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OU football: Game grades from Oklahoma's win over South Dakota

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Hurts and Sermon

Senior quarterback Jalen Hurts hands the ball off to junior running back Trey Sermon during the game against South Dakota Sept. 7.

No. 4 Oklahoma (2-0) defeated South Dakota (0-2) 70-14 on Saturday, marking the 12th-straight home win for the Sooners dating back to 2017. 

The Sooners dominated an under-matched Coyotes team throughout the game while showing improvement in some of the areas that they struggled in against Houston.

Here’s how the Sooners performed during week two:

Offense: A+

Oklahoma’s offense had no trouble finding the end zone on Saturday. Nine different offensive players scored touchdowns in a game that featured 733 yards of total offense.

Senior quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 14 of his 18 pass attempts for 259 yards and three touchdowns. For the second week in a row, Hurts finished with a quarterback rating over 250 despite being pulled from the game mid-way through the third quarter.

When Hurts left the game, backup quarterbacks Tanner Mordecai and Spencer Rattler picked up where he left off. The two combined for 164 yards passing while completing 10 of their 12 attempts. Mordecai had a pair of touchdown passes before Rattler came in and threw a touchdown pass to freshman Trejan Bridges in the fourth quarter.

In the running game, the Sooners averaged 7.9 yards per carry led by freshman Rhamondre Stevenson with 104 yards and a touchdown on just six attempts, including a 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Redshirt sophomore Kennedy Brooks added 69 yards on six attempts and a touchdown.

Oklahoma’s offense finished the game with no turnovers and converted on seven of 10 third down conversions. Aside from a couple penalties, Oklahoma’s offense played a fairly clean game on Saturday, which is exactly what head coach Lincoln Riley wanted.

Defense: A+

Despite playing against a clearly inferior opponent, Oklahoma’s defense made some plays on Saturday that showed they have changed under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. The Sooners held South Dakota scoreless in the first half before conceding two touchdowns in the third quarter as the starters were being subbed out of the game.

Oklahoma had two interceptions in the game including a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by sophomore Brendan "Bookie" Radley-Hiles to start the second half. Radley-Hiles also added a fumble recovery giving the Sooners defense three total turnovers on the night. 

Grinch’s defense held the Coyotes to just 79 yards rushing on just 3.2 yards per attempt. The Sooners did a great job of stopping South Dakota on third down conversions, allowing just one first down in 11 attempts.

Special Teams: A

Oklahoma didn’t need to rely on special teams too much this week. They only punted twice and didn’t attempt any field goals.

Redshirt sophomore Calum Sutherland was a perfect 10 for 10 on extra points and redshirt freshman Gabe Brkic turned 11 kickoffs into nine touchbacks. Junior Ceedee Lamb returned two punts for 23 yards.

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