Oklahoma safety Jordan Mukes to enter transfer portal

Oklahoma sees former four-star safety Jordan Mukes head to the transfer portal. From @thatmanbryant

With days left before guys can officially enter the transfer portal, things are getting spicy across the country. Tuesday saw an insane amount of players dropping tweets, posts, and other edits to announce their intentions to join the portal come December 5.

Oklahoma already has one player in Theo Wease who plans to put himself in the portal per the folks at 247Sports. They now have a verified second as safety Jordan Mukes shared on Tuesday that he plans to enter the portal.

Mukes, a local kid from Tulsa will have three years of eligibility wherever he decides to go. Mukes, a four-star saw action in 2021 at safety but per Pro Football Reference saw no time on the field this year under Brent Venables and defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

Mukes joins five other 2021 signees from Oklahoma to transfer. He follows Caleb Williams (USC), Mario Williams (USC), Latrell McCutchin (USC), Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge (South Alabama), and Cody Jackson (Houston) who all have left the program via the portal. The Sooners now have just 10 players remaining from the 2021 class on the roster.

It’s possible Mukes made this decision after a careful conversation with Brent Venables and his position coach. Despite his size and athleticism, Mike’s was never able to see the field at safety over Trey Morrison, Justin Broiles, Damond Harmon, and Key Lawrence. With Gentry Williams and Robert Spears-Jennings also getting some snaps, a way to playing time looked like an uphill battle for Mukes.

With the regular season over and the portal opening up next week, expect for several more players to enter the transfer portal.

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Report Card: Sooners defense can’t hold up in finale vs. Texas Tech

Oklahoma’s defense was unable to get stops at the end as the Sooners fell 51-48 to Texas Tech. From @thatmanbryant

With an opportunity to solidify themselves above .500, Oklahoma traveled to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Texas Tech Raiders. Texas Tech took the first couple of punches from the Sooners on the chin before fighting their way back into the game. The game would eventually go to overtime, where a missed Zach Schmit field goal would lead to Texas Tech kicking the game-winner for a 51-48 victory to leave the Sooners at 6-6 for the regular season.

It was far from a horrible performance for the team as a whole, but it followed a similar script we’ve seen too many times this year. Oklahoma came out on fire before they eased up and let the other team back in the game.

The offense did a magnificent job from the opening snap, while the defense and special teams left a bit to be desired.

Here’s our report card from the Sooners’ loss to Texas Tech.

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‘It goes back to coaching’: Sooners coaching staff has work to do this offseason

In the wake of their 51-48 loss to Texas Tech, Brent Venables pointed back to the coaching as the reason for Oklahoma’s inconsistencies. From @john9williams

To Brent Venables’ credit, when things don’t go well, he’s inward-looking. As the Sooners wrapped up their first season under Venables with their 51-48 loss to Texas Tech, he took responsibility for Oklahoma’s shortcomings.

“It goes back to coaching,” Venables said in his postgame press conference. “I think that’s where it starts. We have moments where we have great discipline and moments where we’re not. We’re just very inconsistent. And, to me, it goes back to coaching. So, that’s where it starts. And then players got to decide they’re gonna in those moments of pressure. We’ve got to be, have the kind of discipline that you’ve got to have to execute and to win. It’s a game of execution, and it’s a game of, again, discipline. So, obviously, we’ve got to do a better job coaching.”

The Sooners struggled again on the defensive side of the football. They allowed Texas Tech to score the second-most points they had all season. Only Murray State allowed more points to Texas Tech (63) than the Oklahoma Sooners did on Saturday night. Not great company.

Only one other team had allowed the Red Raiders to put up 48 points in regulation this season; West Virginia.

Tech was averaging 30.25 points per game in Big 12 play. This was a team that was 2-4 in conference play before their three-game win streak over Kansas, Iowa State, and Oklahoma to close out the regular season.

Again. Not great company.

This is who Oklahoma is in 2022. Not a good football team.

They have their moments or quarters when they look like they can hang with anyone and then have stretches where they look like the worst team in the Big 12. And one could make an argument that aside from Iowa State, the Sooners might be the worst team in the Big 12.

The defense let them down again on Saturday night in Lubbock. Brent Venables bread and butter. The thing his reputation is built upon has a lot of work to do and not simply from a talent acquisition or development standpoint.

Talent matters, and the Oklahoma Sooners need to upgrade on that front. But unless there’s development that takes place, both on the mental and physical aspects of the game, we may be in for more of the same in 2023.

It was a rough first season for Brent Venables and his staff in Norman. He’ll learn from it and come back better next year. By no means does one season make a tenure or a career, but it’s hard to look at 6-6 as anything other than a disappointment.

