The play of the day was turned in on the game’s third series. Knight tried to hit K.J. Young on a quick screen. Middle linebacker Jordan Evans read it perfectly and blasted Young the moment the ball arrived. Defensive tackle Jordan Wade made a diving interception that set up the day’s first touchdown.
“It always feels good to have a nice big hit. That’s my boy K.J. though,” Evans said. “I didn’t want to mess him up.”
The defense OU believes it will put on the field in August has that ability. It can make a quarterback coming off a Sugar Bowl MVP performance look average.
It’s why OU coach Bob Stoops saw his starting quarterback’s lack of productivity through a different prism.
“It’s not easy throwing it on Zack Sanchez every day, especially when he sees you every day, goes against you every day in pass skeleton and every day in team. All of a sudden, those receivers are squeezed. It isn’t one guy. If they’re not open, no one’s gonna look good,” he said. “The disadvantage for the offense is always the case, with the defense so familiar with them. They know by formation what routes and over and over and over. It makes it harder. We’re very pleased with what Trevor has done overall. He needs all his linemen back out there for it to look different as well.”
Knight wished it looked different as well. He expected to move the ball and throw for some touchdowns and set up more. His backups did.
Cody Thomas threw for 52 yards, completing 5 of 9 attempts with a touchdown. Justice Hansen was 4 for 8 for 52 yards. He threw two interceptions but also had a touchdown pass. Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield had the most productive day. He was 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two touchdown passes.