Sooners: Later, FAU
No. 7 Sooners superior across the board in rout
Oklahoma tramples the Owls in opener, 63-14.
NORMAN, OKLA. — Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin tried to keep things light with a joke to open Saturday’s postgame news conference.
“Did you guys enjoy that preseason game,” Kiffin asked. “It didn’t really count, right?”
But he quickly turned serious.
“We played as bad as you can play,” Kiffin said.
FAU was dominated in every facet during a 63-14 drubbing by No. 7 Oklahoma in front of 86,402 fans at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, a disappointing opening for a team loaded with expectations.
“We played as bad as you can play.” Lane Kiffin, FAU head coach
With little resistance, the Owls allowed the Sooners to pile up 650 offensive yards. The Sooners scored on their first five offensive drives and mixed in a special teams touchdown to grab a 42-0 lead by halftime. FAU was simply overmatched. “Obviously, we didn’t score until the second half,” Kiffin said. “That’s ridiculous. Giving up 650 yards is ridiculous and we gave up a score on special teams. We did the trifecta today, so that’s very discouraging.
“At the end of the day, we’re 0-1. We’ve just got to go back to work. It’s the same record we started with last year.”
FAU opened last season 0-2 before winning 11 of its final 12 games, including the Conference USA championship and the Boca Raton Bowl. But then it spent the better part of the past eight months building up the matchup at Oklahoma.
And it got away from the Owls.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was nearly perfect in less than a half of work. He has signed to play professional baseball after being selected by Oakland in the first round. But his lone football year remaining started with a 301.4 quarterback rating. He was
9 of 11 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for
“He makes some plays, as you saw out there just running around making plays with his feet,” FAU linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair said. “That’s what he does best. He made those plays. Just got to get him on the turf. We got a few chances to get him down, but he’s a slippery guy and moves a lot.”
Even Hollywood native and Chaminade-Madonna graduate Marquise Brown shined, catching six passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. His 65-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was the third scoring play of at least 65 yards by Oklahoma in the half.
It was simply that kind of afternoon. Oklahoma had the big plays. FAU did not.
“That’s what happens with teams like this,” Kiffin said. “They can knock you out real fast. They’re like we were last year in our conference. Once you get rolling, you can all of a sudden look up and it’s 21-0 before you know it.”
But the day started
promising for FAU.
The Owls drove to Oklahoma’s 33 with new quarterback Chris Robison finding his way, but a penalty derailed the drive.
Oklahoma quickly scored. FAU went nowhere on the next three plays and then punter Sebastion Riella mishandled the ball, leading to a block, scoop and score by the Sooners, igniting the rout.
“Actually, that’s how I thought the game would
probably go,” Kiffin said. “I thought how the game started would be like that, going up and down the field on both sides probably. I think a number of people thought it’d be like that.
“But I didn’t think we’d perform this poorly tackling-wise on defense.”
Now, FAU is looking to next week’s home opener against Air Force. The goal is to be prepared for conference play.
That’s when the games really do count.
“I’ve been saying it all week that this game is not going to define our defense, it’s not going to define our season because that’s a really good team and the chances were we weren’t going to beat them,” Kiffin said. “That’s why every time I get asked I say the same thing: Our goal is to win the conference. That’s always what our goal will be.”
Florida Atlantic running back Devin “Motor” Singletary, middle, goes for some tough yardage inside against the Oklahoma defense on Saturday in Norman, Okla.
Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown (5) catches a pass against FAU safety James Pierre (23) in the first half Saturday.