Oklahoma football vs. Florida Atlantic: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score
Sooners host Owls in season opener
NORMAN, Okla. – Kyler Murray isn't going to have much time to replicate the success of his predecessor at Oklahoma, but it appears coach Lincoln Riley has no plans to hold him back in his final year of college football. The former five-star recruit could have his work cut out for him Saturday, however, as the fifth-ranked Sooners kick off their season at home against Florida Atlantic.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Oklahoma -21
Murray, who won a camp battle to fill the void left behind by the departure of Heisman Trophy winner and overall No, 1 NFL Draft pick Baker Mayfield, is expected to leave the program following the season after he was the ninth overall selection in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft.
"I don't coach with fear. This is football. … (Injuries) are part of the game," Riley told reporters last week when asked if he had a "fear level" in trying to keep Murray healthy for his future employer.
The Owls are coming off a Division I school-record 11-win season and enter 2018 after reeling off 10 straight victories to close out the school's first season under coach Lane Kiffin. FAU is the preseason favorite to repeat as Conference USA champions and figures to rely heavily on Devin Singletary again after the junior running back rushed for 32 touchdowns in 2017 - the third-highest total in FBS history.
ABOUT FLORIDA ATLANTIC (2017: 11-3)
The Owls return 15 starters, including Singletary and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair - the preseason Conference USA offensive and defensive players of the year. Singletary led FBS with 63 runs of at least 10 yards in 2017 and rushed for a school-record 1,920 yards - 528 more than second-place Alfred Morris in 2009 - including 12 straight 100-yard efforts to end the season.
The quarterback position is less settled, as former Oklahoma player Chris Robison, Last Chance U star DeAndre Johnson and Rafe Peavey are all battling to replace Jason Driskel (2,247 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2017).
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (2017: 12-2)
Running back Rodney Anderson led all Power Five players with 1,333 yards from scrimmage from Oct. 21 on, including 201 rushing yards in the College Football Playoff loss to Georgia. Fellow preseason All-Big 12 selection Marquise Brown (1,095 receiving yards and seven TDs) set a school record with 265 receiving yards against Oklahoma State last year and will be asked to step up more often following the departure of tight end Mark Andrews to the NFL.
Preseason All-Big 12 Newcomer of the Year selection Brendan Radley-Hiles - a highly touted five-star recruit - is expected to make an immediate impact at cornerback after Oklahoma lost three starters in its secondary.
1. Oklahoma placed seven players on the preseason All-Big 12 first team, while Florida Atlantic saw six players land on the Conference USA first team.
2. Singletary already owns the school record in rushing touchdowns (44). He is also only 589 rushing yards shy of breaking Morris' school record of 3,529, set from 2008-11.
3. The Sooners (579.6 yards per game) and Owls (498.4) ranked first and ninth, respectively in FBS in total offense in 2017.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 45, Florida Atlantic 31
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