Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo MESPORTS SOUTH
NORMAN–What a Week 1 it has already been in college football. If Saturday is any indication as to what is to come especially when it comes to upsets and last-minute comebacks then football fans are in for a wild ride. Don’t think for a minute that ole Boomer Sooner has got this one in the bag before kick-off folks. You know that in the back Oklahomas mind there is still a Cougar ghost that taunts and haunts them from that 2016 upset. You can expect this to be a classic showdown of two extremely high powered offenses led by two of the nation’s best offensive minds in Riley and Holgorsen. You can bet that things are fixing to get real good come Sunday evening at Memorial Stadium. So let’s take a look at what we can expect from the Sooners and the Cougars to bring to the gridiron.
Sunday, Sept. 1st,2019
Kick-Off: 6:30 PM CT
Venue: MEMORIAL STADIUM–NORMAN,OK
Never take any opponent lightly especially a program like Houston. The Cougars may not seem like an opponent that the Sooners should be leary of in their season opener but that is far from the case. Led by new head coach Dana Holgorsen from WVU Houston is ready to make a run in their conference and beyond and it starts in week 1 against Oklahoma on the road. The Cougars are going to need to come up big on both sides of the ball but have the makings of something pretty damn beautiful if it clicks. Offensively they are anchored by their Sr. QB, D’Eriq King. While he spent last season plagued by an injury he still managed to put up a solid showing accounting for 36 TD rushed for 14 in 11 games and only threw 6 interceptions. If he could pull that off last season injured look for the Cougars to step up the offense with a healthy King who is known for his great mobility which will be needed to get through an aggressive Sooner Defensive unit. Defensively, the Cougars will need to bring a strong run defensive to counter the Sooners’ strong run game led by non-other than Bama transfer, Jalen Hurts who is going to be tough to stop especially with this offensive arsenal.
You can be damn sure that Lincoln Riley and his Sooners are not going to let a repeat of 2016 happen at home especially with the possibilities of a playoff run. Everyone is talking about Who can beat Clemson and Alabama. Well, let me tell you folks if any team could have the best chance to its the Oklahoma Sooners. Yes, I said it ladies and gents. If any mind knows the workings of Clemson and Alabama it is the Sooner’s new signal-caller, Jalen Hurts he has played for one team and against the other. So brace yourself, folks, the Sooners are on the hunt. It seems that Oklahoma may have found the smoking gun when it comes to transferring QBs I mean Mayfield and Murray now Hurts. Will Hurt put the Hurt on the rest of the Big 12 and beyond he has a very good chance especially with his multi-faceted abilities on the ground and in the air? The question is will Lincoln Riley be able to construct the offense needed to produce right away with Hurts in motion that will be successful?
I know it seems these days teams assume they can’t get to the pot of gold on having an exceptionally stellar defense or offense but I hate to burst your bubble that just simply can not be the way you build a winning program in it for the long haul. OU managed last season to come up with 12 wins without much of a defensive showing that simply can’t continue to be a trend with this ball club even with Hurts on the offensive side of the ball. That prowess will only get you so far and I promise you that won’t get you to the playoffs. The Sooners bring on Alex Grinch to see if he can bring some new blood into the Sooner D that will produce immediately this will definitely be the game to start building on. It all depends on how quick Hurts can get acclimated to taking the reigns offensively and if the defense can get it together quickly if the Sooners will ease by the Cougars, but it won’t be as easy as Sooner fans think it will be.
This one is going to be a good old fashion Sunday football revival for both these ball clubs. It is still too early to tell but both these teams could very well be dark horses down the road especially Ole Boomer Sooner. We definitely are in for a treat with two explosive offenses but I think the key to who comes out the victor in Norman will be the offense that maintains their core and base aside from focusing on merely putting on a “show.” As much as the Cougars have the makings for another upset I think the staying power Hurts brings to the new offense and the changes in Sooner defense will prove to be enough at home for OU to make it 14 straight home opener victories. So kick up your boots and brace yourself for a little Sunday evening of college football!
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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