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UTEP vs. Oklahoma, 3:30 ET
We are off to a nice start in NCAAF with a 4-2 record on the year and two more games tonight. Our only loss on the Thursday slate came from a pointless field goal with two minutes left in the game. Ball State really made a difference with that kick. Instead of losing by 52, they only lost by 49. Good for them.
Well, the season is off to a tough start for UTEP. In their opening game, they lost 31-13 to North Texas in a game that wasn’t really ever close. They allowed a mediocre quarterback to get 236 yards and three touchdowns against them. I will give some credit to the UTEP offense, Gavin Hardison had a solid game in terms of yardage. He was at almost 300 yards and had one touchdown and no interceptions. The problem was that he was just 21-48 on his passing attempts that’s a really tough start and outside of the second quarter, UTEP couldn’t score. Things don’t get easier from here as they have to take on #9 Oklahoma in a game that will be no contest.
For Oklahoma, this should pretty much be a warmup game. If they struggle with UTEP, it will be a major alert that this team is not as prepared as anyone expected. I really don’t think that will happen though. Led by Dillon Gabriel, I think we should expect the Sooners offense to be in good hands. He only played in three games last year and had nine touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also was able to rush for a couple of touchdowns. The big story here will likely be the defense. Under first year head coach, Brent Venables, the defense should improve and they get to test it against a UTEP team that struggled with everything except a few nice passing plays.
I think the Sooners want to come out and make a statement game for their new coach. Not every game will be this easy, but I think Gabriel has a lot to prove and the Sooners defense will want to make a huge impact. I’m taking the Sooners -30 in the game.
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