football Edit

Midseason review: Wide receivers

If there's any Oklahoma position group that has shown its depth this season, it's the wide receivers.

The Sooners have different leaders in receptions (Drake Stoops), receiving yards (Andrel Anthony) and touchdowns (Nic Anderson). The Sooners also have three different players with at least 20 receptions this season. That depth, and Dillon Gabriel's efficiency, has helped establish the Sooners' passing attack as one of the best in the country and played a huge role in the Sooners' 6-0 season. Given Anthony's season-ending injury and the fact that the Sooners are in the driver's seat in the Big 12 title standings, that depth and efficiency will need to continue.

With the Sooners on bye and half of the season in the books, OUInsider is doing a midseason review of several OU position groups. Here's a look at the stats, data, takeaways and midseason grade for the wide receivers:


Snap count data

1. Jalil Farooq — 355

2. Drake Stoops — 301

3. Andrel Anthony — 290

4. Nic Anderson — 164

5. Jayden Gibson — 92

(Note: All snap-count data provided by Pro Football Focus).

Individual stats

1. Andrel Anthony: 27 REC, 429 yards, 1 TD

2. Jalil Farooq: 20 REC, 415 yards, 2 TD

3. Nic Anderson: 11 REC, 282 yards, 6 TD

4. Drake Stoops: 29 REC, 258 yards, 4 TD

5. Jayden Gibson: 6 REC, 159 yards, 2 TD

Team stats

Passing offense: 341.2 yards per game (ranks sixth nationally)

Yards per completion: 13.29 (42nd nationally)

Passing efficency: 181.59 (sixth nationally)

Completion percentage: 73.3% (seventh nationally)

Completions per game: 25.7 (14th nationally)


Anthony really was having a terrific season before unfortunately suffering a knee injury against Texas. The former Michigan wide receiver was on pace for 54 receptions and a team-high 858 yards, which would've completely shattered the 19 receptions for 328 yards he recorded in his two years with the Wolverines. But I think what was most impressive was his versatility. He's tied for the team lead in receptions that had a target depth of 20 yards or more (4), but he also had 15 receptions with an average target depth of 0-9 yards. He was finding success both down the field and in the short to intermediate areas of the field. He also has a Pro Football Focus offensive grade of 78.6, which is fourth on the team and second among wide receivers behind Gibson. Even if the Sooners have the depth to potentially replace him, his presence in the offense will certainly be missed.

— It's a little surprising to see that Farooq is third on the team in receptions. Farooq's had a couple of big games (5 REC, 130 yards against Texas and 6 REC, 126 yards against Tulsa), but he's had three games of two receptions or fewer, too. He had 37 receptions last season, and he's on pace to finish this regular season with 40. But the positive news is he's on pace for 830 yards after recording 466 a year ago. The biggest reason for that is his explosiveness. Farooq has 212 yards after the catch (YAC) this season, per PFF, which is by far the most on the team. What's even more impressive is that 127 of those yards have come on targets that were thrown behind the line of scrimmage. With Anthony out, expect the Sooners to utilize Farooq a lot more over the second half of the season.

— Stoops just continues to get better. He leads the team in targets and receptions, and he's on pace for 58 catches after recording 16 in 2021 and 39 in 2022. He's become the ultimate security blanket for Gabriel. 15 of his receptions have come with an average depth of target of 0-9 yards, yet he's second on the team in YAC (172).

— Anderson's touchdown efficiency is insane. Six of his 11 receptions have gone for scores, and he leads the team in touchdowns despite playing just over 27 snaps per game. The redshirt freshman is the prime candidate for an increase in snaps and offensive involvement with Anthony out.

— Gibson deserves a shoutout, too. After struggling with drops last season and during the spring, he hasn't logged a drop this season. He hasn't played a ton, but he's made several impressive catches when he's been on the field. Four of his six catches have come with an average target depth of 20 yards or more. His size and big-play ability could, and probably should, be featured more down the stretch.

— While Gavin Freeman and Jaquaize Pettaway had huge performances in the season opener against Arkansas State, neither has played much since then. Freeman's played 77 snaps, while Pettaway (51 snaps) has only logged an offensive snap in one other game. Both are very explosive and will likely have significantly bigger roles in the future. But given that they both are most effective lining up in the slot, which is where Stoops thrives, it could be difficult for them to see the field a ton in the home stretch of the season.