Oklahoma handed Texas Tech its first loss of the season Saturday, and several top NFL prospects had standout performances in the game. Here are my takeaways on five of the top players on display
1. Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro (eight catches for 119 yards):
He's as good as it gets as far as tight ends go and has really matured a lot. He has really good ball skills and developed good hands. Trying to get him down after he makes a catch is extremely difficult. How about an old-school comparison? Mike Ditka. Remember those old clips of Ditka catching the ball and bodies falling off of him as he's running through people? That's what you see with Amaro. He's a big-time target and continues to pile up huge stats even though everyone knows the ball is going to him.
2. Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin (seven tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery):
He's had a couple iffy games recently, but Saturday he was really good. He will come up and tackle. Coverage-wise, he made some big plays, including an interception where he looked just like a wide receiver. It was a great play. On the last play of the game, Texas Tech tried to challenge him, and I don't know why. He had the thing stuffed. I think he's one of the best corners out there and he's starting to play like it again.
3. Texas Tech DL Kerry Hyder (four tackles, blocked field goal):
Hyder has been very productive this season, and he jumped out to me with the big plays he made vs. Oklahoma, including blocking a field goal. He's versatile. He looks like a defensive end that would fit best as a five-technique in a 3-4 scheme, but he also plays over the nose in Texas Tech's three-man fronts. He makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. He's not as talented as Jets 2011 first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson, but that's a player who comes to mind when I watch Hyder play.
4. Oklahoma RB Damien Williams (19 carries for 101 yards, two TDs, one catch for 30 yards):
I think Saturday was Damien Williams' best game this season. He ran it well inside and on stretch plays. When he finds a gap, he puts his foot in the ground and gets vertical in a hurry. He has good vision and pass protects well. He has sneaky speed, too. He's faster than Alfred Morris was coming out of college.
5. Oklahoma WR Jalen Saunders (six catches for 153 yards, two TDs):
That was the best game I've seen from Jalen Saunders in a while. For whatever reason, he wasn't getting the ball thrown his way as much for the last few weeks. He can run, and his speed surprised me. He can play in the slot or outside and has no fear of going over the middle to make a catch in traffic. He's also a terrific blocker and a great leader.