Going with a different tack with this article and looking at the season recap so far.
*Baker Mayfield has exceeded most Sooner fans expectations at QB. His playmaking at QB, his heady play while scrambling and his big-play potential all give the Sooners their best QB since the last time Sam Bradford put on a jersey. I’ve watched a lot of college football this year, and I dare anyone to name 10 better QBs right now.
*Austin Siebert’s freshman debut at kicker and punter is going better than anyone could have imagined. HIs field goal kicking looks NFL-quality and his punting has been great to good. Two major concerns have been erased by his kicking.
*The entire fourth quarter of the Tennessee game plus overtime. On every side of the ball, OU needed clutch play after play:
- The first Sooner TD, which ended with a great ad-lib play by Mayfield and Samaje Perine;
- The Sooner defense followed that up with a three-and-out.
- Another clutch TD drive ended with a great catch by Sterling Shepard.
- Mayfield’s clutch 4th-and-goal keeper in OT.
- The entire second OT – from Shepard’s TD run, catch, jump, and dive to Zack Sanchez's timely interception to end it all.
Ignore Tennessee’s meltdown since – OU ripped out the Vols' heart and set up this collapse, which may cost Butch Jones his job.
*The receiving corps is making more big plays. More depth is being established behind the starters, too. If it keeps up, OU’s passing game is going to be deadly by the end of the year.
It was especially nice to see big TDs from Mark Andrews and the re-emergence of Michiah Quick.
*OU’s defense at times is creating pressure leading to tackles for loss and sacks. Against WVU, the turnover wheel finally landed on OU, with the Sooners getting key fumbles and INTs.
*The Sooner secondary appears to be playing better with improvements from Steven Parker, Jordan Thomas and Ahmad Thomas.
*The front three looks to have a new playmaker in Charles Walker, and outside linebacker Devante Bond has been playing very well.
*The Sooner offensive and run game are currently grounded while the passing game has taken off. The OL has gone through a series of personnel changes trying to find a lineup with some consistency. Opposing defenses are focused on stopping Perine, and the OU running attack is struggling.
Hopefully, this work-in-progress OL will execute better as the Sooners start to move from October to November. Perine and Mixon are big-time weapons, and OU could use some more big plays from the running game.
*Through the first two games, punt return was an outright disaster: Penalties, Shepard not tracking short punts and losing yardage, Shepard calling for a fair catch when there was running room, and not reacting to punt distance and being back far enough.
In the last two games, things are starting to improve overall. I still wish someone other than Shepard was back there.
The Ugly Nominees
1. The entire first half in Knoxville;
2. The squib kick-Hail Mary TD by Tulsa;
3. The no-call targeting penalty on Karl Joseph during the WVU game;
4. The entire officiating crew from the WVU game.