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Social media reacts to Oklahoma’s 51-48 loss to Texas Tech

What did social media have to say following Oklahoma’s loss to Texas Tech?

The Oklahoma Sooners couldn’t find a week in Big 12 play where the offense and the defense came together simultaneously. In their loss to Texas Tech, it was the defense reverting to the team that gave up 40 points in four straight games to start Big 12 play.

The defense came out hot against the Red Raiders, not really allowing much of anything the first quarter. But once the clock flipped to the second, it was a totally different ball game.

Over the remainder of the game, the Sooners were outscored 51-34 as the defense couldn’t get much of a pass rush going and the coverage struggled to contain Texas Tech wide receivers.

It was a frustrating yet fitting end to the Sooners’ 2022 season. Sure, they have the bowl game to play, but that performance won’t do much to assuage any concerns about this team heading into 2023.

Brent Venables and his staff have a lot of work to do to try to improve the worst defense in the Big 12. Here’s a look back at how social media reacted to the Sooners loss.

Puzzling decisons doomed Oklahoma Sooners in loss to Texas Tech

Brent Venables and Jeff Lebby made some puzzling decisions in Oklahoma’s 51-48 loss to Texas Tech. From @bendackiw

There were several decisions made by the Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff that came back to bite them in their 51-48 loss:

  1. The fake field goal attempt up 14-0
  2. Oklahoma’s fourth down decisions
  3. Brent Venables icing the kicker at the end of regulation
  4. Jeff Lebby sending Dillon Gabriel out to receive a pass from Drake Stoops

Early in the game, the Oklahoma Sooners were dominating Texas Tech. They were up 14-0 and in the red zone with a chance to add on to the lead. The drive stalled when Oklahoma couldn’t pick up more than two yards on 2nd and 10 and had no gain on a Dillon Gabriel completion to Drake Stoops that went for zero yards.

That put the Oklahoma Sooners at 4th and 8 with an opportunity to go up 17-0 in the first quarter. Ever the aggressor, Brent Venables elected for a fake field goal and Michael Turk’s pass was dropped by Brayden Willis to turn it over on downs.

Venables was trying to get up 21 points and really step on the throat of Texas Tech, but the failed attempt took points off the board and gave the Red Raiders life. From that possession on, Tech outscored the Oklahoma Sooners 51-34 over the remainder of the game.

Oklahoma hasn’t been good enough on third and fourth down for the Sooners to go for it on fourth down as often as they did against Texas Tech. The Sooners were 1 of 4 on fourth down and gained minus-9 yards on those plays. I get wanting to be the aggressor, but there were times in this game when it looked like Oklahoma was setting up to attempt a fourth down. On the third and long, they’d just try to get as much yardage as possible so they could attempt to pick up the first on fourth down. Oklahoma is now converting on third down at just under 40% of the time and on fourth down just 37% of the time.

Now, I am less upset about Venables icing the kicker than I was last night. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t. If a Sooner doesn’t get his hand on it, Trey Wolff’s first attempt probably goes in.

That being said, a Sooner did get his hand on it. The field goal was blocked and the play didn’t count. That’s how it goes sometimes. If icing the kicker worked, we’re talking about how crafty Brent Venables is.

I will let this one go. Perhaps if the defense didn’t allow 48 points in regulation, they wouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with.

Number two is the one I really have a problem with.

Texas Tech could not stop OU in any facet of the game. Dillon Gabriel was having a career night and Eric Gray–yet again–was running all over the place.

Jeff Lebby took the ball out of Gabriel’s hands, gave it to Drake Stoops, who then lobbed it to Gabriel. Gabriel then got laid out and had to come out of the game for a play.

The Texas Tech DB had about an eight-yard cushion to line up Gabriel on a massive hit. The OU coaching staff again showed they have no faith in any QB not named Dillon Gabriel and put Brayden Willis in the shotgun for the wildcat formation.

Gee, I wonder what the tight end is going to do while lined up at quarterback.

To his credit, Willis tried his best to make something out of it, but this situation was completely avoidable.

Jeff Lebby called a play that put his most valuable player who was concussed a month and a half ago in harm’s way. The Sooners lost all momentum on the drive after Gabriel went out. It was a nonsensical and pointless play call.

I’m a big believer in not tempting fate. Putting Gabriel in that situation was tempting fate. You do not call that play in overtime.

It was just a bad game in what has been a bad season. Venables icing the kicker is one thing, but Lebby should know better than to put his quarterback in that spot. This coaching staff has a lot of issues with themselves they need to work out before week one of next season.

