Oklahoma’s scrimmage Saturday was intended to replicate a game day as much as humanly possible.
The only thing missing were 83,489 fans.
OU remedied that by projecting audio of a raucous crowd through the speaker system at Owen Field. The team also went through its entire pre-game meeting and warmup routine.
“It was good, just the fact that we’re coming out of a new facility. Little things like how many minutes do you have to leave the locker room to be out on the field,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said. “Every step these guys take before a game is scheduled out, so it helped us, I think, as far as the timing and maybe working out a few kinks before two weeks from now.”
On the field, Abdul Adams had a touchdown run and Jordan Smallwood caught a touchdown pass. The defense caused and recovered a fumble that drew some attention, but Riley couldn’t see who produced the play from his side of the field.
“JT (cornerback Jordan Thomas) had a couple nice plays back there and offensively we had a few. [Running back] Marcelias Sutton had a couple nice plays,” Riley said.
The Big 12 officials who were on hand oversaw a cleaner scrimmage than the one OU held Tuesday, according to
It also didn’t appear one-sided, offensively or defensively. Riley has categorized much of fall camp that way.
“We did a lot of situational work,” he said. “I’ve seen our guys, I think, grow a lot in those situations. You see guys on both sides of the ball understanding how the game should be played, making good decisions within those situations.”
Baker Mayfield, who didn't throw during practice due to arm soreness, played in the scrimmage, Riley said.
Sophomore defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, who was described as “nicked up” earlier this week by defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, was held out for precautionary reasons.
Had it been an actual game, Riley said Gallimore could have played.
• Quoteworthy: Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh gave insight this week into how he balances his signature hard-nosed coaching style while maintaining a firm relationship with players.
One, he said, OU recruits linemen who fit that style.
“And then they’ve got to know you care about them. Generally if they know that. … It’s just like my dad. He’s on my a** all the time. But I knew he loved me,” Bedenbaugh said. “You’re going to do whatever you’ve got to do. It’s nothing personal. They’re trying to benefit you and help you become a better player.
“Then when you go out in the real world you transfer those skills, whether it’s the NFL and getting a job or whatever it is, because it’s tough out there. This is easy. This is easy. Wait until you have to go and support a family. Wait until you’ve gotta have a job. To me, this is easy. So hopefully I’m training them for more than just on the field.”
• Obo wants 10 (or more?): Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has worked primarily with the defensive ends in fall camp, meaning more time spent with coach Calvin Thibodeaux, whose 10-sack campaign at OU in 2005 remains sixth best in school history among defensive linemen.
“And that’s the goal, you know. You get a 10-sack season, you up there with the greats at OU,” said Okoronkwo. “So I respect that. When [Thibodeaux] told me I was moving to his room, I was elated. I was happy because I knew I was going to learn from somebody who really did it at a high level.”
Okoronkwo’s nine sacks in 2016 tied Eric Striker for the single-season high among OU linebackers. Position-wise, it will be interesting to see how Okoronkwo’s senior campaign is categorized in the record books, with him currently listed as a defensive end/linebacker. He will play end in OU’s return to a 4-3 scheme, but could move to linebacker in its traditional 3-4.
The OU record for sacks in a season by a defensive lineman is 14, shared by Martin Chase (1997) and Cedric Jones (1994).
• Brooks out for season: Freshman running back Kennedy Brooks will miss the season with a left shoulder injury, OU coach Lincoln Riley confirmed Saturday.
The hope is that Brooks, a former Rivals four-star prospect out of Mansfield, Texas, will be rehabilitated and 100 percent by spring ball.
"It wasn't worth pushing it right now … so he'll be out this season," Riley said.
• Draper reportedly injured: Freshman linebacker Levi Draper will undergo surgery for a torn labrum Tuesday and miss the season, according to a report by SoonerScoop.com.
Draper indicated as much on Twitter, posting: “Surgery next week, it’s all in god’s plan.”
Draper, a 6-foot-2, 222-pound Collinsville product, enrolled early as a four-star prospect. He was not expected to play an immediate role his freshman season.
• No rush for backup QB: Redshirt sophomore Kyler Murray and sophomore Austin Kendall will continue competing for the backup quarterback role. Riley isn’t feeling rushed to make the decision because each has been in the system for one year.
“It’s not like I’m bringing in a true freshman who’s never been here before and trying to rush to get him ready,” Riley said. “If I was, we would probably distribute those reps a little differently."
• This, that: Riley said inside receiver Mykel Jones’ play has improved after Nick Basquine’s season-ending injury. Miles Tease and Lee Morris are others who’ve seen increased repetitions at that spot. … Freshman Kenneth Murray has responded well at inside linebacker since Jon-Michael Terry has been out with an undisclosed injury, Riley said. The two are battling for the starting role.