Date: Saturday, September 1st, 2018
Kickoff time: 12pm ET/11am CT
Location: Norman Oklahoma at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium
Radio: ESPN West Palm 106.3 FM
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Betting line: Florida Atlantic +21
Series record: No previous meetings
Florida Atlantic comes into 2018 as one of college football’s most intriguing teams. The Lane Kiffin experiment paid off in a big way by grabbing 11 wins and a Conference USA championship last season. The Oklahoma Sooners are coming into 2018 fresh off a Big 12 championship and a college football playoff appearance. When this game was scheduled a few years back I don’t think either program could’ve imagined the hype around it along with it being broadcast on network television.
Florida Atlantic Outlook
Offensively the Owls return All-American running back Devin Singletary and possible future star tight end Harrison Bryant Jr. They’ve also added play makers on the outside like West Virginia transfer Jovon Durante at wide receiver. They will have to replace starting quarterback Jason Driskell but have two former 4 star options in Oklahoma transfer Chris Robison or Florida State transfer and former Last Chance U star De’Andre Johnson. This should be a fun unit to watch once again and while they lost offensive coordinator Kendal Briles they should be in good hands with his replacement Charlie Weis Jr. They attempted to shore up their defensive line issues through recruiting by grabbing some top JUCO players who could make an impact right away.
Kyler Murray will step in to replace Heisman trophy winning quarterback Baker Mayfield. He should be in good hands with head coach Lincoln Riley who is one of the brightest offensive minds in all of college football. There will be plenty of talent around him as well with the return of 1,000 yard running back Rodney Anderson and 1,000 yard receiver Marquise Brown. The defense could still be a major issue coming off a season where they ranked in the 80’s in total yards given up. Mike Stoops’ unit could have their hands full in this one.
This is a tough opener for Florida Atlantic and they’ll be on the biggest stage in program history. If the they want to pull off this massive upset they’re going to have to take advantage of some of the Sooners remaining defensive woes.
They have plenty of talent at the skill positions on offense and a feisty defense that could improve under new coordinator Tony Pecoraro. I think the Owls will be pesky and have a chance to cover the spread but I think the talent and depth of the Sooners will be too much. Expect Oklahoma to win at home.