Lincoln Riley begins his third season in Norman, where he will bring his Oklahoma Sooners to Lawrence in what is likely to be a showdown
of undefeated teams. Riley will still have a roster stock-full of Bob Stoops recruits, but so far no one can argue with the results, as the Sooners have appeared in the last two College Football Playoff Final Fours.
Oklahoma @ Kansas
October 5, 2019: Time TBD
Lawrence, KS: Memorial Stadium (50,071)
About the OU Offense
Oklahoma returns just 46% of its offensive production from 2018. Obviously, Kyler Murray is gone, and CeeDee Lamb is the only returning receiver with more than 30 receptions last season. However, both Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks return at RB; they combined for 2,003 yards on just 283 carries, a 7.07 YPC clip. Incoming Alabama QB transfer Jalen Hurts will look to take over the offense. Meanwhile, the Sooners will also be looking for three new starters along the interior of the offensive line.
About the OU Defense
The Sooners look to remain salty on defense for 2019, returning 9 starters and 81% of their offensive production from last season. Oklahoma returns 8 of its 9 top tacklers, including leading tackler LB Kenneth Murray.
Bill Connelly did a pre-spring S&P+ ranking back in February of all 130 teams and has Oklahoma at #5, or 1st in the Big 12.
Meanwhile, Athlon also ranked all 130 teams in pre-spring as well in March, and has the Sooners at #4.
For reference, the Jayhawks were ranked #107 by S&P+ and #106 by Athlon.
Last year in Norman, Kansas easily covered the 35+ point spread as Pooka Williams garnered national attention with 250 yards on just 15 carries against the Sooners. Once again, Kansas will need a similar performance on offense. Otherwise, it will probably take something crazy, like, I dunno, eight turnovers in a row by Oklahoma in order for Kansas to emerge victorious in 2019.
With Kansas breaking in a new head coach, new coordinators, and a new front seven on defense, any prediction at this point is silly. But since I’m just a blogger, I’ll go ahead and throw one out there.
OU will get their points. It’s not a bad guess that, like last year, they’ll take KU lightly, so KU should be able to score a few times themselves. I look for a game that won’t really be in doubt, but won’t be a total snooze fest, either. Oklahoma 55, Kansas 31.