Florida Atlantic can’t contain Kyler Murray, No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners in 63-14 loss
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Kyler Murray, taking over for Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield this season, passed for 209 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 7 Oklahoma over Florida Atlantic 63-14 on Saturday.
Murray connected on 9 of 11 passes in just under one half of action. The first-round Major League Baseball draft pick also ran for 23 yards on four carries.
It was just Murray’s second college start since transferring from Texas A&M after the 2015 season.
“I woke up, I was pretty calm, pretty composed,” he said. “I’m a veteran as far as football goes. I’ve played a lot of football, so the nerves didn’t really hit me since I’ve been there and done it before. When you’re prepared for something, it’s hard to be nervous.”
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley liked what he saw from Murray.
“I thought he was efficient and commanded our group,” Riley said. “I thought he did a nice job.”
Marquise Brown caught six passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, and Rodney Anderson rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries. Lee Morris caught a 65-yard touchdown pass and blocked a punt for the Sooners.
Oklahoma led 42-0 at halftime — the most points the Sooners have scored in a first half since 2008.
By the game’s end, Oklahoma outgained Florida Atlantic 650 yards to 324.
“I’d be shocked if there’s a better team in the country than what I saw today,” Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin said. “Defense much improved, and obviously, that was their area of weakness last year.”
Former Oklahoma quarterback Chris Robison passed for 157 yards for Florida Atlantic. Oklahoma dismissed him last year for violating team rules.
Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary, a third-team All-American last season, was held to 69 yards on 18 carries.
Florida Atlantic: Many thought the Owls would challenge the Sooners and some thought an upset was possible. Instead, Florida Atlantic was dominated in every aspect of the game — Oklahoma even scored when Curtis Bolton recovered Morris’ blocked punt in the end zone. The Owls averaged 41 points per game last season, but they did not score until the final minute of the third quarter on Saturday.
“We played as bad as we can play,” Kiffin said. “Like I told the players, it’s discouraging in all phases of the game. Offense, defense and special teams.”
Oklahoma: The Sooners set the tone early and put together one of its most complete performances in recent years. They didn’t miss a step on offense with Mayfield gone, and the defense dominated.
Oklahoma might get a boost out of this one. The Owls were 30th in votes in the preseason poll and coming off an 11-3 season that ended with a 10-game winning streak. Though the Sooners were favored, the level of dominance was noteworthy.
Florida Atlantic: The Owls will host Air Force on Saturday.
Oklahoma: The Sooners will host UCLA on Saturday.