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OU Opponent Preview: SMU Mustangs

College Football is back and in full swing. We’ve already seen top-10 matchups, crazy upsets and heisman caliber performances.

In what proved to be a shaky opening week for the Big 12, OU provided stability to a conference that quite frankly severely underperformed to start the season. The Sooners 73-0 trouncing of ArkSt was a perfect way to set the tone for an important 2023 campaign.

Now, the competition only gets tougher. Next on deck is one of the trendiest group of five schools in the country. They won’t have that status for long, either, due to recently accepting a bid to join the ACC as soon as next season.

Oh, and did I mention their quarterback, Preston Stone, is the highest ever recruit to commit and play with the Mustangs? Stone turned down the likes of Alabama and Auburn to stay home with HC Rhett Lashlee and SMU.

We’re not stopping there. According to 247sports, SMU ranked 13th in their transfer portal class, which was the highest mark for a group of five school. The sport of college football is changing fast. For a program that was once left behind in the dust, SMU is starting to regain a lot of the swagger and pride they used to display.

While the OU defense was able to pitch a shut-out on Saturday, everyone is still wondering if this unit has truly improved or if they were just playing a mediocre opponent.

One thing is for certain. We are going to find out what this defense is really made of this weekend.

SMU comes in at 1-0 after a 38-14 victory over LA Tech. The ‘Stangs led at the half 31-0, asserting themselves as the better team early and often. SMU’s first touchdown came on a 67-yard connection between Stone and TCU transfer Jordan Hudson.

Stating the Mustangs will attempt to test the Sooners secondary vertically seems like an understatement. Especially with OU cornerback Gentry Williams making only his second career start.

SMU totally reshaped their defense as well, considering how badly they struggled on that side of the ball last season. Transfers like Kyron Chambers from TCU and Keyshon Mills from Colorado have started to mold the defense into something the program can be proud about.

SMU also added the services of former OU defensive lineman Kori Roberson. Roberson was a huge part of last weeks win, as he batted a ball into the air and took it back for a pick-six.

Back to offense, the Mustangs brought in two extremely productive running backs from the portal to lead their rushing attack. LJ Johnson Jr. is a Texas A&M transfer with tremendous vision. He ripped off a 67-yard run in the first game, to go along with a touchdown.

The other back worth mentioning is Miami transfer Jaylan Knighton, who was a very dependable back in his time playing for the Hurricanes. SMU’s offense runs very similarly to that of OU, as you will see a lot of middle and outside runs out of shotgun. If it is ran for a good average, the play action sets up down the field.

OU will have its hands full on Saturday with an up and coming SMU program that isn’t just playing for a paycheck. They are coming to Norman to shock the world and win.

As the Sooners schedule begins to beef up, they must continue to prepare one week at a time for their opponents. You don’t want to overlook a team like SMU just because they aren’t in a big conference (yet).

The game will be played this Saturday at 5PM. The game can be streamed on ESPN+ and as always you can listen to the game on the Flagship Station for OU Sports, 107.7 The Franchise.

Keep up with the D&R CFB Report as we drop videos weekly and always have the latest OU news.