The Sooners have some big shoes to fill in 2018, but the coaches must see some strength in their roster, placing them at number five in the preseason poll.
Replacing Heisman winner Baker Mayfield seems like an impossible task, but Kyler Murray’s impressive arm strength seems to get overshadowed by his blinding speed. Luckily for the Sooners, he should be able to use both of those to his strengths all season.
Teams will struggle to prepare for such a versatile QB, and what will be even tougher is trying to slow down the rest of the offensive attack. Lincoln Riley, while his time has been short in Norman, has shown the ability to create impressive schemes for each of OU’s opponents.
The biggest concern for OU, like every season, is the defense. It surely will improve with the additions of potential superstars Brendan Radley-Hiles and Ronnie Perkins. The defense struggled mightily in pass coverage, but the trio of Parnell Motley, Tre Brown and Tre Norwood should improve their coverage, and make some big strides.
The strength of the Sooners remains on offense, where the skill players should be even better than 2017. Rodney Anderson is a freak, and showed that during his insane breakout at the tail-end of last season, capitalized by well over 200 yards against Georgia in the Rose Bowl. Add to that Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb, who could very well be the best one-two punch at WR in the nation.
If the Sooners get rolling early against UCLA and FAU, then the path to a CFP will be in their sights, as long as they handle business in the Big 12. WVU and Texas both have opportunities to fight for big bowl games, and WVU might even have the Heisman front runner in Will Grier.
First kick-off for the Sooners is against FAU on September 1.