The 19th ranked Sooners take on the 23rd ranked Tennessee Volunteers this weekend in a Big 12-SEC clash. The game is one of the two big games this weekend, with Michigan State-Oregon being the other. The Sooners are going up against a Tennessee team that many people think will challenge Georgia and Missouri for the SEC East division this year. On the flip side, Oklahoma is trying to enter the national spotlight again after their five loss season in 2014. Both teams face familiar situations in 2015 and will look for a big win to add to their resume before conference play.
Ironically, while OU dominated the passing game against Akron the Volunteers were dominating the run game against Bowling Green. So striking a balance between the pass and run game will be key for whoever wants to win this game. Here's three Sooners who will be the key to finding that balance on Saturday.
RB Samaje Perine - Oklahoma's best player didn't have a huge impact against Akron, rushing for just 33 yards on 11 carries. The Sooners are going to need him to extend some runs against Tennessee to open up the passing game. It will largely depend on how well the offensive line holds up, but Perine has the capability to do it all himself. If he has a big game then the Sooners should roll over the Volunteers.
OT Orlando Brown - The huge redshirt freshman tackle was actually committed to Tennessee for nine months, but flipped his commitment to the Sooners in the end. Apparently the two sides didn't part ways with grace, as The Oklahoma Daily reported that his teammate said that Brown "hates" Tennessee and is looking to get back at them this Saturday. Well luckily for Brown, his mental toughness and ability to run block will be major factors in the how well the Sooners play on Saturday.
WR Durron Neal - The Sooners number two receiver will look to to build upon his solid game against Akron, where he had four catches for 65 yards. He's had trouble with consistency in his three previous years so it will be very important for him to come out strong in the second game of the season. The unproven secondary of Tennessee should be exposed by Baker Mayfield and the offense, but it will require a good game from another receiver not named Sterling Shepard. Neal should be the guy in a big stadium where he's one of the most experienced receivers on the field.