Coaches across the country aren’t concerned about a drop-off for the Oklahoma offense with Kyler Murray expected to take over as starting quarterback this season.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg polled a number of coaches for their thoughts on the offensive situations for a number of teams over the next three years, including the Sooners. Despite the loss of Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, an anonymous Big 12 coach had plenty of praise for Murray’s talents.
“He’s got some freakish type skills,” the coach said. “He can run so well, he’s so explosive, so fast, but this dude can sling the hell out of it, too.”
Murray served as Mayfield’s backup in 2017 after sitting out the 2016 season following his transfer from Texas A&M. He completed 18 of his 21 passes for 359 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 142 yards (10.1 yards per carry), mostly as a wildcat quarterback.
While Murray believes he’ll have to compete for the starting job, the former 5-star recruit is expected to lead the Sooners’ offense in 2018. If Oklahoma tweaks its offense to fit his skill set, which Mayfield says head coach Lincoln Riley is adept at doing, the Sooners will probably keep scoring at a blistering pace next season.
The Oklahoma offense won’t just depend on Murray. Running back Rodney Anderson will also be there to help carry the load after rushing for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. One anonymous Power 5 coach praised Anderson’s abilities, and he also singled out running backs coach Cale Gundy as a recruiter because of his ability to bring talented backs such as Anderson to Norman.
“He’s a talented guy,” the coach said of Anderson, “and they’ve got some depth there. Cale recruits running backs as well as anybody in the country. That guy doesn’t get enough credit.”
Between Anderson and Murray’s abilities in the open field, Oklahoma may be a more run-oriented offense going forward. But it sounds like opposing coaches still expect the Sooners to put up plenty of points over the next few years.
Oklahoma opens the 2018 season at home against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 1.