The Return of Austin Kendall:
1958 was the year and Charles “Bud” Wilkinson and Arthur “Pappy” Lewis were the two coaches in the initial matchup between Oklahoma and West Virginia. The game was played on September 27th in Norman, Oklahoma. The Mountaineers were ranked 13th, while the Sooners were number 2 to begin the season. A thrashing ensued that day, as OU defeated WVU 47-14.
Fast forward to 2019.
The Sooners come into the matchup ranked in the top five and a record of 6-0. The Mountaineers arrive in Norman with a 3-3 record and losing two in-a-row. The obvious headline is the return of former Sooner QB, Austin Kendall.
First year head coach Neal Brown has ruled Kendall as questionable for the game. During last week’s game against the Cyclones, Austin left with an apparent upper body injury and did not return. If Kendall is not able to go, the Sooners will see the likes of the former Miami Hurricane transfer, Jack Allison.
Kendall has had a rocky start to the year completing 66% of his passing and throwing for nine touchdowns versus seven interceptions. The Sooner defense harassed Sam Ehlinger last week and ended the game with nine sacks. Can we expect a repeat performance? Juices will be flowing as the Sooners and Mountaineers always seem to be chippy.
The OU offense will look to clean up some mistakes from last week. Converting in the red- zone, limiting turnovers, and getting the running backs going will be the keys to look for throughout the game. If everything goes as expected, Jalen may not play in the second half while Tanner Mordecai and Spencer Rattler may see some significant playing time. Will we see more of Trey Sermon or has he fallen down the depth chart behind Stevenson and Brooks?
The Sooners and Mountaineers kick off this Saturday at 11am on ABC.
- Austin Wood
Photo copyright The Athletic