Oklahoma Sooners look to rebound against FBS cellar dweller Louisiana-Monroe

Mobile quarterback could once again cause OU problems or a chance to fix them

This weekend is far more about the Oklahoma Sooners than anything that Louisiana-Monroe might bring to Norman on Saturday. Oklahoma has its own issues to work out against the lower-tier opponent.

The Sooners will open their newly renovated stadium, and they’re probably hoping things will be a little bit different on the field after a disappointing performance in the season opener against Houston.

“It needs to set the tone,” Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said of the loss. “I hope it does. We’ve gotta respond. We told them in the locker room, ‘This can either be the best thing that ever happened or the worst thing.’ We’ve gotta play better. We’ve gotta coach better. We know the blueprint for how to respond to a tough loss like this. But we’ve gotta go do it.”

That starts this week against the only FBS-level team in the state of Louisiana that won its season opener. The Warhawks won their season opener after scoring on their first two possessions of the second half against Southern.

The Warhawks were one of the worst teams in the nation last year and finished in the bottom of the Sun Belt Conference in scoring, total offense and turnovers committed.

But they will give Oklahoma a taste of Houston, albeit a much smaller dose in quarterback Garrett Smith, who had 358 total yards of offense in the season opener and became the first ULM player to rush for 150 yards since 2011.

Louisiana-Monroe (1-0) returns six defensive backs into its rotation as it transitions to a 4-2-5 defense, but the front six are a major question mark.


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