ATLANTA, Ga. – For the fourth time in five years, the Sooners are getting ready to make their appearance in the College Football Playoffs.
The fourth-ranked Sooners have never won in the Playoffs, but they are hoping to change all of that with their upcoming matchup with Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers.
As if facing the top-rated Tigers and Heisman Trophy winner wasn’t tough enough, OU will also be without a few of its players.
Last week, SoonerScoop.com announced that defensive end Ronnie Perkins, runningback Rhamondre Stevenson, and receiver Trejan Bridges would all miss the Peach Bowl due to suspensions. The site claims that all three players failed a drug test administered by the NCAA.
However, OU head coach Lincoln Riley wouldn’t comment or confirm the report.
Just days later, it was announced that OU safety Delarrin Turner-Yell would miss the game after he broke his collarbone. In addition to Perkins, Turner-Yell is a force on the defense, completing 75 tackles, three pass deflections, and one forced fumble.
Although the Sooners will be short-staffed in some positions, a few OU players will be making a return appearance to the bowl spotlight.
OU has yet to win a game in the College Football Playoffs, and many Sooners played in the matchups against Georgia in the Rose Bowl and Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
However, Riley says those games will not have an impact on what happens this weekend.
“Those other games are so far away in the past. I mean, I think you’re just trying to do the best in the moment right now, to play your best and to win this one game. So, you certainly want to do it for the program but you can’t, all those other things don’t help right now. They don’t have an impact on it. Just trying to win this one with the guys you have right now, it’s kind of like each and every week. So no, that’s not discussed with our team and I don’t think it’s really on anybody’s mind,” Riley said.
OU linebacker Kenneth Murray says he is not discouraged by what happened in the last couple of years.
"I mean, it's a lot of motivation. I want to bring home number eight for Oklahoma, and in order to do that we've gotta get past this first round. Obviously, we've been able to gain experience from the last two games and understand what we did wrong and what we need to do better and stuff like that. I'm extremely excited to go out there and put it all to use on Saturday," Murray said.