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OU report card: Rave reviews as Sooners take their act on the road to UCLA

Related content: OU vs UCLA

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Oklahoma dominated UCLA in every way Saturday, winning 48-14. The grades tell the story of how the Sooners were superstars in SoCal.

Business trip: A

OU hasn’t lost a true road game since 2014. The Sooners ran that streak to 21 games Saturday night, and the things that have helped them in past road games helped them against the Bruins. The Sooners didn’t beat themselves; they committed only five penalties for 50 yards and committed no turnovers. They also didn’t let the momentum get away from them. After building an early lead, there were chances for the Bruins to make things a little uncomfortable. But the Sooners always had an answer, whether it was a stop on defense or a score on offense.

Offensive line: B

Another less-than-stellar start for the Sooner front, but the offensive line rallied after that and after last week. Four holding penalties against South Dakota meant the offensive line was challenged this past week, and a first-possession hold by Tyrese Robinson was ominous. But when all was said and done Saturday night, UCLA managed only one sack and OU averaged 7.5 yards per rush. Those are signs of good steps for the offensive line.

Containing DTR: A

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson can cause problems with his feet. He moves the pocket well. He scrambles well, too. If he gets loose, look out. But the Sooners sacked him four times, hurried him another four times and held him to minus-6 yards rushing on 14 attempts. Credit to the OU defensive line and linebackers for not only keeping him under control but also pressuring him.

Atmosphere: A

Hard to beat a game at the Rose Bowl. The sprawling grandeur of the stadium. The houses on the hills around it. The San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. And while UCLA fans didn’t do much to liven things up — the school’s decision to give away tickets didn’t pack the place — OU fans more than made up for it. Crimson and blue seemed split nearly 50-50 in the stands, and considering the game was half-way across the country, that was no small feat for Sooner Nation. Having part of OU marching band there only added to the friendly feel.

Uniforms: A+

Two of the all-time great looks in college football. The Sooners were in their road white jerseys and pants with crimson helmets. The Bruins went with jerseys in that distinctive blue paired with gold helmets and pants. Super classic.

Offensive innovation: A

Just when you think Lincoln Riley has run out of tricks, he shows little wrinkles in the OU offense that are so nifty. Case in point, CeeDee Lamb scored on a 1-yard run late in the first half. The Sooner receiver came in motion from right to left, but with the offensive action going right, the Bruin defense went that way. Hurts quickly pitched back to Lamb, who snagged the ball and all but walked into the end zone. And even though the Sooners rolled through the non-conference, there is definitely a feeling plenty remains for Big 12 play. We haven't seen the bottom of Riley's bag of tricks.

Pregame: A

A cute kid with a big voice sang the national anthem — aren’t there stars on every street corner in LA? — and the whole thing was punctuated by a multi-plane flyover. Then, David Holt, mayor of Oklahoma City, joined Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti for the coin toss. When you thought you’d see Holt everywhere, he shows up at the Rose Bowl! And of course, with all the OU fans at the Rose Bowl, there were lots of “Boomer Sooner!” chants going up around the stadium. Quite the scene.

Related Photos
<strong>Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson runs through UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock for a touchdown Saturday night in Pasadena, Calif. [AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]</strong>

Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson runs through UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock for a touchdown Saturday night in Pasadena, Calif. [AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d76843405f880588473ece0c83db6bff.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson runs through UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock for a touchdown Saturday night in Pasadena, Calif. [AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill] " title=" Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson runs through UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock for a touchdown Saturday night in Pasadena, Calif. [AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill] "><figcaption> Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson runs through UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock for a touchdown Saturday night in Pasadena, Calif. [AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill] </figcaption></figure>
Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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