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No. 7 Oklahoma vs. Florida Atlantic: Game Thread, how to watch and final thoughts

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NCAA Football: Tulane at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

A few years ago, hard to imagine that a college football matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida Atlantic Owls would be that compelling. It’s also hard to imagine we’ve already arrived at Week 1 of the season. The surprises could begin early with a potential barn-burner on Owen Field the first day of September, 2018.

After all, a top-10 offense from a year ago (albeit with a few holes to fill) playing with house money against a new-look Sooners squad that still features a one Michael Joseph Stoops as its defensive coordinator has high-scoring game written all over it. This Owls team may not have the pre-season hype of the Houston Cougars team that upset OU in the 2016 season opener, but this is just the type of early season foe that could pull a fast one on and early-season Oklahoma team.

Head on down to the comments section for the game thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the day’s action with y’all.

Coverage Info

TV: FOX 11:00 A.M. CT

Live Stream: FoxSportsGo

TV Commentary: (FOX) Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft; (Compass Media) Greg Papa, Tiki Barber

Radio: OU Radio / TuneIn / TuneIn (Español) / SiriusXM TBD

Week 1 College Football Viewing Guide (plus Jack’s gambling picks)

A matchup like this would’ve had me much more on-edge had it been away from home (as if OU would ever play this school away from Norman). Though the Sooners will be on home turf, the 21-point spread is still a bit too high in my mind, and if FAU starts out hot and OU does not, the absence of the galvanizing presence of Baker Mayfield could really come into play early. If Stoops’ signature defensive struggles begin to emerge in a tricky season-opening contest, it could be a long afternoon in Norman.

Led by junior running back Devin Singletary, a third-team AP All-American and Conference USA MVP in 2017, and hard-hitting senior linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, this FAU team in Lane Kiffin’s second season as head coach brings back a ton of experience. Also, as of the writing of this post, Kiffin still has not named his starting quarterback in the contest, and there’s a strong possibility the Sooners will see more than one guy at the helm -- including Last Chance U star and Florida State transfer Deandre Johnson and former Sooner transfer Chris Robison.

I expect this unit to put up points on OU, and it’s all up to the new leaders of Riley’s high-octane offense to set the pace and answer each FAU punch with an even bigger punch. The Sooners still have Lincoln Riley on the sideline and the Houston experience of two seasons ago, along with his new quarterback possessing a lethal dual-threat skill set, should have this team well-prepared to make a strong opening statement in 2018 following the late-season heartbreak in last season’s College Football Playoff semifinal.

A loaded offensive line, a stacked backfield led by potential Heisman Trophy candidate Rodney Anderson, along with a host of playmakers on the perimeter give junior signal caller Kyler Murray plenty of hope to shine. I expect this one to stay close early and possibly tied at the intermission. But the Sooners overall talent, newfound depth, halftime regrouping and just enough improvements on defense (college football, meet Brendan Radley-Hiles.) will prevent Oklahoma from falling victim to another high-profile, season-opening upset.

OU 42, FAU 28

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the first episode of our very own podcast, Oklahoma Breakdown (mildly NSFW):

Head on down to the comments section for the game thread, where we’ll be asking questions, making predictions and discussing the day’s action with y’all.

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