Here’s what we learned after Oklahoma’s 51-20 win over Tulsa.
The quarterback competition is over, for now. Sooners coach Bob Stoops said it best after Blake Bell’s record-setting starting debut: “So much for your controversy right now.” Bell threw for 413 yards, an OU record for a quarterback starting his first game, and four touchdowns in the blowout win over TU. And in doing so, he cemented himself as the starter when the Sooners face Notre Dame on Sept. 28.
OU’s offense must have passing success to be explosive. The Sooners' offense looked much more comfortable and finally found a rhythm as OU focused on kick-starting its passing game following two disappointing passing performances in its first two games. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel used several screens and short passes to help Bell find a rhythm, and once he did, the offense looked like the explosive attack we’ve come to expect. The ability to have a balanced offensive attack will be critical against the Fighting Irish.
The young defenders have potential. Freshman cornerback Stanvon Taylor, freshman safety Hatari Byrd and freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander are among several OU freshman who saw significant playing time against Tulsa. They weren't perfect, but they showed signs they could be impact players at some point this season -- if they continue to gain valuable experience. Seven different true freshman defenders recorded a tackle against the Golden Hurricane, led by Alexander and Jordan Evans, who had four stops apiece.