Everything turned up aces for the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday in their Valero Alamo Bowl win over the Oregon Ducks. After a 6-3 stalemate in the first quarter, the Sooners broke it open with 24 second quarter points to go into halftime with a 30-3 lead at the break.
While Oregon made things interesting enough to attempt an onside kick late in the fourth quarter the game was never really in reach for the final three quarters.
Oklahoma’s defense got the only turnover of the game and the young defensive front got pressure on Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown.
The offense was explosive through the air and on the ground. Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray each had runs of at least 40 yards and Marvin Mims and Jalil Farooq made big plays in the passing game.
The Oklahoma Sooners finished the 2021 season on a high note, kicking off the Brent Venables era with a lot of optimism about the future.
As we look back on the Sooners 47-32 win, let’s take a look back at five takeaways from the Alamo Bowl.
Kennedy Brooks has a big day
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Kennedy Brooks (26) scores a touchdown in the second half against the Oregon Ducks at the 2021 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
If this happens to be the final game of his Oklahoma Sooners career, Kennedy Brooks would have gone out with a bang. He toyed the rock 14 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns.
Kennedy Brooks averaged more than 10 yards per carry on the day, probing the Oregon defense and breaking long runs. He displayed everything that’s made him great during his tenure with the Sooners.
Brooks and the offensive line found running room on wide zone runs and counters throughout. Considering Eric Gray saw eight carries and Marcus Major saw five carries, Brooks could have had an even bigger day running the football.
Brooks earned the offensive MVP award for his efforts in the Alamo Bowl, and it was well deserved. When Brooks eventually declares for the NFL draft, the Alamo Bowl will serve as a great example of everything he can bring to the NFL level.
There goes that ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Mims
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) goes in for a touchdown against the Oregon Ducks during the first half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Mims 2021 season is about as reflective of the Oklahoma Sooners offensive consistency as you’ll find. When teams took away the deep passing game, Oklahoma had a difficult time getting him involved.
It was much of the same early in the game against the Oregon Ducks, but Cale Gundy and Caleb Williams showed patience, taking what was available to them underneath in the short passing game and with the running game.
And then, off of play action, Caleb Williams and Marvin Mims broke through for a 55-yard touchdown pass.
On the play, Mims got behind the Oregon secondary and Williams dropped the ball in the bucket to put the Sooners well ahead in the second quarter.
Though Mims only had the two receptions on the day, it was great to see the two connect for a big play.
Caleb Williams has a Strong Day
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) points downfield defended by Oregon Ducks safety Bennett Williams (15) in the first half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It might not have been Caleb Williams’ most productive outing of the season, but it might have been his most impressive.
He was poised, decisive, and patient in orchestrating the Oklahoma Sooners 47-32 win over the Ducks. Williams threw for 242 yards on 21 of 27 passing and threw touchdowns to Drake Stoops, Marvin Mims, and Eric Gray.
Caleb Williams did a fantastic job spreading the ball around, connecting with eight different receivers in the Sooners’ win. And Oklahoma receivers did a great job after the catch to create big plays after receptions in the short part of the field.
Only Caleb Williams knows his future, but in San Antonio, Williams was king. He put on display everything that made him a highly sought after recruit coming out of high school.
Hopefully, there’s many more great moments like that for Williams at the University of Oklahoma.
Defense Made plays when it counted
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown (13) prepares to throw the ball in the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners 2021 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Even in their impressive first half performance, the Oklahoma Sooners were giving up yards to the Oregon Ducks. But as the first half score of 30-3 indicated, those yards the Ducks were getting didn’t lead to points.
Oklahoma’s bend-don’t-break defense was in full effect, stifling the Ducks or forcing them into errors in the first half leading to the second quarter runaway by the Sooners.
The second half wasn’t pretty, by any means. The secondary regularly allowed Ducks receivers to beat them deep and get wide open for scores that brought the final score to be much closer than it should have been. And yet, at the end of the game, the defense did enough to come away with the 15-point win.
Down four starters on defense, the Sooners were relying on players who’d played limited snaps throughout the regular season. And while it may not have been the second half they would have liked, they finished strong, harassing Anthony Brown late in the fourth quarter.
It was a promising performance for a defense relying on a lot of younger players and those guys stood out in the Sooners 47-32 win.
Thank You Bob Stoops
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners interim head coach Bob Stoops (right) is doused with a Gatorade cooler by linebacker Bryan Mead (38) in the second half against the Oregon Ducks the 2021 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
From the moment he took the field, the Valero Alamo Bowl took on a much different feel. A team, and a fanbase that looked to be headed for a downward spiral was held together by the legend, the hall of famer, Bob Stoops.
From his opening press conference, Stoops is exuded confidence and that confidence carried Sooner Nation as the athletic department worked through their coaching search. On the recruiting trail, Stoops led the assistants into home visits to help recover a 2022 recruiting cycle decimated in the wake of the Oklahoma coaching transition.
That confidence bled over into the Oklahoma Sooners matchup with the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl. From the gameplan and the effort, to the execution and aggressiveness, Bob Stoops put his finger prints on this one.
Bob Stoops has long been considered an icon of college football and Oklahoma legend. He furthered that legacy with what he did for the university and Oklahoma’s performance in the Alamo Bowl.
It was a thrill to watch “Big Game Bob” back in action in the Oklahoma sidelines and sending him out with a win made for a joyous night in San Antonio.