2015 College Football Preview: Oklahoma Sooners

Last season, the Oklahoma Sooners had an above average season, as they finished 8-5 (5-4 conference record) on the season. Oklahoma started off the season 4-0 with a decent non-conference schedule. They were able to keep up with TCU in week five but still lost. They suffered a bad loss to Baylor later in the season. Also, the Sooners had very close losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma State, and ended their season on a bad note by getting blown out by Clemson. The Sooners had a lot of big wins and painful losses in 2014. How does the season look for them this year? 2015 Schedule:
  1. Sept. 5th—Akron
  2. Sept. 12th—at Tennessee
  3. Sept. 19th—Tulsa
  4. BYE
  5. Oct. 3rd—West Virginia
  6. Oct. 10th—vs Texas (Held in Dallas)
  7. Oct. 17th—at Kansas State
  8. Oct. 24th—Texas Tech
  9. Oct. 31st—at Kansas
  10. Nov. 7th—Iowa State
  11. Nov. 14th—at Baylor
  12. Nov. 21st—TCU
  13. Nov. 28th—at Oklahoma State
Offense: Last season, the rushing offense for the Sooners was one of the best in the nation and the best in the Big 12, with an average of 261.2 rush yards per game. The running back responsible for such a great attack is none other than Samaje Perine. Perine is heading into his sophomore year and rushed for over 1,500 yards last season with 21 rushing touchdowns in his freshman season. He also set a NCAA record last season against Kansas with 427 rushing yards in a single game. The Sooners are very deep at the RB position with a strong junior, Alex Ross. Once again, the Sooners should have one of the top ground games in the nation. The passing game for the Sooners was a little disappointing this season but things are looking up. The new offensive coordinator, Lincoln Riley, will be introducing his Air Raid offense he had at ECU, which was fantastic. There is some competition at the QB position between Trevor Knight and Baker Mayfield. Both have worn a Sooner uniform and helped win games. So far, in the preseason, it is looking like Mayfield will be the week one starter but it is not set in stone. The offensive line took a hit during the offseason by losing three starters. They will hope to use their two returning seniors to help establish a great rush attack and pass protecting game. Defense: The rushing defense for the Sooners was outstanding last season. They were ranked eighth in the nation, and they allowed on average only 3.2 yards per carry. This year, they are bringing back a very experienced front seven, which will be led by senior LB Eric Striker and junior Dominique Alexander. The pass rush does need some help seeing as no linemen had more than four sacks last season. In a pass heavy conference like the Big 12, a consistent and dominant pass rush is needed. The pass defense for the Sooners was hideous last season. They gave up, on average, 276.2 passing yards per game, which ranked in the Bottom 10 in the NCAA. The biggest issue the secondary has is guys who take too many risks, which end up biting them in the rear. The corners are very talented; they just need to stop committing so many errors. The last line of defense for the Sooners is somewhat inexperienced, but they will hope to rebound from a poor 2014 Season. 2015 Season Outlook: Strength of Schedule: 3 out of 10 Looking at Oklahoma’s schedule, they don’t have a very difficult game until week ten when they face Iowa State. I gave them a three due to an easy home and road schedule for the most part. Their hardest road game will be at Baylor this year, whose defense will be very hard to beat. Their toughest game of the season will be week twelve when they face off against the TCU Horned Frogs. The Frogs are one of the toughest teams in the NCAA and will be a tough game for the Sooners. Thankfully, Oklahoma will have the home turf advantage against TCU. I expect the Sooners to have a great season with possibly ten or eleven wins. They have a great team this year and should be a force to be reckoned with. Expect Oklahoma to finish the season in the Top 15. 2016 NFL Draft Prospects: #3 WR, Sterling Shepard, Senior—5’10”, 195 lbs #19 OLB, Eric Striker, Senior—6’0”, 221 lbs #1 ILB, Dominique Alexander—6’2”, 216 lbs Austin Morris is the creator of The Scouting Lab. He is a graduate of National Football Post’s Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp. He can be reached at amorris3585@scc.stanly.edu

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