While Oklahoma fans are still basking in the glow of their last football game, a 45-31 Sugar Bowl upset win over Alabama, the Sooners have even bigger goals in 2014-15. In large part because of the Alabama win, Oklahoma hype is through the roof, and the Sooners are the favorite in the Big 12, and should be a contender for a berth in the College Football Playoff. To start off this push, they host Louisiana Tech, a small-conference program that had great success and an exciting offense under Sonny Dykes (now at Cal) a few years ago, before going in the tank under first year coach Skip Holtz. The Bulldogs will look to get back to bowl contention, but catching the Sooners in week one is a rough way to start a season.
Date: Saturday, August 30, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM EST
TV Channel: Oklahoma PPV
Location: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK)
Betting Line: Oklahoma -37.5 via 5Dimes
Prediction: Oklahoma’s season rests largely on the ability of Sugar Bowl breakout star Trevor Knight. Knight struggled to win the quarterback job over Blake Bell, to the point where he only threw seven passes in the regular season finale against Oklahoma State, third fewest on the team in that game. Knight emerged in preparation for Alabama, and absolutely dominated the mighty Tide defense, going 32-for-44 through the air for 348 yards and four touchdowns. Knight is also a strong rusher, going for over 100 yards twice last season.
Whether or not Knight is the quarterback that he showed against Alabama, the Sooners should not have much trouble with Louisiana Tech, which went 4-8 last season after a 9-3 2012. While the Bulldogs should bounce back a bit a year into Holtz’s program, and with new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, the Sooners are far too powerful to expect an upset here. A 37.5 point line is tough to bet, and the Bulldogs may be able to cover with a good performance, but an outright win is far too much to ask of a rebuilding program against one that purports to be a potential national champion.