Game Grades: Oklahoma Sooners 48, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 16

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The Defense/Special Teams

Defensive Line: A

Aug 30, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs quarterback Cody Sokol (19) throws over Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Geneo Grissom (85) during the game at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive line is definitely one of the strengths of this Oklahoma team. They looked good against a team that was severely overmatched in the trenches.

Jordan Phillips looked healthy again and appears to be back to the dominant form he displayed early last season before his injury.
The Sooners were able to keep a dangerous Kenneth Dixon to just 42 yards on 16 carries.

After the game, linebacker Dominique Alexander called this line one of the top units in the country. Hopefully they’ll be able to prove that on a consistent basis.

Linebackers: B

The big news with the linebackers was the early exit of Jordan Evans. The Norman native looked good before he was hit with a targeting penalty while trying to make a play on quarterback Cody Sokol.

With Frank Shannon still not playing for Oklahoma, Evans’ ejection left the Sooners a little thin at linebacker. This gave walk-on Caleb Gastelum the opportunity to see some serious playing time in front of the home crowd. The homeschool product from Claremore filled in just fine and nearly came up with an interception on the same series that featured Evans’ ejection.

In future games against more talented teams the Sooners can’t afford to lose a player such as Evans to an ejection. With the uncertainty of Shannon, Mike Stoops will have to figure out a way to build some more depth at a position that was expected to be a big strength for Oklahoma.

Secondary: A

After losing Aaron Colvin to graduation, the Sooners came into this game wondering how the secondary would hold up. They were solid all night allowing just 191 yards in the air.

Sanchez came up with an interception and the rest of the secondary gave the Louisiana Tech receivers very little room to breathe.

Julian Wilson looked really good as he moved over to cornerback and the Sooners seemed to be in the right positions all night. The big play bug that plagued them the past few years didn’t show up, but that’s subject to change with even more skilled  teams left on OU’s schedule.

Special Teams: A

The Oklahoma special teams really never got put to the test, but did everything you’d expect from them. Michael Hunnicutt was his normal, reliable self making both of his field goal attempts of 37 and 39 yards.

Louisiana Tech wasn’t ever able to get much in the return game. Nick Hodgson was very consistent on kickoffs only allowing two kicks to be returned. Everything else resulted in a touchback.

Ross showed off his track speed with an 80 yard kick-off return that he nearly turned into a touchdown.

Overall, it was a solid night all around, but things only get harder from here.

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