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Oklahoma Sooners Football vs. Arkansas State: Preview, Thread & How to Watch

Oklahoma opens the 2023 season against Arkansas State, and the home team will feature plenty of fresh faces.

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It’s FOOTBALL TIME IN OKLAHOMAAAAAAAAAAA, and it’s going to be very, very hot outside. No opener will match the inferno that millennial-and-older OU fans experienced in the 2000 opener, but this won’t be pleasant. Fortunately, I think the intrigue from a personnel standpoint will serve as a nice distraction.

The Oklahoma Sooners hauled in a top-5 class in 2023 (or right around that mark depending on which service you prefer), and the transfer portal also proved fruitful this offseason. While there weren’t a ton of surprises from the depth chart release, we’re all looking forward to see what the rotations are looking like for each position group.

How many members of the deep running back room will we get to see? What will be the snap distribution between Justin Harrington and Dasan McCullough at Cheetah? Plenty of questions can be answered, at least to some extent.

Also, LINDSEY STREET TAILGATING IS BACK, so make sure to soak it all in and never take it for granted again. You have my permission to act a bit foolish.

How to Watch

Time & TV: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN

Commentary: Roy Philpott, Roddy Jones and Taylor McGregor

Live Stream: ESPN

Line: Oklahoma -36 (as of Friday at 9 p.m. CT)

O/U: 58


  • Who will stand out along the front seven? The early pick here will be Wake Forest transfer Rondell Bothroyd, who is an established difference-maker at the Power Five level. Having said that, make sure to keep an eye on Tennessee transfer DT Da’Jon Terry, who fits the mold of what Brent Venables and Todd Bates are looking for in the interior (and by that I mean 321 pounds of body mass).
  • How many chances do each of the running backs receive? The only truly eye-opening revelation from the depth chart was the inclusion of Tawee Walker as a co-starter at running back. The walk-on from California’s Palomar College mostly saw action on special teams last year, but at 5’9” and 216 pounds, he could be more than serviceable as a battering ram in short-yardage situations. One of the better stories of the early season is Marcus Major, who is also listed as a starter following many years of injury frustrations and other factors keeping him off the field. Meanwhile, young upstarts Jovantae Barnes and Gavin Sawchuk seemed primed for major roles after their showings against Florida State, and I’d be surprised if that’s not still the case. Will we also get a look at true freshmen Kalib Hicks and/or Daylan Smothers? I sure hope so.
  • What about the five-star freshmen? Oklahoma 2023 class consisted of three five-star recruits — QB Jackson Arnold, DL PJ Adebawore and safety Peyton Bowen. Venables has alluded to Arnold getting more than just mop-up duty this season, so I think we’re all itching to see how he’s utilized on meaningful snaps. Meanwhile, Adebawore quite possibly has the highest upside of any freshman in the country this season. He’s part of a relatively deep position group, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t show flashes of brilliance by the time conference play commences. Finally, there’s Bowen, who gave us both the most interesting Signing Day saga and best highlight of this year’s spring game. Like Adebawore, he’s lumped in with some experienced vets, but he should get plenty of reps this week.


Oklahoma’s offensive line usually takes a few weeks to start flexing its muscles, but I think OU’s defense makes a statement out of the gate.

Oklahoma 52, Arkansas State 3