A Look At UCLA

A preview of Oklahoma’s first game against South Dakota.

For the first time this season, the Oklahoma Sooners are heading on the road. Stop number one? The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

While the venue is grand, the opponent is…not so hot.

The UCLA Bruins are in quite a tough spot. Chip Kelly, who was hired in 2018 to try to turn things around in Westwood, finds himself 0-2 in his second season. Since Kelly has arrived, things have seemingly gotten worse.

Now, the Bruins must turn it around against the #5 team in the country, or continue to sink into the abyss.

Meet the Bruins

UCLA is a team with an anemic offense and a wet paper towel of a defense.

However, when a team is at its lowest, they go to two places: they either sink lower, or make a stand.

UCLA’s performance Saturday will tell us what type of team they will be this season. Do they have the heart to make this game close? Frankly, I don’t know if they have the talent.

Who to Watch For:

Demetric Felton, WR #10

Through two games, UCLA ranks as one of the least explosive offensive teams in college football. One has to wonder how much worse this unit would be if Demetric Felton wasn’t on the team.

Felton leads the Bruins in both receiving and rushing yards, despite being a wide receiver. Here’s the thing: both races aren’t even close. Felton has double the yards of both guys in second.

Honestly, this guy was selected in this category by default.

Why You Should Be Excited

It’s OU at the Rose Bowl, quite possibly the greatest venue in college football. How can you not be excited? Even if this isn’t the much more notable game on New Year’s Day, the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains at sunset with palm trees peeking over the ancient bowl will still be on full display. Even if you are watching at home, it’ll be a fantastic scene.

Series History (OU Leads 4-1)

This is the third game against UCLA in the Rose Bowl for the Sooners, with the last meeting in 2006 providing the one loss in the series.

Maurice Drew, UCLA’s star running back had lost his grandfather during their game against Rice. In order to honor him, he added his grandfather’s surname to his jersey.

He took the field as Maurice Jones-Drew for the first time that day against the Sooners and never looked back.

There is a ton of other OU-UCLA history, which can be found in last season’s OU-UCLA article.

Delay of Recap: South Dakota

You can stop holding your breath now: my thoughts on OU-South Dakota are here. Clearly you have all been waiting for them.

Seriously though, there isn’t much to talk about here as the Sooners took care of business against South Dakota Saturday, 70-14. There isn’t a ton to dissect here, so here are my five main takeaways from Saturday.

All Three Keys Were Successfully Met

Big win here! Everyone looked like they had fun, nobody got hurt and I assume everyone stayed hydrated. Let’s hope this trend continues.

The Offensive Line Showed Some Cracks

This is something that happens with a young unit. There were a bit of discipline issues with holding calls and other depth issues that can be addressed. Thankfully, the schedule allows for time to gel, so let’s hope for improvement in that factor.

Bookie Actually Played Great!

Probably the most maligned player in 2018, Bookie Radley-Hiles has been under the microscope since arriving as a 5-star. While I fully understand this was against FCS South Dakota, Bookie had a standout game with two turnovers forced, including his first career interception in a pick-6. Whether or not Bookie will carry this performance over into games against stiffer competition is yet to be seen, but for one day Bookie looked worth the hype. 

The Three Freshman Wideouts Went Off

One of the things I was looking forward to this week was seeing more opportunities for OU’s young wideouts and they certainly did not disappoint. Each had a touchdown catch and Jaden Haselwood particularly impressed as someone poised to be the breakout star of the group this season.

Spencer Rattler Looks GOOD

Speaking of freshman, Spencer Rattler impressed in his long awaited debut at quarterback, going 4-4 with 50 yards and a touchdown. He showed poise, sharp throwing and a very solid running ability. It was only a drive, but Rattler gave plenty of Sooner fans some excitement for the future.

MVP: Brendan Radley-Hiles

LVP: The North Endzone, for going 0-2 on throwing the ball out. Be better.

Up Next: A trip to the Rose Bowl* against UCLA. 

Game Week: South Dakota

A preview of Oklahoma’s first game against South Dakota.

Just like that, we are back on to the next game. While short weeks are usually concerning in football, the lack of rest doesn’t matter much as FCS South Dakota comes to Norman.

Folks, this one is gonna get ugly.

Meet the Coyotes

Let’s start with some basics: South Dakota is not North Dakota State, the well known powerhouse of the Dakotas. Nor are they the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, the more well known FCS team in South Dakota.

When you are potentially the fourth best team in the Dakotas, that’s cause for alarm.

Look, I know the whole “aNy GiVeN sAtUrDaY” thing is real (lol @Tennessee) and you should never overlook any opponent, but South Dakota also got whooped 31-14 in their first game by Montana, who would actually be a FCS team worth worrying about.

Who to Watch For:

I’m Not Going To Waste My Time On This One

Seriously, South Dakota is not good.

Why You Should Be Excited

Okay, I know the lead up hasn’t posed this as the most tantalizing game. Sure, LSU-Texas is on at the same time. However, I’m actually excited to watch this bloodbath!

The reasons to have interest in this game start and end with getting your first look at the future of OU football. For those unaware of the greatness of this spring’s recruiting class, there is a lot to be excited about, namely the #1 quarterback in the country, Spencer Rattler along with receivers Theo Wease, Trejan Bridges and Jadon Haselwood, all three of which were ranked top five in their position.

While we saw some of the wide receivers get some burn last game, this will be our main chance to see the youth movement in full force and potentially one of the only times we see Rattler all season. This group has been so hyped for so long and getting to see them all play together early will be an absolute treat.

Series History (First Meeting)

OU famously does not tend to schedule FCS teams due to the fact those games are pretty much just win column fodder. South Dakota is only the fourth FCS to play the Sooners since 2000, with the last meeting coming in 2012 with Florida A&M.

Nothing really interesting happened in any of these games, so I’ll just go ahead and stop writing.