Oklahoma Sooners football: Offense mid-season report card


Yes, the first half of the season is over. It seems like the time has flown by. We’ve learned a lot about this Oklahoma football team in the first six games of the year.

The first three games, Oklahoma looked to be the best team in the country.

Ever since then, though, not so much. At all.

There have been some first half MVP’s so far for the team, but also some disappointments. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the offense.

With Trevor Knight’s big Sugar Bowl, and talented young running backs and wide receivers, many were expecting an offense similar to 2008.

It’s not quite that good, but there have been some bright spots in the offense. Without further ado, here are the first half of the season team grades for the 2014 Oklahoma Sooners.

Quarterback: B-

Even though Trevor Knight is averaging 15.3 yards per completion, which is the best in the Big 12, he seems off target on many of his throws.

He has played solid for most of the year, but has had his very bad moments. He hasn’t been close to the QB we saw in the Sugar Bowl on January 4th, but again, those expectations to play like that every week were too high.

He’s a solid QB that, if he can become a little more accurate and trust his younger receivers more, and not be afraid to run, can be really good.

Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel’s play-calling hasn’t helped. Knight needs to be allowed to run more.

Not so fun stat: Josh Heupel in 2000 had more rush attempts than Knight at the same point of this season. That shouldn’t be happening. Knight is a runner and should be allowed to be one. Knight has the potential, but needs to be given the chance to move with his feet.

Wide Receivers: B-

The receivers also need to step up. There are only four eligible upperclassmen receivers on the team, and Sterling Shepard is the only one performing. Shepard is third in the nation in receiving and has gained 47% of the Sooners’ receiving yards, most in the country.

But no other receivers are doing much. Durron Neal, the opposite receiver and other upperclassman, needs to help take pressure off of Shepard and he hasn’t done that much this season.

There are plenty of talented WRs on the team like Jeffery Mead, Michiah Quick, Jordan Smallwood, and Dallis Todd but they’re not being given the chance, for some reason. K.J. Young has been given some reps, but hasn’t taken advantage of it. These receivers also have the potential but I’m just not seeing them perform at the level they should be. Shepard is the only one.

Running backs: A

Along with Shepard, the running backs are the biggest reason the offense is still serviceable. Oklahoma averages 191.0 rushing yards per game, and that’s after playing two of the top three defenses in the Big 12 in TCU and Texas already.

Samaje Perine has grown into a work-horse leading the way with the injured Keith Ford.  Perine leads the Big 12 in rushing so far this season, and Alex Ross has also stepped, not only at the running back position, but also as kick returner. Ross leads the country in kick returning, with 45.6 yards per kickoff return and two kickoff return TDs.  Once Ford comes back, the Sooners running game should be even better.

Tight Ends: D

Other than Blake Bell’s eight catches and a touchdown, the tight ends haven’t done anything. I thought this would be the year Oklahoma used tight ends more, because ever since Jermaine Gresham left, the TE position at Oklahoma has been down. Bell has had some nice blocks, and as mentioned eight catches and a TD, but him and the others can do more.

Overall: B-

Not the most flashy offense and has been struggling in recent weeks, but the potential and talent is there. The coaches just need to find it and use them correctly.