For those fans eager to see Lincoln Riley's offense unveiled, you might have to wait another two weeks. By that I mean that the Sooners will probably want to beat Akron convincingly without showing too much of their new offense before they travel to Knoxville the following week to play Tennessee. The Sooners are more likely to display the air raid against the Volunteers than the Zips. But you'll still be able to see some of the new offense this Saturday. Here's what to expect from the Sooners offense when they kick off this weekend.
Lots of Joe Mixon - The highly touted recruit out of high school was suspended all of last season and didn't participate in the spring game, so Sooners fans will be eager to see what the running back can do. Mixon will be Oklahoma's second string running back this year but he is expected to be a huge part of the offense. Oklahoma should beat Akron with plenty of rest from their starters, so Samaje Perine will likely come out early in favor of Mixon. Also, Mixon could be apart of the passing game as well and be out there the same time Perine is.
A lot more snaps - A big reason why the air raid works so well is because of the speed that teams are getting snaps off. Last year, Oklahoma wasn't as fast as they generally were in years previous. They relied on the run a lot of the time, so naturally they were trying to get their running backs rest in between snaps. This year under coach Riley they should be one of the fastest teams in the Big 12. East Carolina ran 82 snaps a game last season under Riley, so expect Oklahoma's this season to bubble around that number.
A wide variety of wide receivers - The receiving core at Oklahoma was perhaps the most disappointing unit of all last season. Sterling Shepard received little to no help and once he went down there was no one to replicate his production. This year, they have JUCO transfer Dede Westbrook to come in and make an impact along with redshirt freshman Mark Andrews, who impressed this offseason. Along with the newcomers, senior Durron Neal and sophomore Michiah Quick return this season and hopefully improve on last year's performance. In the opener, expect lots of different receivers out there so that way the coaches can see early on which ones stand out among the rest.
Good quarterback play - Bob Stoops usually enters the season with a star quarterback or at least a proven one. But for the third season in a row, there are questions surrounding quarterback play heading into the first week in the season. Trevor Knight didn't show any improvement from his freshman to sophomore season so Baker Mayfield swept in and stole the starting spot this offseason. He knows the system very well and the air raid system usually helps the quarterback maximize his potential. I fully expect that to happen to Mayfield this season and you'll see glimpses of just how good he can be in the opener. Mayfeld has an accurate arm and will pick apart a Zips defense that ranked 52nd last season in passing yards allowed.
Kickoff time is at 6:00 C.T. and will be played in Gaylord Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.