On a night that OU rolled La Tech 48-16, the grades reflect that dominance.
TREVOR KNIGHT: A
The Sooner quarterback was stout from the get-go. He finished the night 19 of 34 for 253 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He rushed for another 17 yards. Knight wasn’t as spectacular as guy who finished last season with that breakout performance against Alabama, but remember, OU didn’t have to bust open the playbook against Louisiana Tech. The playcalling was rightly conservative, but Knight still looked sharp.
PROTECTING KNIGHT: C
The grade isn’t a knock on anyone in particular. It’s more a reflection of circumstance. Back-up Cody Thomas was apparently injured, never throwing during warm-ups and was limping slightly as he walked off the field, and with the coaches wanting to redshirt Justice Hansen and the NCAA not yet clearing Baker Mayfield, the Sooners had limited options. In a game that was decided by halftime, it would’ve been great to get Knight out in the third quarter, but instead Knight played the entire game. The good news: Knight ran only four times all night, and he was quick to slide, avoiding contact and possible injury.
PREGAME POMP: B
Any time there’s a pregame flyover, I’m inclined to give high marks. And a pregame flyover by WWII-era bombers? Even better. The only problem was that flyover came early, during the opening strains of the national anthem. The intro video while solid was not a constant source of chill bumps. But there was definitely opening-game buzz in the stadium. Everyone was ready for some football.
RE-TOOLED SECONDARY: A
The Sooner secondary looks completely different than last season. Aaron Colvin is gone. Julian Wilson has moved. Ahmad Thomas is in. And yet, the unit had a stellar night. Led by returning corner Zack Sanchez’s interception, the secondary allowed only 191 passing yards on 22-of-36 passing by La Tech. Granted, the Bulldogs aren’t a high-powered offense like the Sooners will see in conference play, but the OU secondary rarely looked lost or out of position. All around, a solid night.
MANNY DIAZ: D
The La Tech defensive coordinator has got to be happy to have OU in the rearview mirror. His defense gave up 48 points and 436 yards Saturday night — but that’s nothing new for Diaz. In two games against OU when he was at Texas, his Longhorn defenses gave up 55 points and 63 points against the Sooners.
SWITZER’S SPRYNESS: A
At the start of the fourth quarter, a hype video of Barry Switzer ran on the jumbotrons. Then the legendary Sooner coach came running out of the northwest tunnel. For a guy who’s 76 years old and has had his share of surgeries, he was moving pretty good. The whole production was kinda goofy, but gotta give it up to Switzer’s foot speed.