Engel: Oklahoma Must Prove They Can Stop Somebody

Oklahoma's inability to win a playoff game with Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray is "a massive indictment on Lincoln Riley," Mac Engel says

The DA Show
July 16, 2019 - 11:49 am
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Jalen Hurts has not been named the starting quarterback at Oklahoma, but that day is coming – Sooners rather than later (pun most definitely intended).

“I can’t see a scenario where he’s not (the starter),” Fort Worth Star-Telegram Big 12 insider Mac Engel said on The DA Show. “I think the more plausible scenario is he’s just not as good as what Lincoln Riley needs. I know everybody is talking about Lincoln Riley as this genius, but Lincoln Riley’s first two quarterbacks were the No. 1 picks in the draft. I think most coaches can look pretty damn smart when you’ve got that guy doing whatever he wants.”

Indeed, an Oklahoma quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy two years in a row. First it was Baker Mayfield; then it was Kyler Murray.

“These (weren’t) good quarterbacks; these were phenomenal quarterbacks – guys that could make plays with their feet and throw the ball with an accuracy level that was NFL-worthy,” Engel said. “Anybody who watched Jalen Hurts play said, ‘Yeah, he’s pretty good.’ But Jalen Hurts was a guy who needed – needed – teammates. He needed them. He made them better, but they really made him better. Well, Oklahoma hasn’t been in that position. They’ve had a guy so special that he made everybody look good – and really carried a defense that was sub-standard, at best.”

Yes, as great as Oklahoma’s offense has been, the defense has been just as bad. The Sooners are 0-3 in the College Football Playoff and have allowed 45.3 points per game in those losses. They allowed a combined 99 points in their last two playoff games against Georgia and Alabama.

“That is a massive indictment on Lincoln Riley because of the quarterbacks that he had,” Engel said. “The defenses were so bad that they couldn’t win one of those games with Kyler or Baker as the quarterback. That’s an indictment. There’s nothing that says to me that defense is going to be that much better. They might be a little bit better only because they’ve been so bad.”

The Sooners allowed 40+ points six times last season, including five of their last six games. They allowed 44.8 points against ranked opponents, including 56 against West Virginia.

“What we’ve seen at the very top, at some point you got to stop some guys,” Engel said. “Oklahoma – and nobody really in the Big 12 – has done that. They’ve done it occasionally. TCU does it occasionally, but not the biggest (programs). We’re talking about Oklahoma and Texas. We’re talking about teams that, at some point, have got to be able to stop people and not have them just score in the 30s. Well, Oklahoma is not going to do that just yet until they prove otherwise.”