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College Sports: Oklahoma key spring issues: How will Lincoln Riley shape Sooners’ offense to fit Jalen Hurts’ strengths?

Editor’s note: This is the to start with of a 5-aspect collection examining difficulties surround the 2019 Oklahoma Sooners.

How will Sooners’ offense seem with Jalen Hurts?

Oklahoma’s roster and coaching staff members is going through rather a bit of transform as it commences spring apply, but nothing at all more impactful than Jalen Hurts changing Kyler Murray at quarterback. Coach Lincoln Riley reshaped Oklahoma’s offense final offseason to match Murray’s skillset. He’ll be tasked with performing that once again with Hurts underneath centre.

Hurts’ Alabama profession was a well-documented rollercoaster. But as a freshman in Lane Kiffin’s offense, he was more dependable. He finished 62.8 per cent of his passes en route to 2016 SEC Offensive Participant of the Calendar year honors. A good deal of people completions came on bubble screens, but Riley won’t be inquiring Hurts to make intricate reads — at least early on. Hurts’ completion proportion as a sophomore dipped to 60.4 per cent. Still, that would be efficient adequate at Oklahoma supplied it involves a healthier dose of long touchdowns.

Hurts also provides a distinctive element on the ground. Baker Mayfield was cellular but (somewhat) gradual when Murray was explosive but not able to soak up massive hits when fighting for additional yardage. Hurts will come in as an intriguing mixture of people two styles. He’s rapid adequate to operate earlier you, shifty adequate to make you overlook and solid adequate to continue to be in bounds and fight for additional yardage.

How Riley normally takes Hurts’ strengths and shapes them into the 2019 Oklahoma offense will be intriguing. That perform begins this spring, specifically with Hurts and the Sooners acquiring corps — CeeDee Lamb, Charleston Rambo, Grant Calcaterra, Theo Wease, Jadon Haselwood and Trejan Bridges — and their new offensive line, led by centre Creed Humphrey. 

OU’s offense ought to even now be one of the nation’s ideal, but it will seem distinctive than it did underneath Mayfield or Murray. This spring will start off the process of figuring out how Riley will customize it to match Hurts’ strengths.

Much more difficulties

Key spring issue No. 5: Adapting to Jalen Hurts
Key spring difficulties No 4: Coming Wednesday, March 6
Key spring issue No. 3: Coming Friday, March 8
Key spring issue No. 2: Coming Monday, March 11
Key spring issue No. 1: Coming Wednesday, March 13

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