A week after an insane overtime victory on the road at Rocky Top a bit of a letdown was expected. Plus, the offensive line was dealing with some injuries coming out of that physical game.
OU needed to get to the bye week and regroup at 3-0. Mission accomplished.
The Good (Somewhat Great)
Mayfield is trending toward being the next great Sooner quarterback if he continues to improve week over week like he has so far this season. He has a level of escapability and playmaking ability that hasn’t been seen in a Sooner jersey for a long time.
Right now, the offense is taking the incremental steps to being a deadly unit by the end of the season for the Sooners’ biggest clashes. Mayfield’s showing the running ability to make teams pay for dropping eight. He has an uncanny ability to escape the rush while still keeping his eyes downfield for passes. It’s all plus side right now.
Bob Stoops may have caught a huge break with the hiring of Lincoln Riley and the transfer of Mayfield.
More targets and more plays from targets not related to Sooner great Derrick Shepard.
Mark Andrews had a breakout game with the long pass play to the tight end that Sooners fans have been screaming about since James Hanna went for 70-plus against Oklahoma State. Expect Andrews to get more targets and plays where he’s behind the LBs and in between the safeties more concerned with Sterling Shepard and Dede Westbrook.
Westbrook and Jarvis Baxter are looking more comfortable, while it was a nice rebound game from Durron Neal.
OU’s version of the spread with Perine and Joe Mixon might have the kind of running game that will hurt tired defenses in the fourth quarter. Perine shredded Tulsa late in the game and now has more than 250 yards rushing after three games.
With two starting linemen out, credit Bill Bedenbaugh for putting together a new OL unit that, while not dominant, was effective enough to generate 778 yards of offense. Frankly, Tulsa never really never stopped OU's offense. Even Tulsa’s fourth down stop came after a dropped pass by the Sooners on third down.
While there were some penalties, it was a good day for the most part for a line that rotated frequently.
To be fair, the defense played well in stretches on Saturday. However, Tulsa was kind of like taking the practice tests before the real SATs in November (Baylor, TCU and OSU). You can only conclude that OU badly needs to take an intense prep course to improve its score before then.
An emotional letdown on defense was expected, and OU’s defense twice had the game in hand before the offense committed red zone turnovers. In fact, it should have been 38-10 or 45-10 at the half. Apparently, the game plan was somewhat hurt by the late suspension of Jordan Thomas, forcing P.J. Mbanasor to play.
Still, taking all that into account, many Sooner fans are legitimately concerned about the lack of pass rush, the soft coverage on WRs and the lack of plays being made by the D. It just seemed like it was a mini replay of last year's Baylor game at times.
We mentioned last week that the Sooner D needed a big game against a passing team. We’re still waiting.
End of the first half
The combo of the onside kick and Hail Mary TD pass by Tulsa. The onside kick was well timed, but OU should still have been ready. The Hail Mary pass defense was terrible. Why not call a timeout and put receiver Jeffrey Mead back on defense, for instance. Overall, OU looked confused and gave up a bad TD.