rushing attempts with 16 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Sermon is that power back that loves to run north and south on defenses but the compliment to him is running back, T.J. Pledger. He’s got some wiggle to his game and could find his way as the change-of-pace back without Anderson in the lineup.
CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver
Did you just watch that one handed catch? How in the world did CeeDee Lamb make that catch? It’s an early season but right now, that’s got to be the favorite for catch of the year. Against UCLA, Lamb was all over the field. Whether he was returning punts or making grabs like this along the sidelines. He was all over the field and put the NFL Draft world on notice. Granted, Lamb won’t be eligible until the 2020 NFL Draft but he’s got some serious upside for next year.
As a freshman, Lamb had 46 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. He was All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for Offensive Freshman of the Year. To start his 2018 campaign, he was held to 43 rushing yards on two receptions. After his game against UCLA and an injury to their starting running back, there’s belief that Lamb is going to take the next step in his career.
With his size at 6’2 and 190 pounds, he’s got the ability to become a more complete receiver by the time he’s draft-eligible. That’ll give him time to establish his ability in the route tree and show that he’s more than just a vertical threat. However, theres’ no denying the talent that he brings for the Sooners when they push the ball down field. He’s got the speed to take the tops off defenses and through two games, he’s done that for the Sooners.
Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver
The last player I want to talk about within this offense is wide receiver Marquise Brown. He’s better known as “Hollywood” and he exploded onto the scene for the Sooners last year as a sophomore. Last season, he had 57 receptions for 1095 yards and eight touchdowns. Through two weeks of the season, Brown has continued his success despite the change at the quarterback position.
So far this year, Brown has 10 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He’s averaged 22.1 yards per reception through two games and it’s a clear indication of what he’s good at. For starters, Marquise Brown is similar to Lamb in the sense that he can take the top of a defense with his track speed.
Meanwhile. Brown can also do plenty after the catch and is very successful in the short areas of the field. He’ll have to become more consistent within running routes to the intermediate areas of the field but the potential to be a number one receiver is there. He’s only 5’10 and 170 pounds but with his speed and the way today’s game is played, he’s most certainly got a role at the next level.