By Bryan Fischer
FOX Sports activities Faculty Soccer Author
Oklahoma spent a complete offseason making an attempt to go away one Lincoln behind.
On Saturday, the Sooners left one other Lincoln and will have effusively turned the web page for good to a brand new period — albeit one stuffed with acquainted expectations. New coach, new gamers, standard place again atop the checklist as favorites to win the Big 12 after rolling previous convention foe Nebraska, 49-14.
“The standard doesn’t change. When they go in, they need to play to a standard,” head coach Brent Venables mentioned after the sport. “We’re going to coach the same way.”
Highlights: Oklahoma routs Nebraska
Dillon Gabriel led Oklahoma’s offense on a 49-point scoring spree because the Sooners rolled to a 49-14 victory.
A lot will likely be made in regards to the Cornhuskers dropping to 1-3 and the flurry of exercise over the approaching months because of an administration looking for a brand new head coach. However the rout at Memorial Stadium throughout “Big Noon” Saturday on FOX had way more nationwide implications throughout faculty soccer as a coronation for the guests.
That beforehand jumbled Big 12 image going into the beginning of convention play? Nicely, it’s time to acknowledge that the default of OU to win the league has been restored as soon as once more following the primary assertion victory underneath their new head coach.
Worries about Oklahoma’s offense with out Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams off to USC? It’s been three video games and that doesn’t seem like a priority anymore.
A lot of that’s all the way down to the presence of Dillon Gabriel, the UCF switch who may be firmly inserting himself into the early season dialog for the Heisman Trophy. That was at all times the potential upside of his switch to Norman in January, however issues have labored out even higher than most thought at a program with an extended historical past of switch signal-callers being in New York come December.
Gabriel, in simply his fourth highway recreation at a Energy 5 opponent in his profession, barely broke a sweat towards the once-formidable Blackshirts. He threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns in an environment friendly efficiency that noticed him exit within the third quarter for a slew of backups.
The one pause for concern? Noting that Georgia Southern, the preseason decide to complete sixth within the Solar Belt East, marched up and down the identical area the week prior and put up 45 factors on these Huskers.
Nonetheless, the added dimension that Gabriel has dropped at the uptempo assault was one thing Big 12 defensive coordinators will make sure to be aware of. His silky clean 61-yard scamper within the first quarter was a career-long rush, and his potential to flee stress within the pocket is bound to evoke a comparability (or two) to a few of his predecessors behind heart in crimson and cream.
Dillon Gabriel strikes with a 25-yard dot
Dillon Gabriel hit Jalil Farooq with a dart to take give Oklahoma a 14-7 lead over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Gabriel and the brand new offensive workers, led by coordinator Jeff Lebby, have been on the identical web page with the finer factors as nicely. On a second-quarter trick play, the quarterback well stepped up within the pocket to make sure his move went behind the road on the preliminary throw and that the protection can be drawn in pondering it was a rush. That allowed Brayden Willis to launch a 24-yard strike to a wide-open Marcus Main and all however make sure the second half was devoted to continued hypothesis in regards to the Huskers’ head coach in 2023.
Nebraska crowd: ‘We would like City!’
Cornhuskers followers chant “We want Urban!” in the course of the opening moments of “Big Noon Kickoff” in Lincoln forward of the Oklahoma-Nebraska recreation.
It helps OU’s case that our early take a look at the staff underneath Venables is one which appears as balanced because it has been in a number of years. The protection notched 4 sacks and restricted the Huskers to underneath 4 yards per play for a lot of the afternoon, taking part in almost flawlessly by continuously overwhelming an offensive line that was alleged to be a energy for his or her Big Ten foes.
Nebraska took it 77 yards to the top zone on their opening drive and crossed midfield simply as soon as the remainder of the way in which towards the Sooners first-team protection.
How’s that for a brand new period in Norman?
Baylor, Oklahoma State and subsequent week’s opponent Kansas State will all present stiffer checks forward. Texas pushed No. 2 Alabama to the brink, too. Every have their very own flaws on each side of the ball, nonetheless, one thing the Sooners have to date not fairly revealed to the extent many anticipated after a lot turnover since falling in Bedlam final season.
“New” was a well-liked and apt descriptor for a lot of Oklahoma going into 2022. But right here they’re approaching convention play in a recognizable spot because the staff the remainder of the league must undergo in the event that they wish to be holding up that Big 12 trophy on the finish.
Bryan Fischer is a university soccer author for FOX Sports activities. He has been overlaying faculty athletics for almost 20 years at shops comparable to NBC Sports activities, CBS Sports activities, Yahoo! Sports activities and NFL.com amongst others. Comply with him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.
Get extra from Faculty Soccer Comply with your favorites to get details about video games, information and extra.