When Jalen Hurts transferred from Alabama to Oklahoma, the plan was for him to start. While Lincoln Riley has maintained it’s an open competition, Hurts was always the favorite. Now, things have been made official.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) August 19, 2019
Jalen Hurts Tabbed as the Starter
In two seasons as the head coach, Lincoln Riley has coached Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray to Heisman-winning seasons. On top of that, he has led the Sooners to back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances.
Hurts has been somewhat of a lightning rod. He was very successful at Alabama, throwing for over 5,600 yards and running for nearly 2,000.
He has also thrown 48 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions while running for 23 touchdowns.
However, Hurts’ ability to throw the ball in big games has been questioned, and rightfully so. In the College Football Playoff title game against Georgia two seasons ago, he was pulled at halftime, which launched the legend of Tua Tagovailoa.
This season, however, Hurts was a great teammate, dealing with becoming the backup quarterback after nearly not losing for two seasons. He also came off the bench in the SEC title game against Georgia to lead the Crimson Tide to a comeback win. That showed that he was always staying ready to step in.
What to Expect
Riley is already a legend when it comes to coaching quarterbacks. He will now have his third different quarterback in three seasons. Odds are he won’t be leading Hurts to a Heisman Trophy, but there’s certainly something to work with.
It will likely be a different offense aesthetically, but it should still be a very good side of the ball. Jalen Hurts does a good job of taking care of the ball, while also being able to hurt opposing defenses in the running game.
If he can show he’s improved as a thrower, much like he did in his nine attempts in the SEC title game, he will put up huge numbers in the Sooners offense.
He certainly has the right coach to put up big numbers, but does Oklahoma have the right quarterback for this season?