The seventh-ranked Oklahoma Sooners got their season off to a great start with a 63-14 thumping of the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday, and quarterback Kyler Murray turned in one particularly impressive highlight in his first real start for the Sooners. (He did start one game last year against West Virginia, but that was only after Baker Mayfield was suspended for the first half of that game.) Early in Saturday’s clash with the Owls, with the score tied at 0, Murray picked up one of the most difficult first downs you’ll see, running all over the field and avoiding several tackles before getting the yardage he needed:
The Kyler Murray era has begun at Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/yH0DC8ZH1O
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) September 1, 2018
Here’s a replay of that:
Kyler Murray is GOOD at this football thing pic.twitter.com/0ZYJTuRxrP
— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) September 1, 2018
Murray’s picking up a lot of attention for several reasons. For one, he’s stepping into the big shoes left by Mayfield, the first overall pick in last year’s NFL draft. But he’s also notable in his own right, especially as the ninth-overall pick in last year’s MLB draft (by Oakland). Murray struck a deal with the A’s that will let him play college football this year, and it’s been a long time waiting for him; after a remarkable high school career in Texas that saw him named National Gatorade Football Player of the Year, he started his career at Texas A&M and showed some potential there, but decided to transfer to Oklahoma late in the 2015 campaign. He then sat out during 2016 thanks to transfer regulations and saw limited action as Mayfield’s backup last year.
This is now Murray’s show, and if his performance Saturday is anything to go on, it could be one with plenty of highlights. Overall, Murray completed nine of his 11 passing attempts against the Owls (an outstanding 81.8 percent completion rate) for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing four times for 23 yards. He got some help from his receivers, too, such as on this short pass to Lee Morris that turned into a 65-yard touchdown:
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 1, 2018
Granted, there will be tougher competition ahead, but Murray’s certainly showed off what he can do. And if he keeps that up, the Sooners will again be a team to be reckoned with.
[Steve Palazzolo on Twitter]