Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Week 2 matchup between the Sooners and Warhawks.
Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe Game Preview
When: Saturday, September 10 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
TV Broadcast: PPV
Oklahoma had national title aspirations entering the season, but an opening loss to Houston has it reeling heading into its home opener against Louisiana-Monroe. “Big Game” Bob Stoops has been everything else in recent years, and will have to earn that name back if the Sooners want to climb back into the College Football Playoff picture.
Louisiana-Monroe played a tougher-than-expected game against Southern last week before breaking away. The Warhawks will lean heavily on quarterback Garrett Smith if they hope to deal Oklahoma its second consecutive upset.
What To Know About Oklahoma
That is now how the Sooners wanted to start their season, but they lost to a quality Houston team and, as they say, losing early is a lot better than losing late. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was as advertised in the opener, throwing for 323 yards and two touchdowns, but the running game was nowhere to be found, gaining only 70 total yards.
Defensive back Will Johnson was busy in the secondary, making seven total tackles and ten total as the defense gave up 321 yards passing to Greg Ward Jr. Linebacker Jordan Evans will try to create chaos for the Warhawks in the backfield.
What to Know About Louisiana-Monroe
Louisiana-Monroe’s game against Southern was close for 30 minutes (the Warhawks led 14-12 at the half), before it pulled away in the second half. So while it enter this game with a better record than OU, ULM’s opener was hardly a walk in the park.
As Garrett Smith goes, so too do the Warhawks. In last week’s victory, Garrett accounted for 358 yards of total offense (208 passing and 150 rushing) and three total touchdowns. Error-prone at times, his two intercpetions helped keep Southern in the game.
Running back Ben Luckett is also a load in the backfield – rushing for 110 yards on 18 carries last week.
Offense: Oklahoma. Don’t be surprised if the 23 points it mustered against Houston is the Sooners lowest total of the year. Despite the loss, this team is still stacked.
Defense: Oklahoma. The Sooners were gashed through the air and on special teams, but they did quite well against Houston’s ground game.
Special Teams: Louisiana-Monroe. For an explanation, just watch Houston’s 109-yard kick return from last week on repeat.
Coaching: Oklahoma. It’ll take more than one bad beat to send Bob Stoops into the outhouse.
Intangibles: Oklahoma. If they have any backbone, then the Sooners will come out thirsting for blood.
Matchup To Watch
Perception vs. Reality
Oklahoma is expected to win, now it has to look good doing it. If the Sooners come out sluggish in a victory – even letting the Warhawks hang around for a quarter – then the critics will come out in force. Is Oklahoma overrated, or was Houston just that much better last week?
Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe Betting Odds
Spread: Oklahoma -46.5
Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe Prediction
Expect Oklahoma to drop the hammer right out of the gate. Mayfield will rack up 200 yards in the air and 100 on the ground, while Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon bring the thunder. This is the Oklahoma squad everyone expected to see when making preseason predictions.
Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe Score Prediction: Oklahoma 56, Louisiana-Monroe 14