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OU football: Sooner report card shows little to brag about after LSU's Peach Bowl rout

College Football Playoffs: OU vs. LSU

College Football Playoff recap: LSU 63, OU 28 Five observations from Oklahoma's Peach Bowl loss to LSU OU football: Sooners seem a long way from solving their playoff problem 'It hurts me in my heart': Jalen Hurts' dream of winning national title at OU falls painfully short OU football: Sooners' blowout loss by the numbers College Football Playoff: Under weight of family tragedy, LSU coach crafts big win vs. OU

OU’s 63-28 Peach Bowl loss to Louisiana State was as one-sided as the score indicates. Hard to find much in the report card to brag about:

Jalen Hurts: C.

Even when given time, the OU quarterback wasn’t sharp passing. He completed 15 of 31 passes for 217 yards and an interception. Hurts missed several throws he had made most of the season. But he constantly was flushed from the pocket, and LSU’s defensive gameplan was to contain Hurts’ scrambles and designed runs. The result was 14 total carries, for 43 yards.

Replacement safeties: D.

Turns out OU didn’t miss suspended pass-rushing specialist Ronnie Perkins nearly as much as it missed injured safety Delarrin Turner-Yell. Justin Broiles replaced Turner-Yell; Justin Jefferson, Broiles’ primary assignment, had nine catches for 186 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. Early in the second quarter, OU safety Brendan Radley-Hiles was ejected for targeting, the Sooners had to use true freshman Woodi Washington, and things got even worse, with Washington taking over at strong safety and Broiles moving to nickelback. Broiles and Washington led OU with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. Those didn’t come on run support. Almost all came after completed passes.

Offensive ingenuity: B.

Lincoln Riley gave LSU a lot of new looks and tricks. They just didn’t work. OU used a tailback pass, with Hurts as the tailback, after Kennedy Brooks took a direct snap from center. Alas, Hurts’ rollout pass was tipped by an LSU rusher. Riley also dialed up a flea flicker off a backward pass to CeeDee Lamb, who flipped it back to Hurts. But Hurts’ deep ball floated a little much, and LSU safety Kary Vincent Jr. intercepted, just as he banged into OU receiver Charleston Rambo.

Takeaway game: D.

The Sooners needed to win the turnover battle. Instead, they lost it 1-0. Hurts threw the interception, and OU didn’t capitalize on any of three prime takeaway opportunities — cornerbacks Parnell Motley and Tre Brown each broke on Joe Burrow passes and had a chance at interceptions, and Burrow fumbled while scrambling. But neither Motley nor Brown held on to the ball, and LSU guard Ed Ingram recovered the fumble.

Ball control: D.

After seeing the LSU offense, it became clearer than ever that OU’s only hope was long, grind-out drives. Keep Burrow off the field. But that didn’t happen in the first half. OU punted without a first down on three of its first four possessions and had five scoreless possessions of three plays or less in the half. In the second half, the Sooners produced two long drives, but by then, the game was over.

Pass rush: D.

Burrow had plenty of time to throw, which is curtains against a team with a receiving corps like LSU’s. But even when Burrow was flushed from the pocket, the Sooners didn’t contain him. Burrow consistently scrambled and found receivers against OU’s beleaguered secondary. Burrow was sacked just once in 43 called pass plays, and that one sack came with the score 56-21. OU was credited with zero quarterback hurries, which is inaccurate — Nik Bonitto made Burrow flip a fade pass early — but isn’t far from the truth.

Finding Lamb: C.

Hurts and Riley found some ways to target their best weapon. Just not enough. Lamb caught just four passes, but they totaled 119 yards. Credit LSU’s defense. But Hurts also missed a few throws to Lamb, and Lamb even dropped a late deep ball that was a Riley salute to the Hurts-Lamb connection.

Related Photos
<strong>In one of the few highlights for OU on Saturday, quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) dives to the pylon to score a touchdown in the second half of a 63-28 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. [AP Photo/John Amis]</strong>

In one of the few highlights for OU on Saturday, quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) dives to the pylon to score a touchdown in the second half of a 63-28 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. [AP Photo/John Amis]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-04ec4c6d0a9de2811a19b21181cc8eba.jpg" alt="Photo - In one of the few highlights for OU on Saturday, quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) dives to the pylon to score a touchdown in the second half of a 63-28 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. [AP Photo/John Amis] " title=" In one of the few highlights for OU on Saturday, quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) dives to the pylon to score a touchdown in the second half of a 63-28 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. [AP Photo/John Amis] "><figcaption> In one of the few highlights for OU on Saturday, quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) dives to the pylon to score a touchdown in the second half of a 63-28 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. [AP Photo/John Amis] </figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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