It’s over. History. Done. While the mere thought of last Saturday’s result may still send a twinge of pain into the collective mind of Sooner nation, it’s time to move on. College football stops for no team. Besides, OU fans will have the joy of a newly-renovated stadium to take the sharp edge off of last week’s pain.
This matchup, however, should be a foregone conclusion. It’s the only cupcake game out of the three scheduled non-conference bouts; Louisiana Monroe is a walk in the park compared to Houston and (gulp) Ohio State. OU is a 46.5 point favorite against the Warhawks.
For the second week in a row, the Sooners will face a dual-threat quarterback. Second-year starter Garrett Smith leads the Warhawks’ attack, both on the air and on the ground. Last week, he tallied 208 passing yards and and 155 on the ground. To say Oklahoma has had trouble with dual-threat quarterbacks in the past would be an understatement.
ULM’s receiving corps is (relatively) full of impact players. They return senior Ajalen Holley and Marcus Green, who combined for 1,407 yards and 13 touchdowns. Hopefully the secondary–especially Dakota Austin–can gain some much-needed confidence.
After an incredibly underwhelming week by the Sooners’ offense, the most compelling matchup of the game is certainly Mayfield, Perine, Mixon, and company against the slight and inexperienced ULM defense. The biggest returning playmaker for the Warhawks is safety Tre’ Hunter, Last week, he recorded 10 tackles and a sack. Outside of Hunter, though, they’re only returning one starter–cornerback Justin Backus–from last year. New head coach Matt Viator has installed a new 4-2-5 defensive scheme, so chances are very high that the Sooners will break some big plays against a highly inexperienced corps.
Hopefully, Baker Mayfield will be able to use the rather inexperienced ULM defense to establish something of a rapport with receivers not named Westbrook. No matter what, though, this game should serve as a decent palate-cleaneser after last week’s debacle. And it should be just a little less stressful than next week’s titanic matchup against J.T. Barrett, Urban Meyer, and the Ohio State Buckeyes.