Sunday, June 6, 2021

2021 Football Preseason Preview: Oklahoma Sooners







Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western Carolina's 2021 football opponents.

In their second game of the 2021 season, the Western Carolina Catamounts travel to Norman, OK to face the Oklahoma Sooners. This is the first-ever meeting between the Catamounts and Sooners and is WCU's second all-time game against a current member of the Big XII conference.





Game #2 - Oklahoma Sooners

When: Saturday, September 11 
Time:   TBA
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (natural grass; 80,126 capacity)
 Norman, OK
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV/video:  TBA
Live Stats:  Oklahoma Live Stats
Conference:  Big XII
Nickname: Sooners
MascotsBoomer & Sooner
Colors: Crimson & Cream
Enrollment:  30,903
Message BoardSoonerFans

The Series: This is the first meeting on the gridiron between these two teams.

Head Coach:  Lincoln Riley
Lincoln Riley took over the program’s head coaching reins on June 7, 2017, following the retirement of one of the most accomplished coaches of the last quarter-century in Bob Stoops. OU’s 22nd head coach, all Riley has done in his first four years at the helm is lead the Sooners to their 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Big 12 titles and to four New Year's Six bowl berths (three College Football Playoffs). He was also named the 2018 Co-Big 12 Coach of the Year.


Riley's record at Oklahoma / Career :  45-8 (4 years)  /   same  
Riley directed the Sooners to four Big 12 titles, and three college football playoff births, also produced two Heisman Trophy winners and two #1 NFL draft picks.

Last Season's Record  (2020 - Oklahoma):  9-2 overall, 6-2  Big XII, 4-1 home, 2-1 away, 3-0 neutral 
2020 Overall Record: 9-2 (Cotton Bowl champion) 
2020 Big 12 Record (Standing): 6-2 (2nd; won Big 12 Championship Game) 
Offensive Formation: Multiple 
Defensive Formation: Multiple 

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3
Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 7 /  4
Specialist - Returning/Lost: 5 / 1

Last season, a 1-2 start resulted in the Sooners falling out of the Top 25 Poll for the first time since September 2016, Oklahoma then won the final eight games of 2020 to finish 9-2, claimed its sixth consecutive Big 12 championship and embarrassed #10 Florida, 55-20 in the Cotton Bowl. The Sooners finished the year at No. 6 in the AP and Coaches polls. OU was highly effective on both sides of the ball, ranking 11th in total offense (494.7 ypg) and 29th in total defense (350.6 ypg).  

A consensus early-season top-five pick for 2021, the Sooners return 16 players (not including specialists) who started at least five of the team's 11 games last season (10 on defense and six on offense), as well as 2019 10-game starter Kennedy Brooks, OU's two-time 1,000-yard rusher who opted to sit out the 2020 season. Fourteen of those 16 started at least eight games (seven on each side of the ball). On special teams, returning are first-team All-Big 12 kicker Gabe Brkic, punter Reeves Mundschau, long snapper Kasey Kelleher, holder Spencer Jones and punt returner Marvin Mims.

The Sooners are led by Spencer Rattler (R-So.) who tarted all 11 games last season and was named national freshman of the year by CBS Sports. Rattler is the second OU quarterback to be named a Freshman All-American, He completed 214 of 317 pass attempts for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns,  rushed 81 times for 160 yards and six TDs.

2020 Oklahoma Sooners  (11 games):
Rushing Offense: 2252 yards
Yards per game: 179.7
Yards per rush: 4.7 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 96
TDs rushing: 27
Passing Offense: 3465 yards or 315 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 9.57 yards
Passing 1st downs: 156
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 362-249-8
TDs Passing: 30
Total Offense: 5442 yards or 494.7.2 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 14-6
3d Down Conversions: 55-135 (40.7%)
4th Down Conversions: 9-10 (80%)
Field goal attempts: 22 - 28
On-side kicks: 0-0
Red Zone Scores: 54 - 59
Red Zone Touchdowns: 40 -59