Lincoln Riley to debut as Oklahoma head coach vs. UTEP
UTEP (4-8 in 2016) at No. 7 Oklahoma (11-2), Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox).
Line: Oklahoma by 41½.
Series record: Oklahoma leads 3-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley will make his head coaching debut. The 33-year-old is the youngest head coach in the FBS. He wants to get things clicking and take momentum into the Sooners’ showdown at No. 2 Ohio State next week.
Oklahoma offensive line vs. UTEP defensive front. Oklahoma LT Orlando Brown, a preseason All-American, leads a talented, experienced offensive line. The Sooners don’t know which running back will gain the majority of the carries, but they have four good ones in Rodney Anderson, Abdul Adams, Trey Sermon and Marcelias Sutton. UTEP allowed 210 yards rushing per game last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UTEP: LB Alvin Jones. He was a second-team Conference USA performer last season after compiling 93 tackles, six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He will need UTEP’s defensive line to hold up against Oklahoma’s offensive line so he can make plays without having to deal with extra traffic downfield.
Oklahoma: WR Jeff Badet. The transfer from Kentucky will try to fill the role of deep threat vacated by Biletnikoff winner Dede Westbrook. Badet caught 31 passes for 670 yards and four touchdowns last season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield set the NCAA record for passing efficiency rating last season. ... Oklahoma has the nation’s longest win streak at 10. ... Oklahoma has won 11 straight home openers. ... UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez is a second-team preseason All-American. ... It will be Oklahoma’s first game since Nov. 21, 1998, with someone other than Bob Stoops as head coach.