OU receiving corps quite the catch
Editor's note: The original article incorrectly listed junior running back Dominique Whaley's classification. The article has been corrected.
In the Sooners' opening game against Tulsa, OU racked up 417 yards through the air, with a 72-percent completion percentage.
Looking at the stats, you wouldn’t believe OU football was without its clear No. 2 receiver. Sophomore Kenny Stills, suspended for the opening game, was a big contributor during his freshman season at OU. He hauled in 61 receptions for 786 yards with five touchdowns last season. Many around the country feel Stills would be a true No. 1 receiver at almost any other university.
With Stills unable to take the field against Tulsa, it was up to the rest of the Sooners’ receiving corps to make up for his absence, and they did so with ease. The game began sluggishly with junior quarterback Landry Jones and the receivers searching for rhythm. But once they settled in, the receivers proved the corps is much more than just Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills.
Broyles had a typical performance, and fortunately for OU, that meant hauling in 14 receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown. While that was the lone touchdown in the air for the Sooners, several other receivers stepped up. Sophomore Trey Franks, who saw increased playing with the graduation of Cameron Kenney, totaled seven receptions for 74 yards. Despite a fumble at the end of the second half, he showed he has big-play capability for the Sooners.
While his stats didn’t stand out — catching only two passes for 14 yards — senior Dejuan Miller stood out with his blocking ability as well as his willingness to attack the middle of the Tulsa defense. True freshman Kameel Jackson also saw his first playing time as a Sooner, making his first catch on a low throw from sophomore quarterback Drew Allen and stiff-arming a defender for an 18-yard gain.
While only two receivers went over 50 yards, a number that may sound less than impressive, 11 Sooners made catches, proof OU has a long line of players ready to step on the field.
With tight ends James Hanna and Austin Haywood able to line up as receivers, along with the big-play ability out of the backfield, the Sooners have a variety of ways to get the ball into their playmakers’ hands.
With Kenny Stills available for OU’s Sept. 17 showdown at Florida State, the Sooner offense adds yet another deadly weapon. And although the play of junior running back Dominique Whaley has rightly made headlines, Oklahoma’s offense proved it has the depth at receiver to give opposing teams fits, which is something the Sooners can only hope will boost their odds of a victory in Tallahassee, Fla.