OU film review: Week 3

So what was the story in OU's game against Tulsa? These five plays help explain the Sooners' 51-20 victory.

Every play matters but some stick out more than others. Each week Sooners Illustrated will look at the five plays that stood out in Oklahoma's performance. This week it's OU's 51-20 victory against Tulsa.

Play No. 1: Bell rushes for 11 yards on 3rd-and-10

OU junior quarterback Blake Bell got off to a good start, finding Jalen Saunders for a 17-yard gain on his first pass attempt. But the Sooners' first drive was close to ending with a field goal attempt.

OU faced third-and-10 from the Tulsa 29 yard line. Bell rolled out to his right but couldn't find an open target. Scrambled across the field, broke a tackle and gained 11 yards and the pivotal first down.

Running back Brennan Clay concluded the drive with a touchdown as OU was on its way to a 600-yard output on offense. It was one of several key third down conversions Bell would produce throughout his historic day.

Play No. 2: Lynn called for targeting

Now we know what the big deal is. With Tulsa threatening to get on the scoreboard late in the first quarter, OU almost lost its biggest hitter on defense.

Senior safety Gabe Lynn was called for targeting and was originally ejected from the game. Upon further review, it became clear Lynn led with his shoulder. The ejection was reversed, but the penalty still stood. Tulsa ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive.

Through the first two games, targeting wasn't a real issue. This play illustrated what the rule is all about and how complex and confusing it can be.

So Lynn wasn't targeting, but he's penalized for targeting? That's one that will be tough to explain going forward for everybody.

Play No. 3: Lynn picks off pass for second straight week

OU had built a 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter when Lynn helped put the Sooners back in a prime scoring position. Tulsa had a first-and-10 near midfield when Lynn recording his second interception in as many weeks.

Lynn was able to return it 31 yards but was also injured on the play when he was being tackled. He missed the rest of the game.

Lynn's absence was one of several defensive injuries that kept piling up. It gave Hatari Byrd a chance to show what he can do. There were some growing pains for the young guys on defense, but it was all valuable time.

Play No. 4: Finch scores on a 29-yard screen pass

Throughout the first two games, there were a lot of so close but so far moments. Moments with if just one thing would have clicked, the offensive passing game would have had a lot more success.

In Bell's first start, the little things happened. This touchdown pass was only like a one-yard throw from Bell to Roy Finch, but it was executed the way the play was supposed to be done.

Finch caught it, had a wall of blockers and then did patented Finch moves in open space to give OU a 24-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Play No. 5: Shepard 35-yard touchdown reception

OU played its best first half of the season and started the second right where it left off. The defense produced a three-and-out, and Bell found sophomore Sterling Shepard for a 35-yard touchdown on OU's first drive of the half.

Shepard was nearly invisible during the first two games of the season, rendering a mere three catches. But back to more four-wide sets, Shepard was back in his element in the slot.

He caught eight passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, all were single-game career highs.

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