After enjoying a well-deserved extra week off, you can be sure that the Oklahoma football team is anxious to get back in action.
The No. 3-ranked Sooners spent last week learning from their ups and downs in the game at Baylor, which was much closer than any of us thought it would be and getting several hobbled players healthy.
Needless to say, the OU players are anxious to strap on the pads and get back to game action this weekend, when Oklahoma plays host to Iowa State on Stripe the Stadium Saturday.
One of the injured Sooners expected to be back in action on Saturday is senior cornerback Jordan Thomas, who, to put it bluntly, played as poor a game at Baylor as he has in any of the other 31 games he has started in four seasons at Oklahoma.
Baylor quarterback Zach Smith picked on Thomas’ side of the field early and often — something you don’t see opposing teams do very frequently, given the Sooner cornerback’s First Team All-Big 12 status — and with an atypically high rate of success.
Thomas had his hands (not to mention his arms and legs) full for most of the game covering Baylor’s top receiver Denzel Mims, who caught 11 passes for a total of 192 yards against the Sooners. Baylor scored two of its five touchdowns in the game on pass plays that covered more than 70 yards. Thomas was the Sooner secondary player victimized on both of those deep balls.
To add insult to injury (pun intended), Thomas had to be helped off the field in the fourth quarter of the Baylor game after suffering what was later described as an injury to his lower leg (ankle/foot).
With all that happened in the Baylor game with the breakdowns in the Oklahoma pass coverage and with the Thomas, the Sooners best player in the defensive secondary, in the crosshairs, it is a safe assumption to think no one is more anxious to get back into action than the senior cornerback.
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That’s why I believe you are going to see a fired-up and focused Thomas have what could be his best game of the season against Iowa State. It’s not that the All-Big 12 defensive player has something to prove, given his stellar career history, but he does. And I think we will see Thomas at his best in the game with Iowa State on Saturday.
When Oklahoma has the ball, keep an eye on freshman wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. CeeDee is doing his best to help Sooner fans get over the departure of TD Dede (as in Westbrook).
The last time Lamb was on the field at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, he was ejected on a targeting call. The talented freshman was enjoying a career day on the receiving end of Baker Mayfield passes against Tulane, in the Sooners second home game of the season, when he was called for targeting while performing a block in the second quarter. The call was confirmed by replay, and Lamb was ejected for the remainder of the game.
Lamb was forced to leave the Tulane game at the 3:37 mark in the second quarter. Prior to that, however, the 6-foot, 1-inch wide receiver from Richmond, Texas, caught four passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns. One of the touchdowns came in the Sooners second possession, an 82-yard strike from Mayfield that tied the game a seven a piece.
Tabbed by Rivals as the 17th best receiver in the 2017 national recruiting class, Lamb caught three passes for 68 yards in the Baylor game, with one of the three receptions going for 47 yards.
Lamb is one of the young OU receivers that both Mayfield and head coach Lincoln Riley have grown comfortable with and have high confidence in when the Sooners need a big play from a possession receiver.
Watch for this explosive, young talent have another big game Saturday against an Iowa State team that ranks 107th in the country in pass defense.