Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo MESPORTS SOUTH
NORMAN– What team can be rougher and tougher than leather tonight because of there’s really no room to bluff in this Sunday evening showdown at Memorial Stadium? This is going to be an interesting explosive offensive showdown that could very well be a glimpse of storylines that could shake up the playoff run down the stretch.
Can Alabama Transfer continue to put the Hurt on Houston tonight with the Sooner Offense or can Houston find a way to outshine and outdo the Sooners with their own Cougar King Gunslinger? While we are going to see two of the nation’s most high powered offenses it’s going to take more than a prolific offense to get by. Both these teams are going to have to strum up some strong defense to keep the balance and pace before either one lets it get to the point of no return.
Here are the Kick-Off Keys To The Game for the Cougars and the Sooners.
Saturday, Aug. 31st,2019
Kick-Off: 6:30 PM CT
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Keys To The Game
The Run D
Everyone is talking about both these teams explosive offensive units and their stud QBs which is all well and good but I assure if the defensive units are not present then it’s going to go south real fast. Houston is going to have to find a way to slow down Jalen Hurts mobility along with the Sooner receiving core. Last season the Cougars run defense was not by any means something to rave about. I mean they got slain by Army 70-14 in the Armed Service Bowl last season. They also are having to go at it without D-Lineman, All-American Ed Oliver this won’t season. There will be more pressure for the frontlines of the defense tonight and beyond. It won’t have to be pretty or perfect but needs to be present and accounted for every down. If the Cougars can create some momentum with turnovers that would be huge to shake up Hurts under his new offense.
Swift & Steady
The Sooners have relied on their stud QB transfers to get them the big victories and their defense has taken a backseat. However, this could be a key weakness that the Cougars could capitalize on quickly. The Sooners may be experienced under pressure but it has yet to be seen if they can get their new defensive scheme to pan out. The Cougars have their King QB healthy so I say the best thing for them to do from the jump is to hit the ground running. They need to ram it down Boomer and plain and simple never give them a chance to settle into their defense.
Ram it and Run
I am not going to lie I am excited to see the full spectrum that Hurts can bring to this Sooners ball club and I am sure Lincoln Riley is in agreeance. The Sooners with Hurts opens the opportunity to have total control of the run game. With the sort of versatile mobility Hurts has in can we say explosions galore in that backfield. There is no time to waste for the Sooners so ram it and run it down as much as you can and control this game from start to finish. If Hurts and the company ware down the Cougar D early enough they won’t stand a chance to recover. They simply don’t have the depth to reload and recover at the same pace as Oklahoma will put points on the board tonight.
It Takes Two
I don’t care if your offense is as good as the second coming you can’t go the distance if you don’t have a defense. This is going to be a test for Grinch and the new defensive scheme so it may not look like a well-oiled machine but then again it can’t look any worse than last season. The Houston offense is just as explosive and will present a challenge for the Sooners. Even with experience this defense has yet to be able to run the gauntlet and has weakness solely based on that it’s new which can pose a big threat for the Sooners.
The key for a win for either one of these teams is not rocket science in fact its pretty cut and dry. It will come down to which offense takes control and which defense can make a solid showing for an entire game creating turnovers and making big stops. I take the Sooners to cover the spread and take it by a field goal tonight at home in Norman against the Cougars.
Feature Photo: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL beat writer. She is our Sr. Editor and columnist for MESPORTS digital. A Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011