Oklahoma Football 2015 Bowl Capsule

Oklahoma Sooners
Big 12


For most of the 2015 campaign, all of the talk in the Big 12 was about Baylor and TCU. Those were the teams putting up the big numbers. And later the hype was going to Oklahoma State. The Sooners were not all that impressive early in the season, culminating with a loss to Texas, a loss that seems worse and worse with every passing week. But for the Sooners the season didn’t really start until the middle of November. Oklahoma took care of Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State in consecutive weeks to win the Big 12 title.

2015 Record: 11-1, 8-1
Coach: Bob Stoops
Coach Bowl Record: 8-8

Big Wins: 11/14 at Baylor (44-34), 11/28 at Oklahoma State (58-23)
Bad Losses: 10/10 vs Texas (17-24)

Even by Big 12 standards, this is a potent offense. Baker Mayfield has emerged as a Heisman contender after throwing for 3,389 yards and 35 touchdowns. He completed 68.6 percent of his passes during the regular season and was only intercepted five times. Mayfield is playing his best football right now and that will scare everybody in the playoffs. Sterling Shepard is one of the best receivers in the country too. He has caught 79 passes for 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dede Westbrook is a dangerous big play receiver and Durron Neal also caught 42 passes during the regular season. But what makes this offense different than the rest of the Big 12 is the running game. Samaje Perine had some high expectations to live up to in 2015 following his amazing debut campaign, but he still rushed for 1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns. The emergence of Joe Mixon, a redshirt freshman, allows Perine to get some breaks. And Mixon is a big guy too who can pick up those tough yards. On the year he rushed for 749 yards and seven touchdowns.

Oklahoma has the best defense in the Big 12, so it is hard to call that a weakness, but they can be vulnerable, especially against the run. That is what happened in the Texas game. The Sooners allowed a total of 313 yards on the ground against the Longhorns. Combined with the inability to create turnovers, the defense certainly deserves some of the blame despite only allowing 24 points. What this defense does so well is get to the quarterback. Eric Striker, Charles Tapper and Charles Walker all had at least six sacks on the season. That pressure led to plenty of opportunities for the secondary to make plays. Cornerbacks Zack Sanchez, with six interceptions, and Jordan Thomas, with five, were the ones who made the most of those opportunities. Sanchez is one of the best corners in the country, but he is coming off a game where he was a bit exposed by Oklahoma State. The Cowboys went after him, while smart teams avoid throwing towards Sanchez, but OSU had some success with it. Against an offense that can run the ball like Texas and throw the ball like Oklahoma State, this is a defensive unit that can give up some points.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Samaje Perine, RB, 1,291 yards
Passing: Baker Mayfield, QB, 3,389 yards
Receiving: Sterling Shepard, WR, 1,201 yards
Tackles: Dominique Alexander, LB, 91
Sacks: Eric Striker, LB, 7.5
Interceptions: Zack Sanchez, CB, 6

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 235.0 (16th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 307.9 (19, 5)
Total Offense: 542.9 (7, 4)
Scoring Offense: 45.8 (3, 3)
Rushing Defense: 149.2 (46, 1)
Pass Defense: 201.5 (35, 1)
Total Defense: 350.7 (31, 1)
Scoring Defense: 20.8 (19, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.83 (12, 3)
Sacks: 3.17 (5, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 3.00 (113, 8)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2014    Russell Athletic Bowl    Clemson (6-40)
2013    Sugar Bowl    Alabama (45-31)
2012    Cotton Bowl    Texas A&M (13-41)
2011    Insight Bowl    Iowa (31-14)
2010    Fiesta Bowl    Connecticut (48-20)
2009    Sun Bowl    Stanford (31-27)
2008    BCS Championship    Florida (14-24)
2007    Fiesta Bowl    West Virginia (28-48)

*all team stats through 11/30


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