There’s no doubt that Houston is going to expose a weakness or two for the Sooners in the season opener, especially on defense. That’s why scheduling an FCS opponent week two was a decent idea. It won’t make for the most entertaining of games, and fans not in attendance will most likely have to shell out pay-per-view bucks to watch, but it will allow for Oklahoma to tune things up a bit before heading west to take on UCLA in Week Three.
Here are three questions about OU’s second 2019 opponent, the South Dakota Coyotes.
Can 2019 Be A Bounce Back Year For The Coyotes?
After an impressive 8-5 campaign in 2017 that saw them move to the second round of the FCS playoffs South Dakota came back down last season, finishing just 4-7.
In 2018 the Coyotes averaged 26.7 points per game last season, with 125.4 yards per game coming on the ground and another 285.8 coming through the air.
Defensively South Dakota allowed an average of 34.2 points per game, with opponents rushing for an average of 210.8 yards and 219.2 through the air.
Can The Coyotes Challenge Oklahoma’s Defense?
As Alex Grinch works to rebuild Oklahoma’s defense South Dakota will try to challenge his efforts. Senior Austin Simmons will be the second dual-threat quarterback the Sooners see in as many weeks. He led the Coyotes in passing (3,124) and rushing (590) yards last season and has Kai Henry (509 yards & 7 touchdowns) returning in the backfield as well as Dakarai Allen (703 yards & 5 touchdowns) and Levi Falck (492 yards & 2 touchdowns) returning after being the top two receivers in 2018.
What Will The Darin Greenfield Impact Be?
There’s a good chance that Darin Greenfield will be the best defensive lineman Oklahoma sees in the first two weeks of the season. The two-time All-American has recorded 15 sacks and has 34 total tackles for loss over the last two seasons.
Bill Bedenbaugh is retooling the OU offensive line for 2019 and will no doubt see his guys get a challenge from Greenfield.