Five reasons for pessimism as Oklahoma’s 2022 football season approaches

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Here are five reasons to be pessimistic about Oklahoma football as the 2022 season draws ever closer. If it’s too much for your earlier mind to bear, restore your faith with five reasons for optimism OR.

Missing pieces

Head coach, defensive coordinator, starting quarterback, basically the whole pass rush … the amount of talent OU has lost from 2021 has been talked about nauseously since around the time Caleb Williams has confirmed his departure for USC.

OU will essentially have a brand new team in 2022, one that has yet to play together except for the spring game.

Rush pass

The aforementioned passing rush has been almost completely absorbed by the 2022 NFL Draft. There are certainly tooled prospects who will take the place of Nik Bonitto, Perrion Winfrey and his team, but they will get many more shots than they do. don’t have any yet in their college careers.

The ability to reach quarterback got the Sooners into several games last season, while the offense fluctuated throughout the season. If he does it again in 2022, it doesn’t look (at this time) that the defensive line can bail out the team like it has sometimes done in 2021.

The lights are bright

Hello Dillon Gabriel.

Welcome to Norman, Oklahoma, where 75,000 people will attend a glorified scrimmage match to see you play QB in a Sooner uniform for the first time.

It’s a little different from Central Florida.

The pressure, the eyeballs, the caliber of the opponent, it’s all going to be new for Gabriel. His few chats with the media seem to reflect a fairly level-headed QB who understands what he’s walking into, but you never really know until game day.

New kicker

There’s always some discomfort with new kickers until they gain some credibility. And when you’ve had a good one for a while, you forget what a relief it is to have a reliable kicker.

With the departure of kicker Gabe Brkic, another guy who often bailed out Sooner’s offense in 2021, Oklahoma will have a new leg taking over in 2022. Brkic will be replaced by second redshirt student Zach Schmit, a Oklahoma City native who has a pretty decent resume. He was the 18th-ranked kicker in his drafting class, and in limited exposure last season, he was 1-of-1 in field goals and 4-of-4 in extra points.

But again, you never really know how it’s going to go until game day.

Big 12 beaten

The Big 12 was a pretty rocky conference last season and it looks like once again it will be tough to come out unscathed.

Dave Aranda and Baylor will be back with an arguably better new quarterback. Oklahoma State’s defense will always be a strength. Road games against TCU, Iowa State and West Virginia could all get sticky. You can probably count on the Cornhuskers to fight again, in Lincoln this time.

And yes, even Texas could be better — better, no way back — with the incoming Quinn Ewers and a possible Heisman season for Bijan Robinson.

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