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Sooners: Instant Analysis Of Oklahoma's Win Over Akron

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The Oklahoma Sooners opened up the season at home on Saturday night with a 41-3 win over Akron. Here's instant analysis of how the Sooners got the job done. Be sure to stay tuned with for continuing coverage of the victory. 

What went well

It’s definitely safe to say that the revamped Oklahoma offense was a success.

Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley turned 32 on Saturday, and the first-year play caller celebrated by dialing up 41 points on the Akron Zips. After a slow first quarter and a half, the Sooners’ offense caught fire.

Led by Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma was able to score on five straight possessions and seemingly involved everyone in the potent attack. Receiving touchdowns by Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Jefferey Mead highlighted the plethora of points, and Mayfield set a Sooner record for most passing yards in a season opener with 388.  

What could’ve gone better

Coming into the game against Akron, Sooner fans knew that one of the biggest questions about this team revolved around the offensive line after losing three starters from the 2014 team to the NFL. Even though the OU offense totaled 41 points, the play of the big boys up front was less than impressive.

Returning Big 12 leading rusher, Semaje Perine, only accounted for five yards rushing in the first half, and that wasn’t necessarily his fault. Most of the time, Perine was swarmed right after receiving the hand off and there wasn’t much the sophomore could do.

The pass blocking was also suspect on Saturday, and it appeared that Mayfield was forced out of the pocket on every other pass attempt in the first half. Offensive lines don’t become great over night, but this group must find a nucleus if they want to protect their playmakers moving forward.

Surprise Performer

It’s hard to single out one player the surprise performer, but what impressed me most was the blocking on the outside by the Oklahoma receivers.

Mixon’s 76-yard touchdown reception was the biggest play on the night for OU, and it was made possible due to Westbrook’s pristine blocking down field. Westbrook constantly fought for position against his defender and basically turned him into an irrelevant obstacle by pushing him completely out of the play. That kind of effort is contagious, and Mead’s 11-yard score came behind incredible blocking by Jarvis Baxter on the next OU possession.

Game Ball

The most effective players on the field for the Sooners on Saturday night were the defensive front. Akron had trouble finding any type of offensive rhythm and that was mostly due to the constant pressure from the boys in the trenches.

Charles Tapper was disruptive all night and the senior had help from both Matt Dimon and Charles Walker on the line. The quick pass rushing duo of Eric Striker and Devante Bond was another thing Oklahoma fans should be optimistic about moving forward.

What’s Next

Oklahoma will be back in action on Sept. 12 when they travel to take on the Tennessee Volunteers (1-0) in Knoxville. There’s plenty of hype to see this Big 12 vs. SEC matchup, and the Tennessee fans are planning to stripe the stadium orange and white. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.

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