Oklahoma WRs Brown, Lamb dominant in Sooners' 3-0 start
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma's dynamic receiving tandem of Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and CeeDee Lamb has been virtually unstoppable so far this season.
Brown has 19 catches for 412 yards and three touchdowns through three games. Lamb has 12 catches for 225 yards and two scores. They are key reasons the fifth-ranked Sooners (3-0) will take an unbeaten record into Saturday night's game against Army.
Brown had nine catches for 191 yards last week against Iowa State, including a 75-yard touchdown reception. The junior's 189 yards receiving in the first half set a school record in the 37-27 win. He certainly has the pedigree, too — his cousin is Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown.
The previous week, Lamb had seven catches for 146 yards against UCLA. The sophomore had an acrobatic 35-yard touchdown grab in coverage, as the Sooners rolled past the Bruins 49-21.
The combo has helped push Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray onto the Heisman Trophy radar, a year after Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield won the award. Murray has completed 67 percent of his passes and he ranks sixth nationally in passing efficiency.
"They make my job a lot easier, obviously," Murray said. "'Quise being able to do whatever he wants on the field, he's a fast guy. CeeDee as well."
Brown and Lamb have seen wearing Oakland Raiders jerseys with Fred Biletnikoff's last name on the back. The Biletnikoff Award for the nation's top receiver is named for the former Raiders and Florida State star.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley likes the swagger.
"I want our players to be confident," he said. "If they're putting in the work off to the side and getting done what they need to get done within these walls, then things like that are fun. Our guys enjoy it, and I have zero issue with it."
Brown caught 57 passes for 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Riley said Brown has become a much bigger part of the offense this season. His 137.3 yards per game rank fifth nationally, and he leads the nation with four catches of at least 40 yards.
"He's open a lot," Riley said. "He's just so fast. And he's really, on top of being so fast, he's really become a good player, too. He's running well after the catch. He's really comfortable with what we're doing from a system standpoint."
Brown said he spent time working with his cousin, a dynamic NFL receiver, in the offseason. He also focused on becoming stronger and learning how to better use his game-changing speed. That work ethic showed up in practice and made the transition from Mayfield to Murray easier.
"I finished the season strong last year, so I knew I would be getting more opportunities," Brown said. "I just want to go out in practice and show I can do it in practice, and then in the game, they can trust me."
Lamb caught 46 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns last season, and he has continued to produce. He wowed fans during the UCLA game when he barely landed out of bounds on a leaping one-handed grab on the sideline.
"That dude's a freak," Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Bolton said. "I knew it the day he stepped on campus."
Oklahoma defensive back Justin Broiles was impressed, but not surprised, by the grab.
"That's routine," Broiles said. "It's surprising when you see it in a game because he actually tried that, dog. That's more like practice. But that's routine, routine for him."