A Track Meet Could Break Out at College Football Game Sunday
The fans at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will see the Houston Cougars and the Oklahoma Sooners battle on Sunday. This game has to potential to rival the Oregon vs. Auburn game played last night. With these high-powers offenses the scoreboard may short-circuit if the defenses of play like they have in the past.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Oklahoma -23.5; O/U: 80
Jalen Hurts may be a serious Heisman Trophy contender considering his history and you add in the the fact Oklahoma was where the last two winners played. Hurts transferred after he was forced out at Alabama and graduated early. Last season he was probably the most successful backup in history with his track record. He saved the day in the SEC Championship game against Georgia.
In reality Hurts may end up not even being the best player at his position on the field in his debut. Houston‘s D’Eriq King attempts to announce his presence to the nation in front of a huge, national, audience against the fourth-ranked Sooners.
Hurts has big shoes to fill after Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray enjoyed record-breaking seasons under center. Those seasons were en route to becoming the No. 1 overall picks in each of the last two NFL Drafts. Hurts is no stranger to such expectations after going 26-2 as a starter at Alabama. “He certainly brings a lot of great game experience that Kyler and Baker did not have when they got here. It’s not like you’re starting from scratch. We don’t plan on the offense dipping,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley told reporters last month.
Buried somewhere underneath the shadow of Murray in 2018, King quietly was making history. He became one of only three quarterbacks in FBS history with at least 35 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns in season. He did this despite missing the last 2-1/2 games due to injury. The senior signal-caller may not have reached the height of his ability either. New coach Dana Holgorsen has directed an offense that has ranked 10th or better nationally 10 times in the last 14 years. That doesn’t figure to change with the talent Houston has amassed after years of being led by Tom Hermann and Major Applewhite.
King’s 27.5 points responsible for per game last year was four points higher than NFL first-round draft picks Murray and Dwayne Haskins, who shared second place.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Houston was 8-5 in 2018 and that was a major disappointment. It is one reason Major Applewhite was given his walking papers. Despite not playing the last 2-1/2 game last year, King threw for 2,982 yards and ran for 674 more. He also set an American Athletic Conference single-season record with 50 touchdowns responsible for with 36 through the air and 14 on the ground. King had at least one rushing score in each of his 11 games. Junior receiver Marquez Stevenson tallied 75 catches for 1,019 yards and nine TD’s last season. He ranked sixth nationally with six plays of 50-plus yards and 11th in FBS with twelve 30-yard plays.
The Houston defense lost No. 9 overall draft pick in Ed Oliver. Isaiah Chambers returns from a season-ending knee injury after the junior defensive lineman ranked 14th in the AAC with 4.5 sacks despite playing only five games.
Oklahoma was 12-2 in 2018: 12-2. New Sooners QB Jalen Hurts ranks second in Alabama history with 71 TD’s responsible for and got benched. He barely won a quarterback competition with two freshmen (Tanner Mordecai and Spencer Rattler) in what Riley called “the closest (quarterback race) since I’ve been around.” Running Back Kennedy Brooks had 1,056 yards rushing and 12 TD’s last season. He was cleared of wrongdoing in a Title IX investigation over the summer. Brooks ranked third in FBS with 8.9 yards per carry and was one of eight freshmen nationally to run for over 1,000 yards. Oklahoma spent the summer trying to fix the Big 12’s worst scoring and total defense, and that is going to be a chore.
The Sooners must replace the FBS’ all-time leading scorer among kickers as well. Austin Seibert handled kicking and punting duties for the Sooners during the previous four seasons. We will find out tonight if the kicking game factors into the outcome.
The Dart Throw: Oklahoma 62, Houston 49
Oklahoma Sooners Trends
- Trend Over is 4-0 in Sooners last 4 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 100.00% (4) O/U 4|0 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 5-1 in Sooners last 6 games as a home favorite. 83.30% (6) 5|1 0
- Over is 8-1 in Sooners last 9 games as a favorite. 88.90% (9) 8|1 0
- Under is 3-1-1 in Sooners last 5 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 75.00% (5) 1|3 1
Houston Cougars Trends
- Trend Under is 15-7 in Cougars last 22 games as a road favorite. Hit % 68.20% (22) O/U 7|15 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 6-1 in Cougars last 7 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 85.70% (7) 1|6 0
- Under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
- Under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Stats brought to you by Scores & Stats.
Houston Cougars home to Prairie View Saturday, September 7
Oklahoma Sooners home to South Dakota Saturday, September 7
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