Oklahoma Sooners Preview: Spotlight on Waco

Photo by Caitlyn Epes of the OU Daily.

The 10th ranked Oklahoma Sooners face off against the 13th ranked Baylor Bears this Saturday. After a lackluster non-conference schedule, the Sooners will finally have another chance in the spotlight.

The Defense

The Bad: Lincoln Riley announced Monday that defensive lineman Kenneth Mann was out for the year after an injury sustained in the Iowa State game. The defense has already begun to struggle. This unit started the year on fire including a nine sack game against Texas in the Red River Showdown. Since then, they have one sack in three games and have given up 89 points over the last two games.

The Good: The defense has shown improvement in comparison to the past few years, even if the last few games have felt like a relapse. So, while the effect of recently losing someone like outside linebacker Jon-Michael Terry is noticeable on the edge, the front seven is the unquestionable strength of the defense. While the sack total has stagnated over the past few games, look for the Sooners to get back on track against a struggling Baylor offensive line. 

The Offense 

The Bad: Mann was not the only Sooner announced out for the year. Lincoln Riley announced that runningback Trey Sermon would miss the rest of the season with an injury as well. Sermon, although limited lately, was a huge part of the offensive game plan. He started most of the year for the Sooners.

The Good: The loss of Sermon is huge. The runningback position, however, is once again among the deepest on the roster. With the abilities of the offensive line and a run threat added by star quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Sooners run game should be of little concern. Similarly, the Sooners boast an incredible amount of offensive firepower on the outside yet again. The offense will continue to score often on every opposing defense it faces. 

Saturday’s Big Picture 

Even after a win, Oklahoma dropped a spot in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. As a result, the Sooners have a lot to prove to the college football world. It is safe to say that the loser of this game is out of the playoff hunt. The question lies which team will the country see on Saturday. Will it be the team that was clicking on all cylinders the first half of the season?

Tune in as the 8-1 Sooners travel to Waco to take on undefeated Baylor at 6:30 p.m. on ABC.  

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