Oklahoma saw its College Football Playoff hopes derailed in with a season-opening loss to Houston. The Sooners are well aware that a repeat would be damaging, especially because there isn't a marquee opponent on the slate to give them a second chance if they slip.
Oklahoma hired Alex Grinch as its new defensive coordinator in the offseason. An early breakdown against Houston's high-powered offense would make it difficult to build momentum.
Houston run defense. Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks ran for 1, yards last season while Trey Sermon ran for yards and a team-high 13 touchdowns. Jalen Hurts, the transfer quarterback from Alabama, also is a prolific runner.
The last time we saw Houston's run defense, the Cougars were getting gouged for yards rushing in a loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.
With a new quarterback, the Sooners could rely on the ground game more. Houston no longer has All-American defensive lineman Ed Oliver, so there will be even more pressure on Houston's defensive front. Hurts already has gained the respect of the team since transferring in January, being named a captain.
He was injured late last season, yet he still passed for 36 touchdowns and rushed for 14 in 11 games. He often uses his exceptional mobility to buy time to pass. The Sooners are beginning their th year of football. Oklahoma leads the nation in scoring and yards per game since Riley became the coach.
Dana Holgorsen, the former West Virginia coach, is the new Houston coach. Oklahoma beat West Virginia last season. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved About Us.
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