The No. 5 ranked Oklahoma Sooners are returning to Norman for game two and are looking to turn the momentum around before going into bye week. The unfortunate part for this scenario is that the Florida A&M Rattlers are going to be the team to endure the wrath of a mad Bob Stoops after an uninspiring week one.
The Sooners have been known to take the week after a loss and turn on the revenge mode style of play. The latest example of this was after the Texas Tech loss in 2011; they went into Manhattan, Kansas and manhandled a ranked Kansas State. Granted, they did not lose to UTEP but the showing wasn’t exactly what the Sooners wanted to portray in their opening win. Stoops was adamant in his Monday press conference about judging a team after one game was a bit absurd and the issues the Sooners faced were fixable.
The Rattlers took on Tennessee State in their opener with a disappointing 17-14 loss. So, coming into a Norman, for the Sooners first home game of the season, to a sold-out Owen Field isn’t exactly an appealing task. Not to mention, FAMU just suspended four players for the game for team violations. Most notably was one of their top cornerbacks, Devontae Johnson, who led the team on interceptions in 2011. Besides Johnson, WR’s Lenworth Lennon, Dewayne Harvey and offensive lineman Daniel Lennon are suspended as well. Lennon was the team’s leading receiver, with 45 catches on last season.
FAMU players to keep an eye on are RB Eddie Rocker and LB Brandon Hepburn. Rocker was the Rattlers offensive standout in week one, having 90 yards on 13 touches. The Sooners showed holes on rush defense in week one, but size will be a factor here for the FAMU offense. After the 177 yards allowed against UTEP, you can bet one of defensive coordinator Mike Stoops’ focuses this week was the run. Rattlers LB Hepburn tallied 10 tackles last weekend against Tennessee State, including 1.5 sacks and a forced recovered fumble. One of the main concerns with the Sooner offense is the OL, and this is a prime opportunity to get some work done and for the less-experienced players to get some reps in before Kansas State comes to town at the end of September.
Tight End, Geneo Grissom will be returning this week after his suspension from week one, but with the way Brannon Green played against the Miners, I would expect Green to see the start. Look to quarterback, Landry Jones to hit WR Trey Metoyer as a target more often in this game. Metoyer had a relatively quiet showing against UTEP, and against this Rattler defense that is missing key personnel, the opportunity for him to breakout is there. On the run game, the Sooners will most likely rotate between Dom Whaley and the surprise rushing standout from last week, Damien Williams.
Last week Oklahoma didn’t cover the spread. This week, there is no spread. So it’s safe to say most anticipate a high scoring blow-out by the Sooners. If it’s not, then there are more issues than most people thought.