Hot Links: Murray comes up big, Rattler’s efficiency opens eyes, and more!

September 14, 2020

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Also, Joe Castiglione isn’t thrilled with the crowd’s lack of mask compliance on Saturday.

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

The first update for the 2020 AP Top 25 Poll was released on Sunday, and the Oklahoma Sooners moved up two spots to No. 3 in the nation.

POLL ALERT: Clemson stays at No. 1 as 10 new teams join an AP Top 25 stripped of schools not scheduled to play this fall; Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian St among those in.

Full poll:

More coverage:

— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) September 13, 2020

This is the highest AP Poll ranking for Oklahoma since the Sooners were No. 3 entering Week Six of the 2017 season. This multi-spot rise in the rankings happened in part because teams from leagues that have decided to indefinitely delay the college football season were finally omitted from list. That means Ohio State was removed from the top five. Other than that, voters for the associated press vaulted OU over Georgia.

Around the Big 12, the Texas Longhorns are back in the top 10 at No. 9, followed by the Oklahoma State Cowboys at No. 11. Just missing the cut were the Baylor Bears , West Virginia Mountaineers and TCU Horned Frogs , who would have checked in at 26th, 27th and 29th, respectively, if the official rankings extended that far.

With such an awful showing from several conference members last Saturday, it’ll be especially important that at least a couple from the aforementioned group can maintain their place in the poll if not gain ground as the season trudges along.

Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! multiple Sooners make plays in the pros, more impact players opt out across college football and more!

OU Links

Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione wasn’t entirely pleased to see a number of OU fans not following the strict masking requirement at the game on Saturday. The reality here is that this will probably continue to be a thing as long as fans are allowed to attend games this season.

A statement from #Sooners AD Joe Castiglione on enforcing masks social distancing during football games:

“Unfortunately, we had too many fans fall short of expectations, and our message to those individuals is simple: we need you to do better.”

— Caleb McCourry (@CalebMac21) September 14, 2020

Year Two of the Alex Grinch Era at Oklahoma couldn’t have started off on a much higher note. Not only did his defense shut out Missouri State, the Sooners stifled the Bears’ offense almost entirely. Now the real test begins in two weeks, when Big 12 play starts.

#Sooners #SpeedD first shutout in a season opener since 2013. OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch was pleased with effort.

— (@SoonerScoop) September 13, 2020

ESPN Bill Connelly was impressed with what he saw from Spencer Rattler in his first start on Saturday, and the numbers indicate he has a chance to be as special as some of the Oklahoma passers before him.

CeeDee Lamb snagged his first catch as a rookie for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams . Overall, he registered five receptions for 59 yards.

CeeDee’s first NFL catch @_CeeDeeThree | #DallasCowboys

: #DALvsLAR on NBC

: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app:

— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2020

Kyler Murray looked like the video game version of himself on Sunday as he carved up the San Francisco 49ers both through the air and on his feet. Ultimately, K1’s Arizona Cardinals would be victorious, 24-20.

What. A. Play.#RedSea x @K1

#AZvsSF on FOX

— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 13, 2020

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews is quickly becoming one of the top offensive weapons in the NFL. Check out this sweet one-handed TD grab he received from his QB, Lamar Jackson .

The duo is back! @Lj_era8 to @Mandrews_81 for the TOUCHDOWN!

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 13, 2020

Speaking of the Ravens , Marquise Brown has also picked up where he left off from last season, as he helped his team torch the Cleveland Browns , 38-6.

Lamar Jackson lets it fly to Hollywood Brown for a big gain! @Lj_era8 @Primetime_jet #RavensFlock

: #CLEvsBAL on CBS

: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app:

— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2020

There’s nothing quite like the OU-Texas rivalry. Even when the Sooners and Longhorns graduate to the next level, the vitriol for one another is still present in their hearts. Check out former Oklahoma OL Trent Williams completely annihilate former UT LB Jordan Hicks. Boomer!

Trent Williams destroys former Longhorn Jordan Hicks.

— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 13, 2020

Around the Sports World

The NFL passed along a league-wide memo emphasizing its mask policy for coaches during games. If staff members are seen not wearing their masks properly or at all on the sideline, disciplinary action will be taken.

With the ongoing challenge of attempting to play college football during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio State Buckeyes are experiencing the negative side effects that come with the Big Ten’s questionable decision making up to this point as CB Shaun Wade becomes the second likely first round draft pick to opt out of the 2020 season. On Friday, OL Wyatt Davis was the first to move on from OSU in pursuit of the NFL.

Speaking of player opt outs across college football, the Texas A&M Aggies ’ most experienced receiver, Jhamon Ausbon , has elected to opt out of TAMU’s upcoming season . It’s a particularly notable loss for Jimbo Fisher’s team because of the departures from last year’s group and in addition to subsequent offseason attrition.

After being thoroughly outclassed in a 4-1 series loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals, Mike D’Antoni informed the Houston Rockets on Sunday that he does not plan on returning and instead will seek out a new coaching gig.

2019 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow graded his debut performance with the Cincinnati Bengals as a ‘D’ in a 16-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers . The former LSU Tigers QB completed 23-36 passes for 193 yards with no touchdowns and an interception, though he did record one rushing TD.

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