PASADENA, Calif. — We’re just three weeks — some would say four — into the college football season and Jalen Hurts is doing nothing to change the notion that the Heisman Trophy is set to reside in Norman for the foreseeable future.
The Oklahoma quarterback continued his early dominance for the No. 5 Sooners on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, destroying UCLA 48-14 in a game that felt like a personal 7-on-7 session for Hurts and head coach Lincoln Riley.
The defending Big 12 champions scored on all but one of their offensive possessions with the first team offense on the field as Hurts dazzled from the opening kickoff. All told, the Alabama transfer threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns through the air and added another 150 on the ground plus a trip nearly untouched to the end zone as well. The Sooners averaged double-digit yards per play for most of the night and saw wideout Charleston Rambo emerge with 113 total yards and two scores.
Eight different players caught a pass for OU and seven different players ran the ball in an all-around effort that also saw continued strides made on the defensive side of the equation for Riley’s squad.
As for the home side, things went as many predicted coming in. Though QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson did look somewhat improved as a passer (201 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) compared to the team’s first two games, it was still far from enough to keep the Bruins in the game against one of the nation’s elite. Joshua Kelley failed to get much of anything running the ball (51 yards) and the contest was pretty much over before it began despite a handful of chunk plays delighting the pockets of powder blue faithful at a Rose Bowl full of crimson and cream.
Still, it was a masterclass put on by college football’s new offensive wizard against the sport’s old one in Chip Kelly, who sinks to 0-3 to begin 2019 and 3-12 overall since arriving in Westwood. While the rebuild at UCLA looks like it’s still years away from taking hold, Oklahoma appears to be picking up just where they left off last season despite replacing a No. 1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner for the second year in a row.