The 6th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners welcome the UCLA Bruins to Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday for their first showdown since 2005. If you haven’t watched the Sooners this season, grab some popcorn. They’re a fun group to watch.
Fresh off of a 63-14 shellacking of FAU, starting quarterback Kyler Murray will look to punish the Bruins through the air and on the ground. Last Saturday, Murray piled up 209 passing yards while only completing 9 of 11 passes in limited playing time due to the lopsided score. He also threw for two touchdowns and averaged 19 yards per attempt. After minimal playing time last season, the beast has been unleashed.
What’s even more scary about Murray is his elusiveness. On top of a great arm, he can easily evade pressure and make plays with his feet. Against FAU, he only ran 4 times for 23 yards, but his ability to command opposing defenses is remarkable. Defenses have to scheme not only for the deep threat, but his uncanny ability to run. He is a nightmare matchup for the Bruins.
Coming into the season, Murray was a bit of a question mark. But, make no mistake, the kid is a stud. Not only does he excel on the football field, but also on the baseball diamond as well. He was selected 9th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. We’ll be seeing a lot of Kyler Murray on our televisions for years to come.
Coming off of a career season, junior tailback Rodney Anderson (arguably the best running back in the country) looks to continue his march towards the Heisman Trophy. He’s fresh off of an impressive performance against Florida Atlantic University, rushing only 5 times for 100 yards and two scores including a long run of 65 yards.
Anderson is the perfect storm for UCLA. he stands at 6’,1” tall and weighs 220 pounds. The man is a human wrecking ball. He’s coming off a season where he rushed 188 times for 1161 yards and 13 touchdowns. His efficiency is mind-boggling, considering the fact that he ran for 6.2 yards per attempt last season. As good as Anderson has been, the nightmare does not end there for the Bruins. The Sooners have multiple running backs who can get after it. Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks, and Marcelias Sutton will all see some action at tailback against UCLA.
The Bruins gave up nearly 200 yards rushing to an inferior Cincinnati Bearcats team, it would be a miracle if UCLA’s defense could somehow hold Oklahoma to 200 rushing yards.
Junior wideout Marquise Brown is another stud and there is no doubt about it. Fresh off of a season where he caught 57 passes for 1095 yards and 7 touchdowns, Brown did not miss a beat against FAU. He hauled in 6 catches for 133 yards and a score. He’s as sure handed as they come. He also has blazing speed. The former Six Flags ride worker has carved out quite the football career so far and it’s really difficult not to root for him.
The Sooners like to play uptempo and spread the ball around to multiple receivers. While Marquise Brown is clearly the top receiver for Oklahoma, some of the other guys cannot be overlooked. Sophomore receiver CeeDee Lamb is a very tough cover. His height makes it easy for him to win 50-50 balls over the top. Last season, Lamb reeled in 46 passes for 807 yards and 7 touchdowns. He’s a popular target in the redzone and he should see his fair share of targets against a young Bruins defense.
The Oklahoma Sooners are one of, if not, the best offensive team in the country. They have speed at all positions and have a great offensive line to show for it. This will be an immense challenge for UCLA’s defense, as no one has proved that they can stop this high octane offense. There will be a ton of NFL talent on the field in Norman on Saturday.