Getty Images

No. 6 Oklahoma cruises past UCLA, but Rodney Anderson injury could be a tough blow

2 Comments

No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) had little trouble for the second straight week at home, defeating UCLA (0-2) 49-21 on Saturday afternoon, but the loss of running back Rodney Anderson could be troubling in the long run. Anderson left the game at the end of the first quarter with what appeared to be a serious knee injury that required medical attention in the locker room, and his return to the sideline in street clothes and a leg brace was not a promising sight for Sooners fans.

Anderson had just six rushing attempts for 19 yards before clutching his right knee at the end of a first-quarter run. By the time the game came back from commercial between the first and second quarter, Anderson was on his way to the locker room with trainers, walking under his own power but noticeably limping.

Kyler Murray continued to keep the Oklahoma offense moving with 306 passing yards and three touchdowns and a game-high 67 rushing yards with another rushing touchdown. UCLA’s defense had some good moments at times, but the Sooners were simply far too much for the Bruins to challenge throughout the game. Murray continues to shine in the offense designed by Lincoln Riley and that helped Baker Mayfield win a Heisman Trophy last season. It has only been two games, but Murray has looked every bit as ready to make a Heisman Trophy push for the Big 12 favorites.

Oklahoma will play their first road game of the year next week when they open Big 12 play against Iowa State. The Cyclones stunned the Sooners last year, so this is a rare revenge game for Oklahoma (although the loss didn’t hold Oklahoma from reaching the College Football Playoff). UCLA will continue its search for the first win under new head coach Chip Kelly next week when they host Fresno State of the Mountain West Conference.

Sooners RB Anderson, UCLA LB Phillips leave first half with injuries

Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A week after losing at home to Cincinnati, things were expected to not go particularly well for UCLA on the road at Oklahoma. Despite putting the first points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, Oklahoma has taken control of the game with a 21-point run to take a 21-7 lead into halftime in Norman, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, injuries have been a part of the story of the first half for both teams.

Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson walked off the sidelines with trainers at the end of the first quarter after initially being examined on the sideline. The injury appeared to occur at the end of a 10-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. One play later, Kyler Murray kept an option to run for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead. The injury to Anderson appeared to be the right knee.

UCLA linebacker Jaelen Phillips also had to be taken in for some medical attention in the second quarter. As if UCLA’s defense did not already have its hands full with the Sooners, the loss of one of its top defensive players would not make things any better in the second half.

UCLA running back Bolu Olorunfunmi opened the scoring on UCLA’s second possession of the game with a short touchdown run to cap an 80-yard drive over seven plays, but the Sooners responded in a hurry. Anderson had his own short touchdown run on the third play of a 12-yard drive thanks to a big kick return by Tre Brown after UCLA’s score. Oklahoma took the lead four minutes later on a Kyler Murray 58-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown. Murray would add to the lead on with his touchdown run.

UCLA is hanging around with some good plays, but the offense must get going if they are going to put the Big 12 favorites on upset alert.

No. 7 Oklahoma picks up where it left off with 63-14 blowout of FAU

Getty Images
3 Comments

The defending Big 12 champions looked to pick up the scoring pace right where they left it last season. No. 7 Oklahoma (1-0) scored four first-quarter touchdowns en route to a decisive blowout 63-14 victory over FAU (0-1). New Oklahoma starting quarterback Kyler Murray got a rest in the second half after throwing for 209 yards and two touchdowns and running back Rodney Anderson rushed for 100 yards and two scores.

Austin Kendall came in to relieve Murray for the second half (he was later carted off with an injury in the fourth quarter after hurtiung his left knee), but not before the successor to Baker Mayfield put on a show of his own to comfort any fan potentially wondering how Oklahoma’s offense would be without the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner. Murray completed nine of his 11 pass attempts for 209 yards. FAU’s defense was little match for Murray and the Oklahoma offense. Murray’s first touchdown pass was a 65-yard pass to Le Morris on the first play of a series, putting Oklahoma up 21-0 at the time.

