It is hard to imagine a preseason review that does not have the Sooners inside the top 10 nationally, but on the outside looking in is exactly where the team finds itself. Last season was tough for Oklahoma, finishing 5-4 in the Big-12, and only winning 8 games total, on 5 losses. This has promoted Bob Stoops to make quite a few changes to his coaching staff, most notably being Lincoln Riley now coming on board as the offensive coordinator. He will look to install a spread attack similar to what he had as East Carolina.
Speaking of the offense, star running back Samaje Perine will be back, but four starters will need be replaced on the offensive line. Hopefully they can create the holes the Perine will need to be successful and carry the sooners through to a few more victories this season. It looks like former Texas Tech walk-on Baker Mayfield will get the starting nod at quarterback. He is a pocket passer that has shown some signs of brilliance, but he does tend to throw more than his share of interceptions. Perine rant for 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, but the Sooners can’t count on the forever. They need to develop their wide receivers, where only Sterling Shepard has shown any signs of success. The offensive line will be new and inexperienced, but they will out to prove themselves early.
The defense presents a mix bag as emotions, as portions of it have experienced starters returning, while other parts leave more hole and question marks than plausible answers. Jordan Phillips left early for the NFL, leaving quite a big hold to fill at tackle. Sophomore Charles Walker appears ready to take over the helm at that area, but his is still relatively untested. The ends are pretty solidified with Charles Tapper, Matt Dimon, and D.J. Ward returning. The only question is how they will match up against up major collegiate powers. The Sooners will find out soon enough. Eric Striker will be returning at linebacker, where he was a first team All-Big 12 selection last season with 17 tackles for a loss and nice sacks. Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans will also be back as the team’s top two tacklers. This creates a strong middle of the defense. If the Sooners can improve their secondary, they will be well positioned for a stronger season than their last campaign. Look for them to finish third in the Big 12 and inside the top 20 nationally.
This historically dominant team will look to return to elite form in this season. Up and down years for the team have come with questions of the quality of the program under Stoops but it seems that Oklahoma will be rising again and get an invite to a classic bowl game. Oklahoma will have to get through Big 12 rivals Baylor and TCU in order to be considered one of the best teams in the nation, but they’re up for the challenge.
Courtesy of Rant Sports