OU football: Playmakers aplenty is difference this year from last


If there is still any doubt that the OU football offense is as explosive at it has ever been in the Big 12 era, someone hasn’t been paying attention.

Despite losing three of the most productive college football players in the nation from last season. the Oklahoma offensive machine seemingly hasn’t missed a beat. In fact, it appears to have added to its cache of game-changing weaponry.

With four wins and one month of the 2017 college football season in the books, 13 different Oklahoma players have scored touchdowns for the Sooners. To put that into perspective, only 12 OU players reached the end zone in an entire season a year ago.

As staff writer Eric Bailey pointed out in an article in the Tulsa World this past weekend, of the 13 players who have scored the Sooners’ 26 touchdowns this season, only junior tight end Mark Andrews and senior all-purpose fullback Dimitri Flowers had ever scored a touchdown at Oklahoma.

Ten players on the OU roster scored their first touchdown at the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) level this season and seven of those are in their first season of college football.

“I do think we probably have more overall playmakers right now, more skill guys,” head coach Lincoln Riley told Bailey. “I think we’re probably a little bit more competitive. Guys are growing, and we have maybe a few more different options to go to.”

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Flowers and true freshman running back Trey Sermon lead the OU touchdown parade this season, both reaching paydirt four different times. Another true freshman, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, has three touchdown catches  in four games this season, and Andrews, wide receivers Lee Morris and Jordan Smallwood and running backs Abdul Adams and Marcelias Sutton each have two TDs a piece.

There was some concern heading into the 2017 season about which receivers quarterback Baker Mayfield would feel most comfortable with as targets, having lost his primary target of last season in Biletnikoff Award winner Dede Westbrook. Problem solved: Fourteen different Sooners have caught at least four passes just four games into the 2017 season.

“We have more guys stepping up, and I think we’re continually learning about these guys from a coaching staff perspective and what they do best and trying to build around their strengths,” Riley said.

“We’ve played good, but we can play better, and we’re going to need to play better,” the OU head coach said.

This is another very good Oklahoma football team. No question that former head coach Bob Stoops left the cupboard loaded with championship-caliber talent, and that talent has been in evidence early in the 2017 season.