Anderson didn’t need long to get going either. The Oklahoma running back took off for a 30-yard touchdown run on Oklahoma’s first possession of the season. He added a 65-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to push the lead to 35-0. Marquise Brown caught six passes for 133 yards as well.

But while the offense will make headlines, Oklahoma’s defense seemed ready to put on a show in their first chance to get on the field against an opponent since last season’s Rose Bowl, when Georgia outlasted Oklahoma and piled up a massive amount of yardage against them. Granted, FAU is far from Georgia, but the tone was set by the Sooners defense, limiting FAU to one third-down conversion out of 10 attempts. FAU may go on to put up some big numbers this season, certainly within Conference USA, but Oklahoma did well in not allowing the Owls to come in and put much of anything together.

Oklahoma will host another opponent next week with a popular head coach next week. The Sooners will welcome Chip Kelly and UCLA in Kelly’s first road game since returning to college football. FAU will play their home opener next Saturday with a game against Air Force.

No Baker? No problem. Sooners blasting FAU, 42-0 at halftime

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
1 Comment

No. 7 Oklahoma wasted no time in establishing dominance over Florida Atlantic in the early afternoon time slot, scoring 28 points in the first quarter in just over five minutes. Rodney Anderson has rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns (one run from 65 yards and another from 30) as the Sooners lead FAU 42-0 at halftime.

Kyler Murray completed all four of his pass attempts in the first quarter for 121 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed for 17 yards on two rushing attempts. He reached halftime having thrown for over 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns while tacking on a few more rushing yards. The new starting quarterback for Oklahoma has fit right in with the offense and has shown no problem trying to replace Mayfield. On Oklahoma’s second possession, Murray completed a 65-yard pass to Lee Morris for a quick touchdown.

Oklahoma’s defense has had little trouble matching up and causing problems for FAU’s offense. One of the only miscues on the day for Oklahoma may have been a missed field goal, but Oklahoma was up 35-0 by the time that happened in the second quarter anyway. The Sooners have doubled up FAU in first downs and are out-gaining the Owls by nearly 300 yards of offense.

The bulk of the damage may have been done to FAU in the first half. But even if Lincoln Riley calls off the horses a bit in the second half, FAU has a lot of work to do just to make this competitive.

J.K. Dobbins races past Bryce Love as Bovada’s updated Heisman favorite

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
2 Comments

Remember yesterday when we shared the initial 2018 Heisman Trophy odds from Bovada? Well, scrap that already because the people have come in with enough bets to warrant some quick changes to the Heisman odds. Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins soared up four spots to climb into the top spot on Bovada’s board after just 24 hours.

Dobbins was initially given 12/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, and the bettors went scrambling for those odds. Bovada’s updated odds see Dobbins as the way-too-early favorite with 6/1 odds. Tied for the best odds with Dobbins is another Big Ten running back, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. Taylor didn’t move up quite as dramatically to 6/1 after having 8/1 odds a day ago. The short-lived preseason favorite from Bovada and 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Stanford running back Bryce Love, has slipped into third on the board with 7/1 odds. Alabama’s national championship hero, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tied Love with 7/1 odds.

Some other notable dramatic changes include the addition of Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (25/1). Lock, the SEC’s top passer returning in 2018, was initially left completely off the board. He is the only newcomer to the updated odds from Bovada at this moment. The most notable drop in the odds was from Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, who fell from 55/1 odds to 66/1. Most other drops were just by a few spots, including Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate falling from 9/1 to 14/1, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier falling from 12/1 to 16/1 and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley dropping from 18/1 to 20/1.

Here are the updated Heisman odds as relayed by Bovada:

J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 6/1
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 6/1
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 7/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 14/1
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 16/1
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 16/1
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 18/1
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 18/1
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 20/1
Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 25/1
Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma) 25/1
Jake Browning (QB Washington) 25/1
Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 25/1
Drew Lock (QB Missouri) 25/1
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 25/1
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 35/1
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 35/1
D'Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 35/1
Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 35/1
David Sills (WR West Virginia) 45/1
Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 66/1
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 75/1