Consistently recruiting at a high level means that you’ll eventually have to replace your players when they become great and decide to leave. At blueblood schools like Ohio State and Oklahoma, replacing high-level talent is a frequent process, and sometimes can happen all at once.
Last season, Ohio State had to replace their leading passer, rusher, top three receivers, and arguably their top seven defenders all at the same damn time. In all, the Buckeyes were tasked with replacing 12 total NFL Draft picks, five of whom were selected in the first round. They still went 11-2 and made the College Football Playoff (Note: Urban Meyer is very good). While on a smaller scale, the Oklahoma offense is looking at a similar situation in 2017.
Here’s a glimpse at what OU must replace offensively from last year’s 11-2, Sugar Bowl-winning squad:
- 384 carries, 2,334 yards rushing, and 22 rushing touchdowns between running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine
- 104 targets, 80 catches, 1,524 yards receiving, and 17 touchdowns from Heisman-finalist receiver Dede Westbrook
- An additional 79 catches, 1,032 yards, and eight touchdowns from receiver Geno Lewis, Mixon, and Perine.
That’s a lot of production now cashing NFL paychecks. Oh, and if that weren’t enough, Bob Stoops decided to retire after 18 seasons as head coach, leaving the keys to the program to Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley. With all that said, expectations have to be a little lower this season, right? Not really. Welcome to being a big-time college football head coach, Lincoln!
On this episode of The Hangout in the Holyland, Jack Shields of Crimson and Cream Machine joins the show to discuss the 2017 Sooners, Bob Stoops’ abrupt departure, Riley’s first season as head coach, and how it’s business as usual in Norman.
Jack helps shed some light on why expectations are still so high, and breaks down everything about the new look Sooners, including:
- who replaces Perine and Mixon.
- whether the offense’s passing identity changes with the loss of Westbrook.
- what makes OU’s line one of the best in the country.
- why defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is on thin ice.
- the rivalry with Texas getting a much needed shot in the arm, and more!
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