Heading into the Oklahoma Sooners matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks, the most important question has been answered. The Sooners know who they’re quarterback is and based on the way Caleb Williams has played in his first extended run leading the way for Oklahoma, it’s unlikely he’ll cede that spot anytime soon.
That said, there are still questions for Oklahoma as they work through the 2021 season.
With injuries in the secondary and an unknown timetable for the return of Woodi Washington and Delarrin Turner-Yell, someone will need to answer the bell as defensive playmaker for the Sooners.
Offensively things have gone as well as can be expected the last two weeks as Caleb Williams has helped Oklahoma rediscover its big-play ability.
As the Sooners get set to take one the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas this Saturday, let’s take a look at 7 Bold Predictions for this week’s game.
2 Running Backs Cross the Century Mark
Oklahoma’s Eric Gray (0) runs for a touchdown during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Oklahoma won 52-31.
Kennedy Brooks has been rolling lately, averaging more than 170 yards rushing in his last two games. The Kansas Jayhawks are allowing 249 rushing yards per game in 2021.
It’s unlikely that Brooks plays much beyond the first half, but that should be more than enough time for him to cross the century mark.
Expect Lincoln Riley to try and get Eric Gray going. Gray’s had a solid year, but he hasn’t been the consistent game-breaker he was expected to be after transferring to OU.
Marcus Major is back in the fold at the running back position and this week could be a great time to knock some of the rust off against a porous Jayhawks defense.
Caleb Williams Adds 4 More TDs to his Ledger
Oct 16, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) runs with the ball during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Over the last two weeks, Caleb Williams has eight touchdowns, six in the air and two on the ground. There’s no reason to think that Williams can’t keep that four touchdown per game average going against the lowly Jayhawks
Texas and TCU don’t boast top-flight defenses, however Kansas’ defense is still several tiers below those two teams.
Look for Williams to continue carving teams up through the air and making big plays with his legs on the way to a four touchdown performance.
Billy Bowman Records Pick-6
Oct 9, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Billy Bowman (5) and defensive back Justin Broiles (25) tackle Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) during the first half at the Cotton Bowl. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
I did say “Bold Predictions” right?
A week after struggling to contain the incredible Quentin Johnston, Billy Bowman has a bounce back game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas has some solid receivers in Kwamie Lassiter II and Trevor Wilson, however quarterback Jason Bean isn’t very accurate, completing just 55% of his passes.
The Oklahoma pass rush is going to get to Beam and make life incredibly difficult, leading to at least one interception. Billy Bowman will get it and show off his elite athleticism as he takes it to the house for six.
Ethan Downs gets his first sack
Sep 11, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Ethan Downs (40) causes Western Carolina Catamounts quarterback Carlos Davis (5) to fumble during the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Oklahoma Sooners have gotten quite a few contributions from true freshman this season. Mario Williams and Caleb Williams have stood out on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, Billy Bowman, Danny Stutsman, and Ethan Downs have contributed on defense.
Downs has come close to bringing the quarterback down this season and is tied for sixth on the Sooners in total pressures with seven.
Though quarterback Jason Bean is a mobile passer, this Sooners pass rush is relentless, one of the best in college football. This week, Ethan Downs breaks the ice and records his first sack of the season.
Mario Williams Double Dips on the End Zone
Sep 4, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Mario Williams (4) in action during the game against the Tulane Green Wave at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Against the Texas Longhorns it was Marvin Mims going off and scoring two touchdowns in Caleb Williams’ first meaningful snaps.
Last week against the TCU Horned Frogs, Jadon Haselwood scored the hat trick with three of Williams’ four touchdown passes.
The Sooners have spread the ball around. Four wide receivers have at least 20 receptions and Jeremiah Hall has 16 himself.
This week feels like the time for Mario Williams to get a pair of touchdowns.
The Sooners will want to give their young
Kansas doesn’t score till the 4th Quarter
Sep 18, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
After allowing 48 points to Texas and 31 to TCU, the Oklahoma Sooners are due for a dominant performance. Kansas just happens to be the low hanging fruit ripe for the picking.
At the beginning of the month, Kansas scored just seven points in the third quarter against the Iowa State Hawkeyes. Two weeks later, they didn’t score until the fourth quarter against Texas Tech.
Even though the Sooners have been dealing with some injuries, they’re due for a bounce back performance. This is a great opportunity to develop some depth while Woodi Washington and Delarrin Turner-Yell are out of action again this week. Players like Latrell McCutchin, Bryson Washington, and Jordan Mukes to get some valuable snaps.
Though they might be you g in the secondary, the Sooners strength still lies up front and the Kansas Jayhawks won’t be able to win enough in the trenches to mount much of an offensive attack.
Though I gave the Jayhawks 10 points in our weekly Sooners Wire Staff Predictions, I don’t think those points come earlier than the fourth quarter.
Danny Stutsman leads the Sooners in Tackles
Sep 4, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) is tackled by Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Kelvin Gilliam (44) and defensive end Reggie Grimes (14) and linebacker Danny Stutsman (28) during the third quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
On just 20 snaps last week, Danny Stutsman had four tackles. That’s a tackle every five defensive snaps. In a game like this, as long as he’s healthy, the true freshman linebacker could get a big snap count if the Sooners are able to get a big lead as expected against the lowly Kansas Jayhawks.
Stutsman is primed for a big day, especially as Kansas quarterback Jason Bean likes to run the ball. If Stutsman gets 30-40 snaps in this game, he’ll lead the Oklahoma Sooners in tackles and will be a big key to Oklahoma’s defensive effort against the Jayhawks.