Oklahoma played the part of a playoff contender on Saturday. The Sooners hosted the Baylor Bears in a blowout victory, 66-33.
Quarterback Kyler Murray didn’t start the opening drive of the game due to violating team rules. As a result, backup quarterback Austin Kendall started under center. On the opening drive, he took the Sooners to midfield before having to punt. And then, a rare mistake my Baylor’s Chris Platt. He muffed the punt, which set up Oklahoma at the Baylor 9-yard line for their first score.
The Sooners scored touchdowns on three out of their next five drives to take a 28-9 lead into halftime.
Baylor started the second half on a 13-play touchdown drive to get them within 12 points, but they could not stop the Sooner’s offense. Oklahoma scored on all six of their possessions in the second half. Five of them were for touchdowns.
Here are four takeaways from the game.
Oklahoma’s Rush Defense Was Resuscitated
After a disappointing showing against Army last week, especially stopping the run, Oklahoma held Baylor to just 77 rushing yards.
Kyler Murray Had A Career Day
Murray added to his resume for the Heisman voters over the weekend. His seven touchdowns and 477 total yards is a career best. In the small sample size before the season began, most thought Kyler would generate the Sooner offense with his legs. While Murray does use his athleticism to make plays, it’s been his arm that’s been impressive.
Granted, he does have great receivers and there is a lot of yards after the catch; however, Murray is making some tough throws to where only his receivers can get to them. He tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Grant Calcaterra in the back of the end zone. Grant running a seam route from the slot and the the ball thrown perfectly over the defender was a play you see at the next level.
His patience and pocket awareness, giving him time to set up the big plays, is what keep defensive coordinators up at nigh.
Oklahoma’s Offense is Unstoppable
Kyler Murray has a lot of options on the outside. This offense is predicated on mismatches and the Sooner receivers are match-up nightmares. Start with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. A small receiver that finds space in the secondary. He’s the only receiver in the country that has over 20 catches and averages over 20 yards per catch (24 rec – 22.7 ypc).
Cee Dee Lamb compliments Brown on the outside. He had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season against the Bears. When Marquise is not on the field, Lamb is arguably the fastest player on the field.
Oklahoma took a hit in the running game when Rodney Anderson went out with a season ending knee injury in the second game of the season versus UCLA. The Sooners have relied on Trey Sermon and freshman and Kennedy Brooks. Early on its been whoever is hot gets the bulk of the carries and it was Brooks this week as he reached the century mark against the Bears.
The offensive line is living up to their standard as the best in the Big 12, creating holes for the running backs and giving Kyler Murray plenty of time to pick apart secondaries.
The only team to hold the offense under 30 points has been Army. They’re best defense was holding onto the ball on offense, keeping the Sooners on the sidelines.
Baylor is Making Progress
Despite getting beat by 33 points, the Bears showed they can come into a tough environment and compete. They answered Oklahoma twice to start the second half before the talent and depth of Oklahoma took over late in the third quarter.
It’s going to take some time; however, the Baylor offensive line isn’t where it needs to be and that has a lot to do with depth. They couldn’t establish a running attack that could have helped early in the game.
Quarterback Charlie Brewer is looking more comfortable every week in the offense and has two reliable receivers in Denzel Mims and Jalen Hurd. He hasn’t shown to be consistent on a weekly basis, but he is making strides and him being a full time starter will pay dividends in later in the season.