NCAA Football

Jury Still Out on Sooners

Jury Still Out on Sooners

3 game OU picThe Oklahoma football team is off to a 3-0 start. Included in that unbeaten record is an impressive comeback “Sooner Magic” win at Tennesee, that lifted the spirits of OU fans and gave them hope that this could be a bounce back year for Bob Stoops and Co.

However, the jury is still out and the final verdict far from in for the 2015 Sooners.

Here’s what we know already.

The Sooners have upgraded in a big way at quarterback. Baker Mayfield can do a lot more than whip and nae nae, he’s a flat-out playmaker.  Mayfield has made plays with his arm and his feet, and has already set the school record for total offense in a game with his performance against Tulsa.

You might want to tamp the brakes on the Mayfield for Heisman talk and Johnny Manziel comparisons, but it looks like the Sooners have a quality QB to run Lincoln Riley’s Air Raid system.

The offensive line MUST get better. OU has a great running back in Samaje Perine and potentially a great one in Joe Mixon, but the o-line hasn’t given these guys enough space. The run game did get better against Tulsa, one of the worst defenses in FBS football.

The Sooners have gotten better at wide receiver, but not by much over a year ago. Sterling Shepard needs more help. Dede Westbrook, Mark Andrews and Durron Neal can still do more. And this group still has WAY too many drops.

I think Andrews has tremendous potential. He needs to block better, so he can see the field more. Andrews could be another Trent Smith.

Which brings us to the defense, which sure looked great against Tennessee and like a Pop Warner team against Tulsa.

The secondary questions are back. Big time.

Is it possible for OU to get some defensive backs who can cover? The Sooners still have major issues defending spread teams with a good QB.  I get that playing defense in modern college football isn’t an easy task, but it shouldn’t be THAT difficult at Oklahoma.

The defensive line and linebackers look pretty solid, but unless Sooner DBs get better covering receivers and making some plays on the ball, Baylor will light them up like a pinball machine, whether Jeff Lebby is there or not.

TCU, OSU and West Virginia also have pretty good players who can pitch and catch too. Caution: Danger Ahead.

Kicking looks good with Austin Seibert and Nick Hodgson.

However, the OU return game has been disappointing, with little lanes on kickoff returns for Alex Ross and too many penalties on all returns.

So the jury is still out. We’ll start getting more evidence that will lead us to a verdict when the Sooners host West Virginia next.

Still not sure if it’s boom(er) or bust for this Oklahoma team.

Mike Steely

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