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Oklahoma Sooners defense backslides in loss to Texas Tech

It was a performance similar to those Big 12 losses earlier in the season as the Oklahoma Sooners fail to get enough stops against Texas Tech. From @john9williams

In three of their last four games, the Oklahoma Sooners looked to be making progress on the defensive side of the football. The Baylor game was the last performance where the Oklahoma defense really struggled.

Like the offense did a week ago, the defense played great for a quarter. But Oklahoma’s defense couldn’t sustain that dominance, and Texas Tech scored 51 points over the final three quarters and the first overtime to send the Sooners back to Norman with a loss.

After a strong performance a week ago against Oklahoma State, where they came up with key stops and turnovers to prevent the Cowboys from forging a comeback, Oklahoma’s defense couldn’t find the key plays to get off the field consistently in this game.

The defense allowed 599 total yards of offense. Tyler Shough torched Oklahoma all night, throwing for a career-high 436 yards and two touchdowns. His previous career high of 399 passing yards came in 2021 against Florida International.

The Sooners were just mentioned in the same light as Florida International.

They held the Texas Tech running game to 3.6 yards per carry, but the Red Raiders were good enough to sustain drives and take pressure off of Shough. According to Pro Football Focus, the Sooners’ defense only had Shough under pressure on 18 of his 55 dropbacks in the game.

A week after registering six sacks against the Cowboys, the Sooners were only able to sack Shough one time in the loss. Texas Tech was allowing more than three sacks per game coming into the contest. Oklahoma’s pass rush wasn’t good, and the coverage wasn’t much better.

Shough was able to complete 61% of his passes beyond 10 yards or more for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns. On throws of 20 yards or more, he was 3 of 6 for 102 yards and a touchdown.

The difference this week vs. last week, Oklahoma couldn’t get off the field on third or fourth down consistently enough. Texas Tech was 9 of 19 for a 47% conversion rate. Against Oklahoma State, the Sooners held the Cowboys to 7 of 24 on money downs. A conversion rate of just 29.1%. That’s a vast difference.

The defense wasted a strong offensive performance from Dillon Gabriel, Marvin Mims, Eric Gray, Theo Wease, and Brayden Willis. That side of the ball wasn’t perfect and the coaching staff left some points on the board, but Oklahoma should be able to win a game in which their offense scores 48 points.

It’s not good enough. Brent Venables and the defense have a lot of soul-searching to do in the wake of the loss.

Here’s a look at some of the best photos from Oklahoma’s loss to Texas Tech.

 

5 takeaways from the Oklahoma Sooners 51-48 loss to Texas Tech

5 takeaways from Oklahoma’s 51-48 overtime loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. From @thatmanbryant

Oklahoma’s regular season came to a fitting end. A 51-48 loss that perfectly encapsulates what the team has been all season. They started fast, and then adversity hit, and they struggled to weather the storm. The Sooners found some momentum in the second half, but ultimately couldn’t get enough stops to win the game. With the loss, Oklahoma falls to 6-6 for the year.

The game itself was a classic Big 12 affair featuring oodles of offensive fireworks, while defenders were run ragged. In the end, poor defense, Oklahoma’s inability to convert in overtime, and a Zach Schmit FG miss doomed the Sooners.

There were great moments and big plays to be enamored with, but ultimately it was for naught. Here are five takeaways from the Oklahoma Sooners loss to Texas Tech.

Oklahoma Sooners fall 51-48 in OT to Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Oklahoma Sooners lost to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in overtime on a field goal from Trey Wolff. From @bendackiw

The long, neverending nightmare that is the 2022 season for the Oklahoma Sooners got a little worse in the final game of the regular season. The Sooners lost to the Texas Tech Red Raiders 51-48 after leading 14-0 in the first quarter and 24-6 in the second.

In the final seconds of regulation, Texas Tech lined up for the game-tying field goal. Brent Venables decided to ice the Texas Tech kicker. Venables called his timeout, but Texas Tech snapped the ball. The play proceeded as normal. OU blocked the kick.

No matter.

Since Venables called timeout, the play didn’t count. Trey Wolff did not miss his second attempt. After Oklahoma kicker Zach Schmitt missed his field goal on the opening possession of overtime and Wolff hit his attempt to give the Red Raiders their first win against OU in a decade.

There were over 1200 yards of total offense in this game. Jeff Lebby, for the most part, called an excellent game, and Dillon Gabriel looked phenomenal. The southpaw had a career-high six touchdowns on the night. Gabriel threw for 449 yards and six touchdowns.

Texas Tech’s secondary could not defend the deep ball, and Marvin Mims, Theo Wease, and Jalil Farooq all took advantage. The Sooners’ talented trio of pass-catchers each burned the Red Raiders downfield. Mims finished a yard shy of setting a new career-high in yards with his five-catch, 162-yard first-half outburst. After a dominant performance in the first 30 minutes, Mims didn’t have a reception in the second half. Wease stepped up to set a new career-high in yards with 123 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. Brayden Willis got in on the action as well, with seven receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.

