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College Football Preview 2024: Oklahoma Sooners win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2W9N006 December 28, 2023: Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jackson Arnold (10) in action at the NCAA Valero Alamo Bowl between the Arizona Wildcats in the Alamodome. San Antonio, Texas. Mario Cantu/CSM

Brent Venables’ tenure at Oklahoma got off to a rocky start, as the Sooners finished the 2022 season with their first losing season in the 21st century. The program bounced back in a big way in 2023, though, finishing with a 10-3 record.

This upcoming season will begin a whole new era of Oklahoma football. It’s the Sooners’ first in the SEC. They have a new starting quarterback and a new offensive coordinator. They will also field a completely different offensive line. Luckily, they still have a top-10 receiving corps and a loaded defense at the second and third levels to help usher in the new age.

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Biggest Strength: The back seven of the defense

Oklahoma’s defense features a top-10 secondary and a linebacker unit that is headlined by Danny Stutsman, a third-team AP All-American last year.

Biggest Weakness: A brand-new offensive line

The Sooners won’t return any starting offensive linemen from last season. While SMU transfer Branson Hickman is a terrific addition in the middle, there will be uncertainty around the other four spots.

2023 Team Overview

EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
0.184 6.7 41.5% 14.8% 19.7%
6th 13th 7th T-77th 12th
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
-0.092 5.5 32.6% 15.6% 14.6%
31st T-59th 36th 70th 77th

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

  • C Branson Hickman (SMU): 79.7 PFF grade
  • WR Deion Burks (Purdue): 65.7 PFF grade
  • TE Jake Roberts (Baylor): 70.6 PFF grade

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • QB Dillon Gabriel (Oregon): 91.9 PFF grade
  • OG Cayden Green (Missouri): 53.7 PFF grade
  • RB Tawee Walker (Wisconsin): 82.6 PFF grade

Quarterback Spotlight: Jackson Arnold

2023 Grade: 69.1
Key Stat: Five turnover-worthy plays in first career start (Alamo Bowl vs. Arizona)


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