OU football: Marvin Mims' speed is special, but he shows off complete package of receiver skills in Sooners' win over TCU
FORT WORTH, Texas — Spencer Rattler planted his feet and let it fly.
The OU quarterback might not have put quite everything he had into the ball, but it wasn’t far from it.
And yet freshman wide receiver Marvin Mims was there barely moving, just making a slight adjustment to get to the ball Rattler had placed right on target late in the third quarter.
Rattler’s got a mighty arm, but Mims’ legs look even quicker than Rattler’s arm is powerful.
Mims caught the pass through the flailing arm of TCU cornerback Kee’yon Stewart and then could’ve walked into the end zone after Stewart spun to the ground. He didn’t, he finished it off with something more than a jog but less than a dead sprint to finish off the 61-yard score.
Mims continued the most productive start to a career by a freshman wide receiver in program history with four catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Sooners to a 33-14 win over TCU on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“I don’t know if there’s a quarterback that can out-throw Marvin Mims when the ball’s in the air,” Mims’ high school coach, Jeff Rayburn, told The Oklahoman last month. “If there’s any space to be had, he’s going to find it and he’s going to get it.”
Rattler certainly agrees, mentioning Rayburn’s words when asked what made Mims so dangerous.
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“I can’t really think back to when I have overthrown Marvin,” Rattler said. “His ability to go get the ball, it’s different.”
Mims now has 19 catches for 328 yards and six touchdowns.
He was the most productive receiver in Texas high school history and has shown no signs of slowing down in college.
Each of his catches Saturday showed a different element to his game.
His speed was evident, not only on that long touchdown, his final catch of the day, but on each of his receptions.
On his first, lining up in the slot, Mims came over the middle and cut hard, working back toward the sideline for open space before Rattler hit him for a 10-yard gain on second-and-long.
The next one, a 50-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, Mims showcased his speed by getting wide open. There wasn’t a defender within five yards of him when he caught Rattler’s pass around the 28, though he still had to stay inbounds past the diving effort of a TCU defender just outside the end zone.
On his other catch, Mims had to leap high into the air to haul in a pass and convert on third down.
Mims’ swift feet are certainly his most recognizable attribute but there are a lot of fast players in college football and on the Sooners.
It’s the combination of everything Mims does which makes him so lethal.
“His speed, his awareness, how he changes to get the ball in the air,” Rattler said. “There’s a lot to him.”
Mims came into the day tied with CeeDee Lamb and Ryan Broyles for the most touchdown catches by a Sooners' freshman in the first five games of the season and took that mark his his own with his two long hauls from Rattler.
Mims is showing a knack for doing exactly what he needs to do, with Sooners coach Lincoln Riley saying Mims makes plays seemingly every time he’s given the chance.
“That’s rare for a freshman to come along, show no sense of fear of any sort and actually just come to play,” defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles said. “He just comes to play. He balls. He does his thing. He knows his job. He knows his assignment, I love having him as a teammate.”