The Oklahoma Sooners were well on their way to bucking the Bob Stoops is a choker tag last season. However, after the season they had, not reaching the national championship was a failure of a season. They were favorites against Clemson in their semi-final game, so I guess you could say they choked, in a way. Not a huge choke job, but the prospects of them going to the National Championship were looking pretty real. Oklahoma simply lost to a really good Clemson team, there is no way around it.
The Sooners were a pretty good team, and the Tigers just outplayed them on that day. The key to success for Clemson in that game was their defense. Quarterback Baker Mayfield looked like a Big 12 quarterback playing in the NFL, which equates to him being lost. It wasn’t the same Baker Mayfield we saw all season long, who was tearing up defenses left and right.
The lay-off between the game against Clemson and the regular season did not bode well for them. The Sooners have a timing offense, with plenty of quick slants in a hurry-up model. Take a few weeks away from that when you’re on fire and it can fizzle out sometimes. That is what happened to Oklahoma against a good Clemson defense. The Tigers ultimately went on to a 37-17 win, it wasn’t even really a close or entertaining game. Oklahoma is all about entertaining games. I watched plenty of them last season and their offense was a joy to watch. Mayfield is back at the helm, so expect lots of fireworks from them again in 2016.
They open the season Saturday afternoon against the Houston Cougars. The Cougars crashed the party last season and made life difficult on the big boys in college football. Another quality year from Houston and they should be looking at joining the Big 12. However, get trashed by Oklahoma here and people will laugh at the notion.
Oklahoma has the horses to trash Houston, but this is a team you can never discount. The Cougars went 13-1 a year ago. Their only slipup? That came against the University of Connecticut. Houston took them lightly, and a 20-17 is what came of it. They were able to finish the year up in impressive fashion, defeating the Florida State Seminoles, 38-24. They’ll look to impress some more this afternoon against another big time program.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Houston Cougars NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Houston +12.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Oklahoma vs. Houston Pick:
This one will be taking place at the NRG Stadium, the home of the Texans. Expect plenty of fan support from both sides this afternoon in Houston. This should be what amounts to a neutral field despite the game being played in Houston. The Cougars just be ready to play defense against this Oklahoma offense, which is packed with talent again in 2016. They should match their production from last season without any problems. Oklahoma averaged 48 points in 2015. If it weren’t for their upset loss to rival Texas they would have been well over the 50 point mark.
Oklahoma isn’t one dimensional, they can do it through the air and on the ground. You might want to think of Mayfield and this offense who only slings it around the around, which they are fully capable of doing. But throw in their running attack and it leaves opposing defenses off balance.
Oklahoma had two running backs who averaged over 6 yards per carry, Samaje Perine rushed for 1,349 yards and 16 touchdowns. Joe Mixon also chipped in with 753 yards and 7 touchdowns. Both are still young and back with the Sooners in 2016. Mayfield passed for 36 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions, while hitting nearly 70% of his attempts. Good luck to other defenses trying to slow them down this season, because it’s going to be one heck of a task.
They should be able to have their way against a defense that lost four defensive backs. Two of those were the top players on the defensive unit, including a leading tackler, Elando Roberts. There will be a lot of inexperience attempting to slow the Oklahoma offense down. Houston are, however, still loaded on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. will be back in the mix this season, who was the only quarterback not named Deshaun Watson who passed for at least 2,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards. Offense shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Houston this year, but that defense is something to worry about. I think Oklahoma wins here easily, but not before there are a plethora of points up on the board from both sides. I’m not going to worry about a backdoor and go for the OVER 68.
PICK: OVER 68 POINTS (-110)