The Oklahoma Sooners look to move to 2-0 on the season as they get set to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes.
With last week’s performance against UTEP, the Sooners looked good. There are some things to work on, but it was a near-dominant performance on both sides of the football.
There were breakout performances on both sides of the ball. Guys like Brayden Willis, Danny Stutsman, Eric Gray, Reggie Grimes, Marcus Major, and Billy Bowman provided great performances, announcing themselves to Sooner Nation.
Will there be more breakout performances from players stepping into new roles with the team? Against Kent State, you can bet on it. As you prepare for kickoff, here are some bold predictions for Saturday night’s contest.
Dillon Gabriel goes over 300 yards (this time)
Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel (8) warms up before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Going back to the well with this one. In last week’s bold predictions, I had Dillon Gabriel going over 300 yards passing.
The Oklahoma Sooners didn’t really need him to throw it a ton, limiting his opportunities to pile up stats. Still, he was just 1 of 5 on throws 20 or more yards down the field. He connects on just one more of those, and the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback has a better chance to hit the 300-yard mark.
Kent State just allowed 345 yards passing to Michael Penix Jr. in their 45-20 loss to Washington. Gabriel will have a chance to put some numbers on the stat sheet if Oklahoma can take advantage of the Golden Flashes’ secondary.
Jalen Redmond has multiple sacks
Oklahoma’s Jalen Redmond (31) chases UTEP’s Gavin Hardison (2) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Oklahoma won 45-13. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Last week Reggie Grimes erupted with 2.5 sacks on the day. Jalen Redmond was close a couple of times, putting together three pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. This week, he’s going to finish the job and get to Kent State quarterback Colin Schee for multiple sacks.
Oklahoma continues dominance against the run
Oklahoma’s David Ugwoegbu (2) celebrates after a play during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Against the UTEP Miners, the Sooners allowed less than 1 yard per carry on the day. In the first half, the Miners were held to negative rushing yards. Kent State ran for 147 yards, but just 3.8 yards per carry against the Huskies.
The Sooners might not hold the Golden Flashes to less than one yard per carry, but they’ll hold them under 75 rushing yards on the game.
Jayden Gibson shines and scores
Jayden Gibson (1), wide receiver, goes through drills as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) holds fall camp practice at the rugby fields on Aug. 16, 2022 in Norman, Okla. [Steve Sisney/For The Oklahoman]
Last week it was true freshman Gavin Freeman who provided the big play offensively for Oklahoma in the first quarter. Jayden Gibson got a little run in the game, but didn’t see any targets. Look for that to change this week.
Wide receiver, aside from Marvin Mims and Theo Wease, is far from settled and Gibson could earn some run with the first-team offense.
Gibson was fantastic in the spring and in fall camp, doing enough to land on the three-deep depth chart. His size, speed, and athleticism may allow him to get significant snaps this week against Kent State.
Brayden Willis scores again
Sep 3, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Brayden Willis (9) scores a touchdown during the first half against the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
After posting three receptions for 40 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener against UTEP, Brayden Willis announced that he’s a force to be reckoned with. We already knew he was an impactful blocker in the running game, but in week one, he matched his 2021 total for touchdowns.
Willis will add at least one more touchdown in this game as teams are forced to bite on the play action game.
Defense forces three turnovers
Oklahoma’s Gentry Williams (24) intercepts a pass during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Oklahoma won 45-13. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
The Oklahoma Sooners got an interception from Gentry Williams last week at the end of the game to seal the 32-point win over UTEP. This week, the Sooners get two more picks and recover a Kent State fumble on a strip sack.
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