NORMAN, Okla. – Even though Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray may have been tough acts to follow, Jalen Hurts appeared to be undaunted by the challenge of following his Heisman Trophy-winning predecessors in his Oklahoma debut. Unsatisfied by a performance that registered as one of the best in school history, the Big 12 Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week will get another chance to improve Saturday when the fourth-ranked Sooners host FCS foe South Dakota.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, SoonerSports.tv. LINE: NL.
Hurts became the first Oklahoma quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards (332) and rush for at least 150 (176) in last weekend's 49-31 victory over Houston, doing so while completing 20 of his 23 passes and accounting for six total touchdowns. "We did some really good things out there tonight, but there are a lot of things we can improve on. We've got to take that next step," the senior quarterback told reporters after leading the Sooners to 686 total yards and 30 first downs. The Oklahoma defense also showed some promise after finishing near the bottom of most meaningful categories in 2018, holding the Cougars more than 100 yards below last season's average. Although they have played at least one FBS opponent every year since 2010, the Coyotes figure to have their hands full against Oklahoma after opening the season last week with a 31-17 home loss to Montana.
ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA (0-1)
Sophomore Kody Case appeared to be no worse for wear against Montana after missing most of last season with an injury, tying a single-game school record with 11 catches for a career-high 144 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Austin Simmons, who led the Missouri Valley Conference with 3,124 yards passing in 2018, needs only 220 more passing yards to reach 4,000 for his career after throwing for 246 last week. The Coyotes limited the Grizzlies to 83 yards rushing on 29 attempts and recorded a pair of interceptions but surrendered 427 yards passing and allowed Montana to go 11-of-17 on third down.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (1-0)
Charleston Rambo picked up where 2019 NFL first-round draft pick Marquise Brown left off last year, erupting for 105 yards receiving and a touchdown on three catches in the opener after finishing with 125 yards and a score on eight receptions as a freshman. While last year's leading rusher Kennedy Brooks was limited to only 46 yards on the ground despite averaging 11.5 yards per carry in the opener, junior Trey Sermon complemented Hurts' rushing effort with 91 yards of his own and 25 more through the air. Junior linebacker Kenneth Murray - tabbed as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year selection over the summer - tallied 13 tackles versus the Cougars, including 2.5 for loss.
1. Hurts' 508 total yards last week were 112 more than the previous school record for a debut.
2. The Sooners ran for 354 yards and threw for 332 against Houston, marking the fifth time in the last eight contests that they have exceeded 300 yards passing and rushing in the same game.
3. Hurts' rushing effort versus the Cougars was the second-highest total ever by an Oklahoma quarterback, bested only by Thomas Lott's 195 against Kansas in 1976.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 70, South Dakota 13