We all know the drill by now. Transfer quarterback. Big 12 championship. Heisman Trophy. Rinse and repeat. As Jalen Hurts takes the helm of Lincoln Riley’s offense he’ll be the most prestigious transfer quarterback in NCAA football history, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have some big shoes to fill.
Hurts draws the task of leading Riley’s offense in a game that is most certainly destined to be a shootout of a season opener. Here are three things Oklahoma can do on Sunday evening ensure success on the offensive side of the ball.
Run The Ball
Everyone knows about the talent in Oklahoma’s passing game but let’s not overlook the potential of having two 1,000 yard rushers in the backfield. Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon averaged 8.9 and 7.2 yards per carry last season and the Cougars are returning a defense that allowed 5.3 yards per carry in 2018, and gave up 42 rushing touchdowns.
Let’s also not overlook the fact that Oklahoma running the football could also be a key factor in keeping Houston’s explosive offense off the field.
Play Clean Up Front
Nothing can kill an offensive drive quicker than false start and holding penalties from the guys up front, but lack of communication and cohesive play can be just as detrimental.
It has been well documented that Bill Bedenbaugh is replacing four guys along his offensive line and although the Week One depth chart released late in the week, it would be safe to expect eight to nine guys to rotate up front. That leaves potential for some sloppy play.
Allow Jalen Hurts To Be Dual-Threat
It’s difficult to defend a spread attack offense as it is. When you add multiple elite skill position players it becomes even more difficult. Throw in a dual-threat quarterback and you’re looking at mission impossible.
Hurts averaged just over 5.0 yards per carry during his three seasons at Alabama on his way to nearly 2,000 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground.
His skill set gives Lincoln Riley options…lots of options.
Follow us on Twitter | @SportsHeartland