OU Football: What we learned about Oklahoma’s 56-14 win over Tulane (Up next: Baylor)

September 18, 2017

Three things we learned following Oklahoma’s win over Tulane

Can Mayfield really be too aggressive?

Oklahoma fans are so used to their favorite quarterback firing the ball around the field at will and challenging defensive backs to make plays. He has now thrown 133 consecutive passes without an interception and you don’t do that without making good choices. But in the third quarter, Mayfield chose to throw deep into the end zone, looking for a knockout blow instead of more conservative throws. “He and I were probably a little overaggressive in the early third maybe,” OU head coach Lincoln Riley said. “He just missed a couple throws that he doesn’t normally miss. Other than that I thought he played a pretty clean game.”

Motley continues to stabilize things in the secondary

Last year, the Sooners played multiple cornerbacks opposite Jordan Thomas – Dakota Austin, Parrish Cobb, Michiah Quick – during three nonconference games. Parnell Motley beat out Jordan Parker for the starting spot, has started all three games and now has two interceptions in as many games. Motley also had four tackles, including a tackle-for-loss on a nice corner blitz. His confidence appears to be oozing over to the other players.

Andrews was healthy enough to play on Saturday

If Mark Andrews was seriously hurt, it’s highly unlikely OU coaches would have not only choose to play him but start him against Tulane. The All-American candidate at tight end only played one quarter at Ohio State before suffering an undisclosed injury. On Saturday, he appeared to reinjure himself before halftime only to return after the break. Andrews ended with four catches for 76 yards. Said Riley after the game: “He’s OK. He’s had a little nagging deal but it’s starting to get better. We planned if we got any separation we’d get him out pretty quick.”

Game balls

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: The senior leader finished with a team-high nine tackles and another sack to improve his Big 12-leading total to 3.5.

Parnell Motley: Motley’s 77-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Sooners’ first since Jordan Evans had an 80-yard return for a TD at West Virginia last season.

Abdul Adams: Adams finished with a career-high 93 rushing yards, which topped a pair of 91-yard games against Kansas and Louisiana-Monroe in 2016.

Marquise Brown: Brown scored his first career touchdown on an 87-yard bomb from Kyler Murray in the fourth quarter. The junior college transfer finished with six catches for a game-high 155 yards.

Still pondering these things …

How will OU fare against a true passing quarterback?

Oklahoma hasn’t faced a pocket passer this season and may not be truly tested through the air until game eight when Texas Tech comes to town.

Will Austin Seibert get more opportunities for field goals?

Through three games, the placekicker has had only two opportunities. He connected on a 35-yarder but missed a 37-yard try (although a poor snap disrupted the rhythm). The flip side? OU has scored 20 touchdowns.

How many OU fans will be at Baylor on Saturday?

I have a feeling it will be like the old days, when Sooners fans used to take over Floyd Casey Stadium. They may do the same at McLane Stadium on Saturday night.

By the numbers

0: Passing touchdowns allowed this season. Only five other schools can boast this.

4:Touchdown drives allowed by the Sooners in three games.

13: Consecutive wins by the Sooners, the nation’s longest active streak.

599: Yards per game averaged by the OU offense, which ranks fourth nationally.

Final word

Oklahoma’s pursuit of a third consecutive Big 12 championship begins with Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. game at Baylor. The Sooners have won 16 consecutive league games and should be heavy favorites against a winless Bears team. After Saturday’s game, OU will get an off week.