College Football Preview: The 2015 Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma Sooners Preview
2014 Record: 8-5 (37th of 128) Lost Russell Athletic Bowl 40-6 vs. Clemson
Odds to Win National Championship: +4000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: Despite an underachieving season, expectations don’t change for the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma still hasn’t missed a bowl appearance since coach Bob Stoops arrived on campus, and every year the fanbase expects to compete for a conference title and national championship. Nothing has changed heading into this year.
Offense: Lincoln Riley takes over the Sooners offense after having a lot of success at East Carolina. Oklahoma will also have a new starting quarterback, who will likely be former Texas Tech starter Baker Mayfield. In one season with the Red Raiders, Mayfield completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Samaje Perine will continue to lead the way at running back after tearing things up as a freshman with more than 1,700 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Oklahoma returns its top four receivers from last season, including Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal who both bring experience to the table. The real question with this unit is the fact Oklahoma has to replace majority of its offensive line.
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Defense: Oklahoma's defense ranked 52nd in college football last season and could improve those numbers after returning six starters. The linebacker position will lead the way, as a group of Dominique Alexander, Jordan Evans and Eric Striker can hang with any in the country. Charles Tapper had 7.5 tackles for loss last season and will be counted on to set the tone along the defensive line. D.J. Ward could have a breakout season as well along the defensive front. Zack Sanchez is a ballhawk in the secondary after picking off six passes, and Steven Parker is a guy who could make a name for himself quickly in his second season. Oklahoma has the playmakers once again to be one of the best defenses in college football.
Special Teams: Freshman Austin Seibert could end up being Oklahoma’s punter and kicker, as Michael Hunnicutt and Jed Barnett graduated.
Overall: You can never count out the Oklahoma Sooners, as they have as much talent as any team in the country. But, the Sooners haven’t exactly hit the mark as of late. So, while Oklahoma has the talent to make a push for a playoff spot, it’s a team that could also fall short once again. Somewhere in the middle sounds about right.