After a 11-1 regular season, Oklahoma avenged their one loss of the year in a 39-27 Big 12 title win over Texas, securing entry to the College Football Playoff, where the Sooners fell in a tight one to an SEC team for the second year in a row, and lost their #1 overall NFL draft choice QB for the second straight year as well. They survived the loss last year, can they do the same in 2019?
Oklahoma’s offenses have been almost unprecedentedly excellent the past two years, the Sooners averaged 8.3 and 8.6 yards per play and hung 48.4 points on average against their opponents last year.
Kyler Murray is gone, but the Sooners add Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts at QB, a guy who led the Crimson Tide to a College Football Playoff title game in 2017-18. Hurts has a lot of talent around him, with WR CeeDee Lamb (1,158 yards, 17.8 YPC, 11 TDs), deep threat Lee Morris (21.8 YPC, eight TDs), and tight end Grant Calcaterra (six TDs) back, along with one of the best duos in the country at RB: Kennedy Brooks (1,056 yards, 12 touchdowns, 8.9 yards per carry) and Trey Sermon (947 yards, 13 touchdowns, 5.8 yards per carry).
The line loses a lot, but Oklahoma has recruited well and added in a former Virginia starter at guard in RJ Proctor. This will remain one of the most potent offenses in the nation.
Oklahoma’s defense takes a lot of crap, but for playing in the Big 12 the Sooners actually have fielded some decent defenses the past few years. 2018 was not one of those years, and the Sooners allowed 6.1 yards per play.
The new defensive coordinator is Alex Grinch, who held the same title at Ohio State (technically co-DC with the Buckeyes) and Washington State the past four years.
The defense he inherits is young, but it has talent, led by corners Tre Brown, Tre Norwood, and Parnell Motley (combined 6.5 TFL, 28 PBUs, four INTs).
A couple of nice pass rushers return as well in OLB Kenneth Murray and end Ronnie Perkins (combined nine sacks, 11.5 TFL).
Oklahoma has also brought in a boatload of blue-chip recruits on defense to try and spice things up, and I expect improvement in year one under Grinch.
Oklahoma is still a no-doubt Big 12 favorite in my mind with the return of guys like Sermon and Lamb and the addition of Jalen Hurts on offense. I think the defense improves and being favored by more than a touchdown in all 12 games, this is a national title contender.
|Date||Opponent||OPp. rank||Proj. Margin|
|12-Oct||vs. texas (Dallas, tx)||14||7.3|
|26-oct||at kansas state||54||12.8|
|30-Nov||at oklahoma state||26||8.2|
Average Projected Record: 10.1 wins, 1.9 losses (7.4 wins, 1.6 losses)