(Norman & Arlington, TX)—
After Tulsa’s dramatic 38-31 overtime season-opening victory over Tulane on Thursday night, it’s almost time for the 3rd ranked Sooners and the Cowboys to kick-off their 2014 college football seasons. Can’t wait!
The excitement at OU is as high as anytime I can remember since Sam Bradford played for the Sooners, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2008. As Oklahoma gets ready for it’s first-ever meeting against Louisiana Tech on Saturday night at 6pm in Norman, the expectations are about a perfect regular season and OU being selected for the first-ever College Football Playoff.
For me, I want to see Trevor Knight’s game continue to soar. After his splendid Sugar Bowl show against Alabama, it seems the San Antonio sophomore quarterback is ready to take his talents to an even higher plateau. But, he’s *never* had a good performance in front of the home crowd at Memorial Stadium…not yet. When he started the first couple of games last season, Knight was shaky at best. Just 86 yards passing against Louisiana-Monroe and many more incompletions the next week against West Virginia before he got hurt, it should be “Trevor’s Time” this weekend before an adoring sell-out crowd of 85,000+.
And it’s the defense fans want to see. The dismantling of mighty Alabama gave lots of hope to “Sooner Nation” and it appears OU will be as stingy as any defense in the Big 12…if not the country. They are favored by almost 40 points against Louisiana Tech. I’ll say Oklahoma will be OK…and win in a rout, 41-6.
In Arlington, Texas…ooh, a much different challenge for Oklahoma State. In fact, the most difficult opener of *any* college football team in America! OSU has to take on the defending national champions from Florida State, who won every game last season and feature the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston.
The difference is: the Cowboys enter the fray in the midst of the best period of football in school history. Head coach Mike Gundy is in his 10th season as the big man, and his teams are now plenty familiar to playing in big games, contending for championships and appearing in quality bowl games each year. So OSU should *not* be in “awe” of Florida State at all. But, the Seminoles talent is ridiculous on both sides of the scrimmage line.
Besides the fact the Florida State offense averaged 52 points a game last season, the Seminoles had the nation’s 3rd best defense too. They only gave up 12 points per contest and most of those players return for a run at a “repeat” national title. In a recent listing of pre-season All Americans, Florida State had 7 players on the offense and defense (according to USA Today) while the *entire* Big 12 Conference only had 4 players listed on that same elite squad. Does that tell you anything?
For the Pokes, the play of quarterback J.W. Walsh will be imperative for success. Walsh has been in the program for several years now, and he must hang on to the football with no careless turnovers. He can scoot, so if he’s allowed to run it with any kind of good fortune, OSU can hang in there.
Defensively, the Pokes must be sound fundamentally. They’re not going to shut-down Florida State in any way, shape or form…but OSU shouldn’t be overwhelmed at all. They’ve been in too many crucial situations lately – but at the end of the night, Florida State should win 38-24. Those kids from Tallahassee are just too tough. But OSU could go on a big-time run after the season opener and win their next 6-7 games well into conference play.
Watch our coverage on NewsChannel 4 all weekend, starting today and tonight from Arlington, TX. Dylan Buckingham will be covering the Sooners from Norman on Saturday and we’ll be your on-line home for OU and OSU football all season here at kfor.com