The wait is officially over.
Murray gives Oklahoma a major running element at the QB position, which is going to make Lincoln Riley’s offense all the more entertaining to watch on Saturdays. His status as the starter isn’t surprising, but I also wouldn’t be too shocked to see a bit of Austin Kendall on meaningful downs. Riley is one of the most creative guys in the sport, and occasionally throwing out a bit of a different look seems like something he might do with his QBs.
Of course, Murray was the ninth overall pick in this summer’s baseball draft, and all signs point to him leaving the university at the conclusion of the season. That could potentially give Kendall two full years of starting QB experience beginning in 2019 — provided he can fend off Tanner Mordecai and (presumably) Spencer Rattler. In short, Kendall will likely have his chance to lead this program in the future.
Murray wasn’t always spectacular during his lone season at Texas A&M, but how many QBs have lit it up as a true freshman in the SEC West? While his size is definitely an issue, he clearly has the talent to be a dynamic offensive weapon. Additionally, he’s now playing in what is probably the most QB-friendly offense in all of college football. He’s in a pretty great situation from both a schematic and a personnel standpoint, so I’d expect some pretty big numbers, health permitting.
Murray completed 18 of his 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in seven games in 2017, while also running it 14 times for 142 yards. As a freshman at Texas A&M in 2015, he completed 72 of 121 for 686 yards in eight games (three starts) with five TDs and seven INTs.
As far as the timing of this announcement is concerned, it’s pretty much on par with what Riley has done in the past.
Lincoln Riley has seen 4 preseason QB competitions since taking over as the ECU OC in 2010.— Lee Benson (@LeeBensonNews9) August 21, 2018
2010 - Dominique Davis named starter game week
2012 - Rio Johnson named starter game week
2015 - Mayfield named starter 12 days before Gm 1
2018 - No decision 12 days before Gm 1