Before an announced crowd of just over 22,000 fans at Gaylor Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the white team came away with a 30-29 win. The 25% capacity in attendance was treated to the first glimpse of the 2021 Oklahoma football team for the first time. The themes of defensive expectations were on display. However, a few offensive newcomers made their marks on both sides of the ball. Now, let’s discuss our five takeaways from Oklahoma’s 2021 Spring Game.
Five Takeaways From Oklahoma’s 2021 Spring Game
Quarterback depth is as good as it’s ever been
Sooner fans wondered what the quarterback room might look like with Tanner Mordecai and Chandler Morris gone. But, those questions were quickly turned into exclamation points as true freshman Caleb Williams stole the show. He was 10 for 11 passing with 99 yards and a touchdown through the air. Additionally, he had six carries for 61 yards on the ground. Penn State transfer Micah Bowens was four out of five with 26 yards through the air and he added 25 yards rushing. The Sooners should feel good about the total depth in the quarterback room as one of the most talented in the country.
Defense is meeting the high expectations
For the first time in over a decade, the defense has high expectations coming into 2021. An infusion of talent and improvement for Alex Grinch’s defense has put lofty expectations on a group that could be in the best Oklahoma has seen in 15 years. However, Oklahoma had Isaiah Thomas, Jalen Redmond, Brian Asamoah, Pat Fields, and Woodi Washington sitting this game out. But, that didn’t seem to matter as the defense played extremely well at all three levels. They especially tackled and covered well with no busts for the entire game. An indicator of how effective the first-team defense is that they held Spencer Rattler to under 50% completions and Marvin Mims to just one catch for 13 yards.
There’s been a lot of high praise for newcomers to the team this year by the way of transfer and freshmen. Eric Gray has been raved about this Spring as being a complete back and he scored on a 19-yard run. Gray looked like the best running back on the field. At the wide receiver position, Mario Williams bounced back from a dropped pass and a fumble on a reverse to catch five passes for 84 yards. Defensively, Latrell McCutchin, Billy Bowman, and Jordan Mukes played in the defensive backfield. If the season started today, Bowman might be the starter at the Nickel position and played well against Mims all day. McCutchin has the look of a potential shut down corner and Mukes played very physically from his safety position.
Stoops earns scholarship
After Oklahoma’s 2021 Spring Game concluded the entire team erupted with cheers on the field. The cheers were for Drake Stoops who was awarded a full scholarship. The son of former head coach Bob Stoops had previously been a walk-on. Stoops has been a reliable target over the last year. He’ll certainly remain in the two-deep for this team. His route running, ability to find open spaces and sure hands won’t be able to keep him off the field.
National Championship or bust expectations
Oklahoma has a standard for winning championships. The national expectations may vary. However, the standard remains the same. But, the expectations for this team are higher this season. A Big 12 Championship won’t be enough. A College Football Playoff berth will not scratch the itch. If the Sooners do not, at the very least, win a playoff game the 2021 campaign will be viewed as a disappointment. Oklahoma has taken the first step with a successful Spring. But, can the Sooners meet these lofty expectations and bring a title back to Norman?