Sooners Illustrated ranks the top 11 players from Saturday's season opener against Houston

Andrews, Mixon stand out along with a quiet defensive tackle

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. Mark Andrews (21 points): If Oklahoma Sooners was looking for a replacement for Sterling Shepard, Andrews made a pretty good case to be the Sooners’ top target. In the season opener, he hauled in three catches and two touchdowns – somehow maintaining his touchdown-to-receptions ratio. He finished with 94 yards.

T1. Joe Mixon (21 points): Mixon is clearly the Sooners’ best weapon on offense. He led the team in carries (six) and rushing yards (40) and was second on the team in receptions (five) and receiving yards (77). It’s clear Mixon is a major focal point in the offense, if it wasn’t clear enough already.

3. Jordan Wade (18 points): Wade does everything pretty quietly, so it should come as no surprise that Wade quietly had a really good game. He finished with four tackles and a sack. Wade might be sticking around a bit longer in a major rotation role.

4. Orlando Brown (11 points): While the rest of the offense really struggled, Brown was pretty secure on the backside of the offense. If there was one standout on the line, it was Brown.

5. Dede Westbrook (10 points): Westbrook was targeted almost a dozen times against Houston, and he caught eight of them for 70 yards. From a volume standpoint, Westbrook is the main receiving target in the offense. He’ll be counted on to do even more.

6. Baker Mayfield (9 points): Out of the gate, Mayfield was 9-for-9, and the Oklahoma offense was clicking. He finished 24-for-33 for 323 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Mayfield made a handful of great plays that kept Oklahoma in the game in the first half. That magic just disappeared in the second half.

7. Matt Dimon (9 points): On a day when the Sooners’ defensive line really shined, Dimon showed an immense amount of improvement just from last season. He had a lot of fans calling for him to be a depth-chart casualty before the season, but his positioning and recognition Saturday showed that he’ll be around for a little while longer.

8. Charles Walker (8 points): A quiet day for Walker on the stat sheet, but he was disruptive when he needed to be, finishing with1.5 tackles for loss, a pass break-up and two quarterback hurries.

9. William Johnson (7 points): Johnson made a lot of plays because he had to do so. Houston targeted him early, and Johnson came away with mixed results. His big plays were huge though, and moving forward, he proved that he wouldn’t be a liability, at least from a willingness to be physical standpoint. He led the team with 10 tackles and forced a fumble.

10. Jordan Thomas (5 points): Thomas registered two tackles and one tackle for loss and might not have been targeted a single time Saturday. He said after the game that he was disappointed and felt like he couldn’t help the team. He might need to get more used to that feeling.

11. Matthew Romar (4 points): Romar didn’t see the practice field very much, but coming off of his concussion protocol, Romar helped Wade anchor the Sooners’ defensive line and coupled for the best position performance in the season opener.

Honorable mention: Steven Parker, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Samaje Perine, Ahmad Thomas.


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