The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
No quarterback in college football should be better protected in 2017 than Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Returning Big 12 offensive lineman of the year Orlando Brown is back along with the rest of his crew, which includes redshirt sophomore right tackle Bobby Evans. At 6-foot-4, 316 pounds, Evans is an imposing figure who started all 12 games he played in last season. He’s an Oklahoma legacy whose father, Bobby Joe Evans, played basketball in the 1990s. Bobby Jr.’s brother, Tay Evans, also started for the Sooners at linebacker before concussions ended his career.
What should the Longhorns watch for?
Oklahoma was an offensive juggernaut in 2016, and while it must find replacements for skill players Joe Mixon, Dede Westbrook and Samaje Perine, having a proven offensive line in place is a good start. To put things in perspective, Oklahoma ranked top four nationally in QBR, yards per game, yards per pass attempt and third-down conversion rate. With Mayfield back and offensive-minded Lincoln Riley fully in charge, don’t expect much of a drop off in production. The game against Ohio State Week 2 will be a good one to watch for offensive line play, as the Buckeyes have one of the best defensive fronts in the country.
Oklahoma torched the Texas defense for 672 yards, 390 through the air and 282 on the ground, in a 45-40 victory in the Cotton Bowl. The Sooners only allowed one sack and three tackles for loss.
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