OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE
"Defensively, they're good. [Coordinator Mike] Stoops brings different looks, schemes and surprise blitzes each week. It keeps play-callers off balance. It helps to have good players, obviously, but they're good at changing up fronts and mixing in pressures, too. They'll be good defending the passing game because they bring back three guys in the secondary. Jordan Thomas, their [junior] corner, is so good, he can occupy your best guy, and they'll just do whatever they want to your other receivers.
Baker Mayfield fits perfectly with what they want to do. It's a similar scheme to the one he ran in high school and at Texas Tech—an Air Raid--based attack—so he knows where to get the ball, how to get the ball out quick and how to get out of a bad play. He can hurt you running, too.
Those two stud running backs [junior Samaje Perine and sophomore Joe Mixon] really complement each other. I'm not sure which one is better; they're both first-round-type players. They're physical and fast, and the coaches utilize them really well. With their receivers, they may not have one star, but as a group they may have more depth. [Senior] Dede Westbrook made some nice plays last year, and [sophomore] Mark Andrews can hurt you.
[Coach Bob] Stoops walks and talks with a lot of swagger, and his guys feed off it. They think they're the best, and they play like it."
Tackles in 2015 by senior ILB Jordan Evans, the only one of the four starting 'backers to return.
Star rating for 6'3", 221-pound freshman OLB Caleb Kelly.
Total yards for QB Baker Mayfield against Tulsa last year, a school record. His 4,105 yards as a junior (including 3,700 passing) ranks fifth among Sooners signal-callers.
Interceptions by now junior cornerback Jordan Thomas, the leader of the secondary, who also had 46 tackles.
Combined rushing yards for RBs Samaje Perine (1,349 as a sophomore) and Joe Mixon (753 as a freshman). Expect Mixon to get more than 113 carries and Perine fewer than 226.
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5 YEAR TREND
10--3 (BIG 12 CHAMPS)
11--2 (BIG 12 CHAMPS)
A graduate transfer from Penn State, wide receiver GENO LEWIS brings some much-needed big-play ability to Norman. But the 6'1" 205-pounder needs to get back to his 2014 form (55 receptions for 751 yards and two touchdowns) and forget about the '15 season, when he got passed on the depth chart and caught only 17 balls.
AT HOUSTON [KEY MATCHUP]
OHIO STATE [KEY MATCHUP]
TEXAS [BIGGEST GAME]
AT TEXAS TECH
AT IOWA STATE
AT WEST VIRGINIA