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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Beating the Spread: Houston vs. Oklahoma Preview and Prediction

Beating the Spread: Houston vs. Oklahoma Preview and Prediction

Houston vs. Oklahoma preview
Publish Date: 09/01/2019
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Source: Dallas Morning News

Date: Sunday, Sept. 1

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Memorial Stadium — Norman, Oklahoma
TV: ABC

The big story in this game, at least for Sooners fans, looks to be the new Quarterback in Jalen Hurts. It will be interesting to see how coach Lincoln Riley tailors his offense to work with Hurts’ dual-threat capability. On defense, can Oklahoma stop anything? The last few years, especially last, would tell you not to hold your breath.

In Houston the big story will be the arrival of a new Head Coach in Dana Holgorsen. The Cougars look to be talented enough to seriously challenge in the tough AAC conference. Holgorsen has never beaten Oklahoma and this will be a huge first game that could get his tenure at Houston off to a flying start. D’Eriq King will lead the Cougars coming off a 50 TD season last year, and with Washington State looming in week 3, the Cougars have a shot to make a huge impact nationally this season with two early wins.

Keys to the game

Can the Cougars pressure Hurts?

Last year the Sooners had a dominating offensive line but they have lost 4 out of last year’s 5 starters. They do return captain Creed Humphrey and they will be adding what looks like a talented group in redshirt junior Erik Swenson at LT. Down the line, LG Marquis Hayes, RG Tyrese Robinson and RT Adrian Ealy are all redshirt sophomores. So it’s not like they are starting Freshmen, and this looks to be a talented capable group. The big question will be can they mesh in the first game together? The Cougars have lost stud defensive lineman Ed Oliver to the NFL and he will be hard to replace. The Sooners will score a lot of points.

Can the Sooners defense slow down the Cougars?

The quick answer here is probably not! The Sooners defense was historically bad last year and the Cougars were nothing to write home about either. Plus the Cougars lost a dominating defender in Oliver. The Sooners have a new defensive coordinator in Alex Grinch and Grinch promises to have an attacking defense. After watching OU bend and frequently break in recent years, an aggressive scheme will certainly make for a refreshing change of pace. But can they improve that quickly?

Prediction: The Cougars and Sooners will be an offensive shootout and in the end, the game will be decided by which defense can make a few big plays. If it comes down to that I am going to side with the Sooners.

Sooners 48  Cougars 38

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