Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Football 2020 Opponent Preview | Three Questions About Missouri State

M. Hofeld

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Bobby Petrino is back! The 2004 Conference USA Coach of the Year tried to reinvent himself with a second stint at Louisville that ended with his dismissal in 2018. Now he’s in the Missouri Valley Conference and will be roaming the sidelines in Norman as the head coach of the Missouri State Bears.

Springfield, Missouri is a long way from the heights from which Petrino fell but his 119-56 record as a head coach and two conference championships aren’t something to be taken lightly. The man can coach football and he gets to make his MSU debut against one of the giants of college football.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions though. The Bears are looking for a ton of answers before they kickoff the season on September 12th.

How Much Of The Offense Can The Bears Get Installed?

Spring football was cancelled across the country. That set back position battles across the landscape of the college football world but in Springfield it set back the implementation of Petrino’s offense.

There’s no doubt that the Bears are going to look much different on the offensive side of the ball in 2020 but how much different they look is going to depend on how quickly the team picks up the new alignments and schemes. Oklahoma was always going to be the first game of the Petrino era at Missouri State so the margin for error was always going to be slim. However, missing the spring will make that margin almost non-existent.

Who Is Going To Play Quarterback?

Southern Miss transfer Jaden Johnson seems to be the heavy favorite but Petrino is also talking up Dalton Hill and Jake Van Dyne. He’s raved about Van Dyne’s arm but in the end I would expect Johnson’s athleticism and experience at the FBS level to win out.

I honestly don’t expect Missouri State’s quarterback competition to be any different from what the one going on in Norman. There’s a clear front-runner and it’ll be a colossal upset for it to be anyone else leading the offense.

How Much Will MSU Receivers Challenge Oklahoma’s Secondary?

Junior Damoriea Vick is averaging 11.9 yards per reception through two seasons and will be the guy Missouri State tries to stretch the field with. The Bears announced that Jordan Murray, also a junior, has transitioned from tight end to receiver. At 6-4/233 he becomes the type of match-up nightmare that is too big for a defensive back and too fast for a linebacker. He’ll be a handful for sure.

Parnell Motley is the only departure from Oklahoma’s 2019 secondary but it was also a group of defensive backs that lacked depth and was exploited at times. This will be a decent challenge to see where the Sooners are heading into the season.

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