Playing against arguably the weakest team on the FBS level, Oklahoma did about everything you could ask of a group coming off a deflating loss.
The Sooners clicked for the entire first half, racing out to a 42-0 halftime lead. In particular, the offense did just about whatever it wanted through the first two quarters. Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine ran over the Louisiana-Monroe, combining for 175 yards and a pair of scores on 24 carries. A week after taking the entire game on his shoulders, Baker Mayfield spread the ball out to eight different receivers in his one half of work.
Defensively, the search for a second cornerback continues. The Warhawks didn’t really have the personnel to exploit the Parrish Cobb/Michiah Quick combo, which replaced Dakota Austin, but that didn’t stop them from targeting that side of the field with some measure of success. Too often, they surrendered inside position to ULM receivers for chunk plays and third-down conversions.
However, the nits to pick regarding pass coverage don’t detract from OU’s sharp overall play. The Sooners executed with ruthless efficiency and showed no ill effects from a Houston hangover. Bouncing back that way reflects well on their constitution and should ease some concerns about the season going south already.
Other notes and observations:
*Sooner fans got their first extended look at outside linebacker Caleb Kelly Saturday, and the five-star stud didn’t disappoint. Even though he finished the game with just four total tackles, Kelly showed fantastic range as he quickly covered terrain from the SAM linebacker spot. Hopefully, there is a bigger role ahead for the true freshman.
*Another young buck who showed out: Neville Gallimore. With Austin Roberts and Matt Dimon suspended prior to the game, the big Canuck got his first shot at extended playing time. He routinely bullied the ULM offensive line on his way to eight tackles, including three stops for losses.
Even with Roberts and Dimon back in the mix next week, Gallimore needs to start seeing more snaps.
*Once seen as emergency throw-ins in the 2016 recruiting class, JUCO LBs Emmanuel Beal and Kapri Doucet are playing like they have no intention of ever seeing Lackawanna again.
*For a receiver with Jeffrey Mead’s size, his lack of catches downfield doesn’t make much sense. I expect he will start to lose more reps to A.D. Miller, who seems to come up with more balls on the outside.
*Speaking of more reps at receiver, there has to be a way to get Mykel Jones on the field more, right? The freshman wideout is so shifty with the ball in his hands.