The Oklahoma Sooners reload for another season with big goals in the Big 12. The Sooners may have a new sheriff in town as their signal caller, but the goals are still the same in Norman. With Kyler Murray off to the NFL, Oklahoma needed a new quarterback to carry the offense. The Sooners’ offense is dictated by the quarterback position. It’s imperative that a competent QB is handling the snaps for Oklahoma.
There’s been a long list of quality Oklahoma quarterbacks in the last decade. Since Sam Bradford, they’ve had the luxury of churning through quality QB’s. The worst of the bunch in the last ten years was probably Blake Bell, but they didn’t have to wait long for Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield transferred to Norman from Texas Tech and the rest is history. Murray was a transfer QB as well, going from Texas A&M to notch another Heisman Trophy in Oklahoma. The trend continues for the Sooners in 2019. Former Alabama QB, Jalen Hurts, transferred from the Crimson Tide to make it three straight transfers starting for the Sooners.
Hurts has a ton of experience starting in the SEC and played well for the Crimson Tide. He’s also had success doing it, so playing QB in the Big 12 is going to feel like he went back to high school this season. Oklahoma might miss a small step without Murray when they do have to face better defenses, but in large part, expect Oklahoma to continue to put up staggering numbers in 2019.
Hurts is a runner, so they don’t have to change the offense too much. Oklahoma welcome the Houston Cougars to Norman for a primetime matchup under the lights Sunday night. Houston must show signs of life defensively in 2019. They gave nothing last season. This is an early season test for the Houston defense. We’ll see how they handle a prolific Oklahoma offense. Head below for our free Houston vs. Oklahoma pick.
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Houston vs. Oklahoma Pick:
Houston were horrid defensively last season. They struggled to get stops consistently and allowed opposing offenses to chew them up. It isn’t like they had to play an offense like Houston every week as well. The likes of Army, Memphis, SMU, and Temple were naming the score against the Houston defense.
By the end of the year, Houston finished 125th in the nation with 489 yards allowed per game. They also got gashed for 34.4 points per game. The Cougars were torched for 42 rushing touchdowns, but where they really struggled was against the pass.
The Cougars were tied for dead last in the country with 291.4 passing yards allowed per contest. Keep in mind that this was WITH Ed Oliver on their defensive line. Oliver is gone to the NFL as one of the best defensive lineman in his class. Houston will switch to a four-man front in an attempt to plug more gaps up front.
A three-man front didn’t work last season with Oliver and it definitely won’t without him along the line in 2019. Oklahoma should be able to do whatever they want in this game. Whether it’s pounding the ball or allow Hurts to air the ball out, the Sooners are going to find points in this one.
Oklahoma averaged 570 yards per game for 1st in the FBS a season ago. Murray is gone of course, but expect this to look like a plug-n-play offense with Hurts at the controls. Hurts will put up monster numbers as well, especially against a weak Houston team. Along with 570 yards, Oklahoma scored 48.4 points per game, which was good for 1st in the nation as well.
The only thing that Houston did right was offensively last season. Despite a lack of defense, their offense put up a lot of points with 43.9 scored per game. All of their skill players are going to be back, and they should be able to move the ball again this season.
Leading receiver, Marquez Stevenson is back in the fold after scoring 9 touchdowns with 1,019 yards in 2019. Most importantly, QB E’Eriq King is back for the Cougs. He put up monster numbers in 2018 even after missing time with a torn meniscus. King finished with 36 touchdowns and 6 interceptions to go along with 674 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing.
He is a dark horse Heisman candidate who has the potential to go to the Heisman presentation. With the Houston defense, though, the team isn’t going to garner much attention. This is his chance to get some recognition in primetime. Oklahoma finished 130th against the pass, and while they should be better, likely won’t take big enough strides in 2019. 80 is a lot of points, but this game should hit the mid-80’s in a 56-30 kind of game Sunday night.