OU vs. Tulsa: Report Card

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated provides this week's edition of grades below.

Intro. Video: A+

Oklahoma has made a history of epic Intro. videos, and this year's version did not disappoint. In fact, it may be the best of the "There's Only One..." bunch. The crowd of 85,000-plus erupted as images of Travis Lewis delivering a pre-game speech and footage of Austin Box flashed on the jumbotron. It all came to a crescendo with Bob Stoops saying, "There's Only One Oklahoma" with a group of OU football's past and present echoing the same behind him.

Secondary play: D+

There were a few breakdowns in the defensive backfield that were inexcusable. Tulsa broke loose for pass plays of 69, 56 and 44 yards. That 56-yard strike was a touchdown from quarterback G.J. Kinne to wide out Bryan Burnham in the second quarter. Besides these, the secondary was pretty good. But it's plays like these that cost teams games, and in OU's case, national championships. Kinne lit up the secondary for nearly 300 yards because of his three big plays.

Overall offensive performance: A

It took a possession before the Sooners' offense got rolling, but once it did, it had the Golden Hurricanes' defense running circles. Understandably so, junior walk-on running back Dominique Whaley will get most of the attention after rushing for 132 yards on 18 carries with four touchdowns. However, his backfield mate sophomore Brennan Clay impressed as well, illustrating the versatility coaches have been talking about. Clay contributed 41 receiving yards on four receptions to go along with his 64 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Landry Jones and senior wide receiver Ryan Broyles did not miss a beat either. The pair connected seven times for 120 yards in the first quarter alone. Jones finished the night 35-of-47 for 375 yards and one passing touchdown. Overall, the offense was good for 663 total yards and 47 points. For week one, there's little to be upset about.

Defensive line: B+

The Sooners had six tackles for loss and three sacks. All three of those sacks were recorded by defensive ends. Ronnell Lewis, Frank Alexander and R.J. Washington each picked up one. Alexander had a monster game with a 27-yard interception return, two passes broken up and a quarterback hurry along with his 1.5 tackles for loss. And the tackle play was pretty decent as well for the most part. When Tulsa succeeded offensively, it wasn't because of gaping holes up the middle but rather gaps in the secondary.

Red zone production: A-

Hard to be too upset with a 7-for-8 performance. Sure, sophomore wide out Trey Franks' fumble at the 1-yard line hurts and is the kind of play that could prove to be a killer against a more game opponent like Florida State. Still, OU will take its chances on eight trips to the red zone any night. The Sooners connected on their pair of field goal attempts and punched it into the end zone five times in their eight trips inside the red zone.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories