Murray's 5 total TDs lead No. 6 Oklahoma past UCLA 49-21
By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — UCLA coach Chip Kelly believes his day against Oklahoma might have gone better with some help from the Oakland Athletics.
The A’s selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the ninth overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft. They signed him for nearly $5 million but allowed him to come back to school and play football.
Kelly wished negotiations had gone differently. Murray passed for three touchdowns and ran for two, and No. 6 Oklahoma defeated UCLA 49-21 on Saturday.
“The only guy I would say I’m disappointed in is Billy Beane,” Kelly said, joking about the A’s executive. “I wish he gave the kid more money. If there was a little bit bigger prize, maybe number 1 wasn’t out there because he’s a real talented player.”
It wasn’t all smooth for Oklahoma. The Sooners lost star running back Rodney Anderson to a leg injury. Anderson ran for 10 yards on the final play of the first quarter, and then got up slowly. He limped off on his own, and trainers tended to the preseason All-Big 12 pick before he headed to the locker room. He was back on the bench later, out of uniform.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was unsure of Anderson’s status going forward.
“We’re hoping for the best, but we will get in and see how he’s doing,” Riley said.
Murray picked up the slack with 306 yards passing and 69 yards rushing. Kelly was impressed with how Murray has stepped in for No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Baker Mayfield.
“You think there would be a big drop off when you go from a Heisman Trophy winner, but that kid’s very special,” Kelly said.
CeeDee Lamb had seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown and Marquise Brown added 88 yards and a score on four catches for the Sooners (2-0).
Despite losing Anderson, Oklahoma ran for 179 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Oklahoma reserve running back Marcelias Sutton called Anderson the team’s “heart and soul.”
“That was hard for me to see him go down, but at the end of the day when it’s time to step up, it’s time to step up,” Sutton said. “We have a lot of talent and we’re all close. We all just teach each other. We feed off each other.”
Oklahoma led 21-7 at halftime. The Sooners held the Bruins to 133 yards before the break and sacked UCLA freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson five times. Thompson-Robinson started in place of the injured Wilton Speight.
Thompson-Robinson completed 16 of 26 passes for 254 yards in his first start. Bolu Olorunfunmi ran for 56 yards and two touchdowns for UCLA, which fell to 0-2 under Kelly.
UCLA: The Bruins got off to a good start but could not sustain it. Thompson-Robinson had good moments, but he struggled at times with accuracy and Oklahoma prevented him from taking off for long runs.
“I was really impressed with him,” Kelly said. “Again, he doesn’t get rattled out there. Got banged around, but I thought he did a really nice job competing all the way to the end, so I was impressed with Dorian.”
Oklahoma: The Sooners learned their special teams can be a game-changer against a Power Five opponent. Tre Brown had 121 yards on two kickoff returns.
“Probably the most dominant side of the ball was special teams,” Riley said. “Two huge returns. Proud of that group.”
Lamb didn’t even start and ended up having one of the best games of his career.
The sophomore finished with 209 all-purpose yards. His touchdown grab in traffic was one for the highlight packages. He put a video game-caliber shake on a UCLA defender during a 66-yard punt return.
His best play didn’t even count. He went up for a pass on the sideline and stabbed the ball out of the air with one hand as he extended his right arm behind his outstretched body. He barely landed out of bounds.
“If the ball goes his way, I’m like, ‘He’s going to catch it someway, somehow,'” Riley said.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, who played basketball for UCLA, showed up for the game wearing a custom-made UCLA jersey.
At one point, Westbrook was seen with former Oklahoma basketball star Buddy Hield, who plays for the Sacramento Kings, and former Sooners basketball star Trae Young, who plays for the Atlanta Hawks.
Last week, Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin said the Sooners looked like a playoff team during a 63-14 win last Saturday. They looked the part again, and they should at least remain steady in the next AP poll .
UCLA hosts Fresno State.
Oklahoma travels to Iowa State. The Cyclones upset the Sooners 38-31 in Norman last year.
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