No issues with chemistry
Watching Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown work together Saturday during Oklahoma’s 37-27 victory over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, likely reminded many of another potent Sooners duo — Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and Heisman finalist Dede Westbrook.
Brown caught nine passes for 191 yards, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown reception after beating double coverage.
“Real comfortable,” Brown said when describing his chemistry with Murray. “We’ve been practicing it since summer. That’s my guy. We just come out here and practice how we play. If we’re feeling it in practice, I know we’re going to have a good Saturday.”
And how was practice this week? “Kyler, he told us we left a lot of plays on the field last week,” Brown said. “So you know, this week we just wanted to come out and maximize on every opportunity.”
Brown set a record for most receiving yards in a half with 189 on seven receptions (beating his own mark of 178 yards set last year at Oklahoma State).
Brown now has 19 catches for 412 yards (averaging 21.7 yards per catch) and three TDs this season. He’s averaging 137.3 yards receiving per game.
Redshirt season for Kelly?
Curtis Bolton suffered a minor injury and had to come off the field for one play against the Cyclones.
The linebacker wasn’t replaced by junior Caleb Kelly on the play, as defensive coordinator Mike Stoops turned to walk-on Bryan Mead.
Coach Lincoln Riley was asked about Kelly following the game and his answer may surprise some OU fans.
“We’re kind of evaluating that position right now. Caleb’s doing a good job. We are looking at it. He is a guy that does have a redshirt year,” Riley said. “Not to say that that’s what we’re going to do, but this four-game deal starts to come into play. That was a factor in that position.
“I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I don’t want every headline now to say that we’re going to redshirt Caleb Kelly. I don’t know what we’re going to do. But that was a factor in the decision-making process.”
Added Stoops: “We’d hate to waste a year just kind of rotating two guys of that magnitude. We feel like Caleb has a huge upside and we want him to develop into the player that we think he can be.”
Kelly has played in two games and can play in two more while maintaining redshirt status this season.
Running backs pick up slack
Murray was OU’s leading rusher, with 77 yards and 15 carries, though it should be noted that several of those runs came from passing situations (scrambles and sacks).
The Sooners leaned on running backs Trey Sermon and Marcelias Sutton to carry most of the load in the absence of the injured Rodney Anderson, and they did fine. Sermon finished with 74 yards on 13 carries, and Sutton added 21 on nine.
“I think they played about like we
Austin Seibert had a complete football game.
The senior punter and place-kicker made all three of his field-goal attempts (21, 31 and 42 yards), averaged 48.5 yards on two punts and registered touchbacks on all eight of his kickoffs.
“You guys know I’ve always been a big believer in him. Know what the kid’s made of, know what the kid’s had to do here, all those jobs for all those years, it’s hard, and he’s done it well,” Riley said.
When Oklahoma was trying to ice the game in the fourth quarter, Riley stayed aggressive with a 34-27 lead knowing that he had Seibert in his back pocket.
“I was trying to hit it, get the first down, try to get the big play. Part of my thought process really was, ‘If we lose a couple (yards) there, I feel really good about our kicker,’ ” Riley said. “So it’s nice when you feel that as a coach. Feel like you can be aggressive. And if it doesn’t work, like it didn’t, and I didn’t do a good job, maybe he can make a big kick for our team.”
Seibert’s 42-yard field goal with 2:51 remaining made it a two-possession game.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley (right) calls for a review of a play during the second half Saturday against Iowa State. Riley praised the work of OU’s new-look running back corps, led by Trey Sermon and Marcelias Sutton.