But the strong offensive performance was let down by another poor performance from the Oklahoma Sooners defense.

After last week’s phenomenal effort against Oklahoma State, the defense looked dreadful. There always seemed to be one Texas Tech receiver open downfield. Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, the pass rush got no push. Another quarterback that started the season as a backup sliced and diced the OU defense.

This time, it was Tyler Shough’s turn. Shough threw for 436 yards and two touchdowns and added 44 yards rushing, taking advantage of wide-open space in the scramble drill to kill Oklahoma’s defense. Texas Tech gained 599 total yards and converted 7 of 17 third downs and both of their fourth down attempts.

It was just an incredibly frustrating and, quite frankly, deserved loss. The Sooners did not deserve to win this game. They had their chance to bury Tech, much like they could have buried Oklahoma State, and they couldn’t.

OU will finish the season 6-6 and 8th in the Big 12.

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Anton Harrison taken in the first round of the Draft Wire’s latest mock draft

Oklahoma left tackle Anton Harrison was taken at the end of the first round in the Draft Wire’s latest 2023 mock draft. From @thatmanbryant

On the final weekend of the regular season, several NFL draft hopefuls are hoping to make a statement. It’s been a fascinating season, and on the heels of Thanksgiving, there are many players college teams can be thankful for.

For Oklahoma, Anton Harrison’s contributions to the Sooners’ offensive success have been immeasurable. He has been a steady and dominant force at left tackle, no matter who lined up under center for Oklahoma.

While OU’s season won’t see them compete for any championships, the Sooners still have a bowl game to win after they finish their regular season on the road against Texas Tech. Anton Harrison’s availability may be in question for the bowl game should he decide to declare for the NFL Draft.

Harrison’s play this year has helped solidify himself as one of the nation’s best offensive linemen and very much deserving of NFL draft consideration.

The conundrum for Harrison is if leaving school would be worth it instead of returning for one more year to further solidify himself as a first-round draft choice. Our friends at Draft Wire shared their post-Thanksgiving mock draft and have Anton Harrison headed to Kansas City to join another Sooners offensive lineman.

Former Sooner Creed Humphrey is the center for the vaunted Chiefs offense. A selection of Harrison could signal the end of another Sooners’ time in Kansas City. Orlando Brown Jr., is playing on the final year of his contract and has yet to agree to an extension with the Chiefs. So picking Harrison would allow him to slide in at the tackle spot vacated by Brown.

Harrison’s improvement as a run blocker has been the biggest development in his game on top of his improved strength, thanks in no small part to Sooners’ director of strength and conditioning, Jerry Schmidt.

There remains the chance Harrison could return if the early feedback he gets doesn’t align with what he may want. According to Pro Football Network, Oklahoma has already made a NIL offer to keep Harrison for one more year. The talented offensive lineman has some big decisions to make in the coming weeks.

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Oklahoma continues to shop the portal, offering Division II All-American TE Kyle Morlock

Oklahoma sends out offer to Division II All-American tight end Kyle Morlock. From @thatmanbryant

Much was made about Brent Venables’ comments during his opening week as Sooners’ head coach about how he would attack the transfer portal.

Oklahoma wouldn’t look to reconfigure their entire roster via the portal but instead use it to supplement full size recruiting classes as long as there was a culture and position fit.

That remained true as the only transfers from last year to miss time for off the field issues is tight end Daniel Parker Jr., who is suspended from the team.

With his first season coming to an end, Venables will have the task of retooling the depth with transfer additions.

So far in this cycle they’ve earned the commitment of former four-star and Notre Dame defensive tackle Jacob Lacey. Now, look to be circling another transfer addition, issuing an offer to Division II tight end Kyle Morlock.

Morlock is a two-time All-American and in his most recent season had 30 receptions for 446 yards and six touchdowns. He stands 6-foot-7 and is 245 pounds to boot.

A commitment from Morlock would be huge for Oklahoma since they will be losing senior Brayden Willis to graduation and the NFL after this season. All that remains would be rising sophomores Kaden Helms and Jason Llewellyn who haven’t played a ton on the first year in Norman.

Morlock would have two years of eligibility remaining. On top of the Sooners, Tennessee, Missouri, Florida State, and NC State have all offered.

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Contact/Follow us @SoonersWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Oklahoma news, notes, and opinions. Let us know your thoughts, comment on this story below. Join the conversation today. You can also follow Bryant on Twitter @thatmanbryant.