Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Oklahoma vs. Missouri State preview and prediction.
Saturday, September 12th, 2020; 6:00 p.m. CST; Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
TV Info: Pay-Per-View
Radio Info: Sooners Sports Network (Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson, Teddy Lehman, Chris Plank and Gabe Ikard)
Opening Line: Off
QB Spencer Rattler
Was there really ever another choice? Rattler is a redshirt freshman following in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. He’s taking the reins of the best offense in college football and the entire sport will be watching to see how he does. I expect him to handle things fine against the lesser competition, but it’s still the first glimpse of the future at the position for at least the next couple of seasons.
DT LaRon Stokes
With Jalen Redmond sitting out the year, there’s even more pressure on Stokes, who transitioned nicely and was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2019 after finishing with 4.5 tackles for loss. Also, OU lost several key players in the middle of the defensive line with the graduations of Neville Gallimore, Marquise Overton and Dillon Faamatau. So now it’s Stokes’ turn to lead the way and with the NFL Draft next for him, he can make himself some nice coin with a big season, and it all starts on Saturday.
WR Damoriea Vick
Missouri State is moving on from its veteran QB Peyton Huslig, but they have some veteran pieces at wide receiver who can help make life easier for the offense, and one of those weapons is WR Damoriea Vick. Vick started 11 games as a sophomore and was the team leader in all-purpose yards (665) while ranking 2nd on the squad in receptions (39) and receiving yardage (422). He also ranked 9th in the conference in receptions per game. He was also the team’s top kick returner, and if there is ever a time for a shocking upset, often times special teams can play a factor.
Safety Titus Wall
Wall is one of the most veteran leaders on the defense and as he prepares to play center field against a first-time starting QB in Spencer Rattler, there could be some opportunities for a game-changing play, with Wall finding himself at the center of attention. Wall started all 11 games his junior season, and finished with 58 tackles, which ranked 3rd on the squad and 37th in the league (5.3 per game). His 39 solo stops was also 2nd on the team.
The Sooners just need to get through this game unscathed, make sure Rattler gets comfortable as the starting quarterback and then also find a solid rotation at defensive line after Jalen Redmond announced he would skip the upcoming season and the suspension of Ronnie Perkins. This will leave OU much thinner than DC Alex Grinch would want to be, especially with only one non-conference tune up game.
Rattle Rattler. That’s their best shot to have even a small chance at pulling off the upset. Get pressure on the redshirt freshman quarterback in his first start as the future of the program, force him into a key mistake or two, and then use ball control to keep the OU offense off the field. Often times, the best defense against OU is a good offense to keep Lincoln Riley’s high-octane unit off the field as much as possible.
Oklahoma 49, Missouri State 10
The Sooners will have no problems at all in this game. The talent gap is just too wide. Rattler will look comfortable and smooth, which will excite OU fans, but it really should not be used as too much of a trial run, as there is much stiffer competition to come once Big 12 Conference play rolls around.
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