Although the Oklahoma Sooners fell short of the College Football Playoff title game, the season was far from a disappointment.The Sooners won their first out right Big 12 Conference Championship since 2010 and with Coach Bob Stoops signed through 2022, winning conference titles may be destined to continue.
In year one of the Lincoln Riley era, a once anemic offense exploded one big play after the other. Baker Mayfield went from outcast to walk-on to All-American and his Heisman snub may be just fuel the Sooners’ fiery leader needs to duplicate and exceed the success of last season. The Sooners may be a spread offense, but their run game is certainly not for the faint of heart. Samaje ‘Optimus’ Perine shrugs off arm tackles and if defenders dare to try and tackle low, they are liable to be ran over or receive a stiff arm from Perine’s legendary 23 inch biceps. And if body blows by Optimus were not enough Joe Mixon will have defenders begging for a pass just to get a break from the onslaught of punishment.
Since Sterling Shepard has finally ran out of eligibility, the wide outs will need to step up in order to keep opposing defenses from putting nine in the box. Thirty percent of the Sooners receptions must be replaced and early buzz suggests that talented sophomore Mark Andrews just may be the next great Sooner receiver. Unless the Sooners intend to run a wing-t, playmakers will have to step up and fast because the Houston Cougars and the Ohio State Buckeyes will certainly be ready.
On defense the Sooners have talent but most are largely unproven. The Sooners may have lost 4 1st team BIG 12 players to the NFL but 4 BIG 12 2nd teamers are poised to take their place. Cornerbacks Jordan Thomas and PJ Mbanasor boast both the size and speed to likely play on Sundays. And despite questions at linebacker, an experienced defensive line led by All-American Charles Walker will be terrors in the backfield.
The Sooners came up short last season but it appears Big Game Bob Stoops may be back. With few questions on offense, the Sooners title hopes will rely on DC Mike Stoops and the Sooners defense. Offense may sale ticket but defense still wins championships. Will 2016 be a BOOM or a BUST? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast