OU report card: Week 1

Following a solid performance to start the 2013 season, time to grade how OU did to kick off the year.

Oklahoma fans couldn't have asked for a better start to the 2013 season with a 34-0 shutout victory against ULM. Were things really as good as they seemed?

Trevor Knight

It was an uneven night for the redshirt freshman if you look at the stats. But it was clear following the game OU coaches Bob Stoops and Josh Heupel still have full confidence in Knight. He showed good poise and players talked about how he took command of the huddle and didn't panic when things weren't rolling initially. OU fans have to feel good in knowing the best is still to come.

Grade: B+

Charles Tapper

Not heavily recruited out of high school, Tapper raised some eyebrows in the media when he said his goal for this season is to get 10-15 sacks. After watching the first game, it's hard to believe it won't be possible. Tapper was part of a defensive line that applied pressure all game, and he showed great quickness in the open field.

Grade: A

Roy Finch

Finch got the offense rolling and the OU crowd buzzing with a 21-yard zig zag in the second quarter. He finished the game with four carries for 42 yards and two catches for two yards. Not an explosive statement by any means, but it's a nice start to his senior season. Heupel mentioned how the Sooners will need his change of pace going forward.

Grade: B

Linebackers

There won't be a not applicable grade for this group this time around. Linebackers Corey Nelson, Frank Shannon and Eric Striker were all over the field. Nelson and Shannon led the team in tackles, and they controlled the middle of the field forcing ULM to work on the outside where it was unable to find much success.

Grade: A-

Jalen Saunders

It's tough to read too much into one game, but it feels like Knight has the best chemistry with Saunders. He had three catches for 30 yards, including two touchdowns. Saunders dropped a couple of passes but didn't let that affect his play. And he showed why he's such a dynamic punt returner with a 45-yard return in the second half.

Grade: B+

Nick Hodgson

There wasn't a lot of wind Saturday, which is an extremely good sign for OU going forward. Hodgson drilled all seven of his kickoffs for touchbacks, never allowing ULM a chance to try to make something happen on special teams.

Grade: A

Overall, this was about all OU fans could ask for to start the season. The defense and special teams were nearly flawless. The offense struggled at times but that's to be expected for the first game of the season.

Team grade: A-


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