Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts puts on a show in his debut performance as a Sooner.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is an absolute quarterback whisperer. In back-to-back seasons, Riley has two different quarterbacks who not only won Heisman trophies, both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray ended up going first overall in the NFL Draft. Turning Jalen Hurts into a college football superstar was expected to be his toughest test yet, but so far, Hurts looks to be the best of the bunch.
The fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners opened up their season on Sunday night, taking care of business against the Houston Cougars. Oklahoma raced out to an early lead and never looked back, winning by a score of 49-31.
Hurts was absolutely fantastic in this one, completing 20-of-23 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns. He also piled up 176 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries in the running game. He also did not turn the ball over once.
Simply put, Hurts was brilliant, dominating the Cougars with his arm and his legs. He had complete control over the offense, did a fantastic job of getting the ball to his playmakers in space and made plays on his own when he needed to.
As you know, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma this offseason, after starting for two-plus years at Alabama. At Alabama, Hurts was essentially a game manager, basically using the talent around him to lead the most dominant team in college football. Hurts won a lot of games at Alabama, but he was never really asked to step up and win games on his own.
At Oklahoma, Riley is going to consistently put Hurts in positions to succeed and he is going to be able to showcase his talents all season long. He entered Oklahoma as a tough and physical dual-threat quarterback who relied heavily on his ability to run the ball. If Hurts can continue to improve as a passer, he is going to have a massive season with the Sooners.
Simply put, he could not have had a more impressive debut on Sunday night. If this game against Houston is any indication, Jalen Hurts may be well on his way to making it three-straight Heisman winning quarterbacks for the Sooners. We have to see his passing game improvements continue before I can even think about him as a possible number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. That being said, it’s not impossible.