Let’s look at just one more thing.
OU is a team of interchangeable parts
If you were able to keep track of all the substitutions the Sooners made Saturday, go ahead and give yourself a hand. What had been preached all camp was the depth of OU.
But we’ve all heard that same song and dance before only to realize there aren’t that many guys the coaching staff trusts when the lights come on.
This year feels like it could be different. It’s also the start of a youth movement as eight true freshmen and six redshirt freshmen made their OU debuts Saturday night.
Nobody was more impressive than freshman running back Samaje Perine, who didn’t have to wait long to score his first touchdown in an OU uniform. Perine led the team with 13 carries for 77 yards and his first score.
“They’re all what I have been saying all along,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “They’re all powerful, physical guys. They have speed, too. I was really happy with what they did.”
However, it wasn’t just at running back where OU was a team of interchangeable parts. No example was more prevalent than at defensive line.
“It is good to play because it keeps people involved,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “It’s the good thing about having a night like tonight because twos think they should be ones.
“Sometimes you need them to go out there and see how the ones do it and what they need to change. It is good to play a lot of players because I think it keeps them motivated and their interest levels high.”
The term starter is relative, at least after the first game. Ford was introduced as the starter in the pregame video only for Ross to take the first snap.
It was a big deal for Julian Wilson to make his first start at cornerback, but the Sooners were more than comfortable in letting freshman Jordan Thomas get quality snaps in. Safety was a revolving door with Quentin Hayes, Ahmad Thomas, Hatari Byrd and Steven Parker.
The depth the coaches, the players kept talking about like a broken record during camp was there Saturday night. The team looked fresh.
No idea if OU can continue being a team of interchangeable parts, but it made a solid first impression in the opener.