OU 11: Game 1

Stout defense, strong offense make for a talented list of top Sooners

Each week Sooners Illustrated will rank the top 11 players from Oklahoma’s past week’s performance.

Players are assigned a point value equal to the rating given by Bob and Justin. (Top player on either list gets 11 points, 11th player gets 1). That makes for a maximum of 22 points.

Here’s the OU 11 for Game 1:

T1. Baker Mayfield – (21 points): In his first game as a starter, Mayfield set a new school record for passing yards in a season opener with 388. What might make that seem even more impressive is to think about the cupcake season openers that Landry Jones and Sam Bradford had. Yeah, Mayfield had more yards than that.

T1. Dominique Alexander – (21 points): It should come as no surprise that Alexander led Oklahoma in tackles with 10, twice as many as any other player. But he also led the team with 2.5 tackles for loss. For a player widely criticized for being a soft tackler, there weren’t too many drag takedowns.

3. Joe Mixon – (18 points): Well, Mixon didn’t take long to show what he could do. He led the team in receiving yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry when preseason All-Big 12 back Samaje Perine averaged just three. His place in the offense is now pretty obvious – and pretty big.

4. Matt Dimon – (16 points): Dimon was surgical against Akron. He had three tackles, half of which were for loss, but was more effective than his numbers would suggest. He could be a very talented player and will no doubt be an important one for the Sooners.

T5. Austin Seibert – (12 points): Mayfield wasn’t the only first-timer on the field Saturday, but Seibert was making his debut as a true freshman. Seibert was just as good. He hit all his kicks. He averaged nearly 50 yards per punt. He’ll be around for at least three years.

T5. Charles Walker – (12 points): Three tackles, two for loss, one sack, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry: Walker’s stat line lived up to all the hype, even on a hyper-rotating defensive line. He was given a game ball by head coach Bob Stoops and will probably see a few more.

7. Durron Neal – (12 points): There might not have been a player who needed to be on this list more than Neal, who finished with four catches for 65 yards. He had the biggest catch of the game too: A 35-yard leaping grab that ignited the Oklahoma offense.

8. Jarvis Baxter – (8 points): The surprising rise of Baxter continues as the walk-on receiver led Oklahoma with five catches. He totaled 51 yards and became a big-time option for Mayfield on third down and in pressure situations.

9. Devante Bond – (3 points): Subbing on to the field late at one point in the game, Bond found a run play coming directly at him. He picked up the tackle, but that’s just kind of the way things could go for Bond, who had four tackles Saturday. Good players always find themselves in the right place, even when they shouldn’t be there.

T10. Dede Westbrook – (3 points): Another first-timer, Westbrook posted a great debut in a Sooners’ uniform. He had three catches for 40 yards. While most will remember the one-handed grab for his only touchdown, everyone should take note of his end-zone block to give Mixon the final but of room for his touchdown more than 70 yards from the line of scrimmage.

T10. Charles Tapper – (3 points): Bounding around before the game, Tapper didn’t have a great game statistically – two tackles and one pass break-up. Still, he was singled out for having a great game by Stoops, and he really did. Last year, Tapper had bad games with no statistics. He started this season out with a good game despite only a few tackles.

Honorable mention: Jordan Evans, Eric Striker, Samaje Perine, Nila Kasitati

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