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With quarterback Landry Jones and All-Amerian wide receiver Ryan Broyles returning to the starting lineup, the biggest question the Sooners had on offense was the running game. Even though Oklahoma has a plethora of talented backs, it was unclear who was going to step up.
Junior walk-on Dominique Whaley has done a more than admirable job taking DeMarco Murray’s place as the No. 1 back on the roster. Through six games, Whaley has rushed for 627 yards and nine touchdowns. This puts him on pace for 1,254 yards and 18 scores. That beats Murray’s best season at OU by 40 yards and three scores; not too bad for a walk-on.
Behind Whaley’s strong performances, the Sooners currently have the No. 48 rushing attack in the nation with 173.7 yards per game. The good running game for the Sooners has been quite beneficial, as the Sooners are a throw-first spread offense.
Jones has led the Sooners to the fifth-ranked passing offense in the nation (373.5 yards per game). Jones has thrown for 2,177 yards, 16 touchdowns and only six interceptions through six games.
He currently has career bests in passer rating (156) and completion percentage (67.6). The high completion percentage is a product of an improved offensive line. After giving up 19 sacks a season ago, Jones has only been put on the ground twice this season.
With so much time in the pocket, Jones is able to look downfield and allow his talented wide receivers to make plays. Broyles is off to a great start with 60 receptions for 815 yards and nine touchdowns. His 815 yards is good enough for fourth in the nation, and after last weekend, he is officially the all-time receptions leader in college football with 326.
Sophomore wide receiver Kenny Stills has already missed two games this season, but he is still producing at a high level with 27 receptions for 330 yards and five touchdowns through four games.
Fellow sophomore wide receiver Jaz Reynolds has also come on strong after missing the first two games of the season. He has 19 receptions for 330 yards and one touchdown.
Some things on the offense could be better, such as Jones’ composure. Even though Jones produces Heisman-level stats, he still gets rattled when he gets pressured. He shuffles his feet, makes bad decisions and is visually nervous.
A few mistakes throughout the course of a game won’t cause any damage, especially when you’re playing teams like Kansas and Ball State. However, a few mistakes could make or break the game against the likes of LSU, Alabama or even Oklahoma State, who the Sooners are sure to face.
It’s hard to be critical on an offense that is seventh in the nation in total offense (3,283 yards), fourth in yards per game (547.2 yards) and sixth in points per game (45.3), but Jones’ composure is a cause for concern.
Overall, though, the Sooners’ offense is in great shape.