NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray may not spend much more time playing college football, but he may have to put his next career on hold if he continues to match and exceed the standard he has already set for himself. Coming off consecutive games of 300-plus yards and three passing touchdowns, the two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week will attempt to lead his fifth-ranked Sooners to a fourth straight victory Saturday when they host Army.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, No TV. LINE: Oklahoma -32.5.
Drafted No. 9 overall by the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball Draft this summer, Murray has transitioned seamlessly while replacing Heisman Trophy winner and top overall NFL Draft pick Baker Mayfield, ranking third in the Big 12 in passing yards (863) and seventh in rushing yards (169). The junior signal-caller was masterful for a second straight week at Iowa State last weekend, setting a career high with 348 passing yards and adding 77 more on the ground in a 38-28 win. "(Murray is) growing, no doubt. He can get better. He's leading our team. He's leading our offense right now and doing a pretty darn good job," coach Lincoln Riley said. The Knights will be looking to shut down a high-powered offense for a second straight contest after defeating Hawaii 28-21 last weekend, holding the Warriors 27 points and 178 yards below their previous season averages.
ABOUT ARMY (2-1)
The Knights rank sixth in FBS in rushing (306.7 yards) after leading the country a season ago, getting all-around contributions from Kelvin Hopkins Jr.; in his third career start last week, he became the first Army quarterback to have a 100-yard rushing and 100-yard passing game since Chris Carter in 2015. Hopkins' 206 yards rushing paces the team, although Darnell Woolfolk (153) and Calen Holt (150) have taken turns with the junior quarterback running for team-high totals over the first three contests. Connor Slomka (153) and Fred Cooper (110) also have rushed for over 100 yards on the season, while Camden Harrison and Christian Hayes lead Army with three catches and a touchdown reception apiece.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (3-0)
Junior Marquise Brown, who ranks second in the Big 12 in receptions (19) and receiving yards (412), amassed 139 receiving yards in the first quarter and 189 of his 191 receiving yards before intermission last week, setting school records for the most receiving yards in a quarter and a half. Trey Sermon got the start at running back in place of the injured Rodney Anderson (knee, out for the season) and ran for a season-high 74 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Safety Justin Broiles became the first Oklahoma freshman defensive back to register at least 10 tackles in a game since Tony Jefferson in 2010 and only the 10th rookie to do so in school history.
1. Murray's passing yardage (1,222), touchdown-to-interception ratio (11:1) and passer efficiency rating (217.0) through 94 pass attempts at Oklahoma are better than those of the Sooners' three Heisman-winning quarterbacks (Mayfield, Sam Bradford and Jason White).
2. Army has amassed 420 passing yards through three games, 59 more than it had all of last season.
3. The Sooners are averaging 9.3 tackles for loss in 2018 (13th nationally) after recording 5.4 per game in 2017 (84th).
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 44, Army 10