Every week SoonersIllustrated will break down a few players and a few units and assign them grades based on their performance.
Here are the Week 1 grades:
Quarterback Trevor Knight – (B) Knight looked great at times, making the right decisions in the option game and doing what he needs to do in the passing game. There were drives when Knight might have looked better than he did in the Sugar Bowl. He said after the game that he certainly felt better at times.
But what hurts Knight more are his struggles. He didn’t make a lot of mistakes, despite one unforced fumble. The ones he did make were completely under his control. His offensive line gave him great time, and he was touched less than five times despite playing the whole game. Louisiana Tech didn’t make him pay for those mistakes, but he’ll have to correct them moving forward.
The biggest ding was his 56 percent completion rate. Even with a few drops, that needs to be a little higher considering the opponent.
Running backs – (A) While each running back will also receive an individual grade, the unit as a whole grades out with an easy A. While the test wasn’t that hard, the unit showed a blend of everything coach Bob Stoops could have wanted. They were fast yet powerful and showed great hands out of the backfield.
Keith Ford earned an A for his 116 all-purpose yardage effort, freshman Samaje Perine averaged 5.9 yards and led the team in carries and yards. He gets an A+ for his first collegiate game. Alex Ross’ 80-yard kick-off return saved his grade and earned him a B. Ross was solid but didn’t make the most of his touches and averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.
Defensive line – (A) The Sooners only finished with two sacks, but the front three – with Geneo Grissom and Eric Striker partially included ¬– were great. The starters dominated the first half of the game with defensive tackle Jordan Phillips looking like he occasionally lined up under center with Louisiana Tech quarterback Cody Sokol.
Even Chuka Ndulue registered a sack for a unit that recorded six tackles for loss.
Zack Sanchez – (C) Sanchez had about an up-and-down day as anybody for the Sooners. He blocked a field goal and picked off a pass, but he wasn’t spectacular in coverage – at least by his standards – and missed a tackle that allowed Louisiana Tech to score its first touchdown.
Between that ‘A’ performance and that ‘F’ performance, Sanchez earns a C. Although most of his grade is also based on the expectation of him this season and what the Sooners will need.
Offensive line – (B+) It’s really hard to ding a unit that didn’t allow a negative-yard play until the second half. Knight’s fumble in the first half isn’t the fault of the front five.
They allowed just one negative play all game and kept Trevor Knight as clean as humanly possible. Still, you wanted to see even more out of the Sooners’ top offensive unit by far.
Again a 4.6-yard per carry average is great, but it just didn’t seem like an ‘A’ performance.