Anthony, a transfer from Michigan, will undergo season-ending surgery after suffering an ankle injury Saturday against Texas.
NORMAN — It’s a mixed bag of bye week injury news for the Sooners following Oklahoma’s 34-30 win over Texas.
Wide receiver Andrel Anthony is set to undergo season-ending surgery, Brent Venables told reporters Monday night. Meanwhile, offensive lineman McKade Mettauer) is expected back “sooner rather than later” after suffering an ankle sprain in the Week 6 win at the Cotton Bowl.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Anthony has been a breakout star for the Sooners this fall. The Michigan transfer leads OU in receiving with 429 yards and sits second in receptions behind Drake Stoops with 27. He trails only Stoops as OU’s second-most targeted pass catcher (34) through six games.
- Anthony caught five passes for 42 yards against the Longhorns before exiting in the second half with an apparent right leg injury. OU radio on-field reporter Chris Plank reported Anthony was “pretty emotional” leaving the sideline medical tent.
- “Hate it for Andrel and how hard he’s worked,” Venables said. “We got to 6-0. He had a big part helping us get there. All of his best football is still in front of him. He’ll have a great career on the back end of this surgery.”
- The speedy junior has been the Sooners’ most effective deep threat this fall. No OU pass catcher has more receptions of 10 yards or more than Anthony’s 10.
What does it mean for the Sooners’ wide receiver room?
Anthony’s injury means OU dives into the back half of the season without a dangerous deep ball option and one of Gabriel’s favorite targets. Anthony has also been one of the Sooners’ most reliable receivers; his 79.4% reception rate leads all OU pass catchers with 15-plus targets this fall.
The good news? The Sooners should have the depth to get by. Stoops and Jalil Farooq have delivered in their lead roles. Nic Anderson — six touchdowns in four games — has kept up his production. Jayden Gibson, Brenen Thompson, Gavin Freeman and Jaquaize Pettaway offer promise in Anthony’ absence.
“This gives some other guys some opportunity,” Venables said.
OU will miss the burner from Michigan. It should have the depth necessary to cope without him.
Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman McKade Mettauer (72) leaves the game on a cart during the second half of the Sooners’ 34-30 win over Texas Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023 at the Cotton Bowl. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)
- The second-year Cal transfer has started all 19 games since arriving in Norman and 48 of his last 49 at the college level.
- Mettauer crumpled to the ground on the Sooners’ second-to-last drive Saturday and fellow offensive lineman Tyler Guyton signaled immediately for the medical staff.
- Mettauer was spotted on crutches following the game. He wore a walking boot during OU’s practice session Monday night.
- Mettauer’s injury does not appear likely to keep him sidelined long-term: “We’re looking at a best case scenario for him,” Venables said. “He’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
- Guard Caleb Shaffer replaced Mettauer at right guard for the remainder of the game, including the five-play, 75-yard game-winning scoring drive. The Miami (Ohio) transfer has played 55 snaps this fall, per Pro Football Focus.
What does it mean for the Sooners’ offensive line?
Mettauer’s injury news brings relief to a position group that’s been a relative strength this fall. While OU’s run blocking has left plenty to be desired in 2023, the Sooners have allowed only five sacks, tied for 14th nationally.
Missing Mettauer, that unit would have had questions across the line.
If Mettauer is not ready to return against UCF on Oct. 21, Shaffer — a 6-foot-5 guard who made 35 starts at Miami (Ohio) before joining the Sooners in the offseason — is likely to take his place at right guard.
Bottom line: OU’s College Football Playoff aspirations hinge at least partly on an offensive line protecting Gabriel and paving the way on the ground. Good news on Mettauer is a big boost there.