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Lincoln Riley Brings Offensive Firepower to USC

Lincoln Riley has a top-notch offense he’s bringing to Los Angeles and the Trojans.

LOS ANGELES - With a great track record of coaching offense, Lincoln Riley comes to Southern California to be the Head Coach of a program that surprisingly went through stretches of games that it struggled on that side of the football of late.

Considering what Coach Riley did for the Sooners, it’s not surprising that the Southern California administrators wanted him in Los Angeles to change that trend.

After watching the Sooners average 45.1 points per game in 2017, then 48.4 (2018), 42.1 (2019), 43.0 (2020) and 38.4 (2021), it’s safe to say that Coach Riley is one of the best offensive minds in the college game, and the people in charge of hiring knew it.

Here are some other unique and impressive statistics under Coach Riley’s watch.

In 2017, the Sooners averaged 579.6 yards of total offense per game, good for No. 1 in the nation. 2018 came around, and Oklahoma repeated as the top offensive yards per game team with 570.3 yards per game. Even after losing several really good players after 2017 and 2018, Oklahoma kept scoring.

In 2019, Oklahoma gained 537.6 yards per game, allowing for the 3rd best offensive unit in the country. 2020 came and went with the Sooners at 494.7 yards per game, good for No. 11 in the nation. This season, Oklahoma came in at 440.6 yards per game, the 31st offensive yards per game team in the land.

Of course Coach Riley is well known for coaching quarterbacks, and that’s a prime reason why the above teams did so well.

The back-to-back winners in 2017 and 2018 were both Oklahoma quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Now Mayfield plays for the Cleveland Browns and Murray is the top signal caller for the Arizona Cardinals. Both were also the top pick in the NFL Draft, Mayfield in 2018 and Murray in 2019.

Mayfield had 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2017. Plus, he ran for 311 yards and five touchdowns.

Not to be outdone, Murray threw for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. His 2018 rushing statistics are stunning for a quarterback, with 1,001 yards and 12 scores.

The passing totals for 2017 are impressive, with the Sooners accumulating 361.8 passing yards per game, good for No. 3 nationally. 2018 is another great passing performance, with Oklahoma at 322.9 yards per game, the 7th best passing team in the nation.

The offensive statistics just keep on coming, too, as the Sooners also run the football well.

Take the 2018 season, where Oklahoma averaged 247.4 yards on the ground, and scored 42 rushing touchdowns to boot. If a person looks at Murray in 2018 and says that is a major reason why, okay. Take a look at 2019 then.

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The Sooners averaged 240.2 yards per game, which was 14th in the nation, and they scored 38 times on the ground. 2020 is the second lowest total for Oklahoma with 179.7 yards per game on the ground, 49th in the country. 2021 was just below the prior season’s rushing total, with 175.3 yards per game, good for the No. 55 spot in the nation.

Of course the Sooners had talented running backs carrying the football, with one particular player really doing well the past three seasons.

Kennedy Brooks ran for 1,056 yards, 8.9 average, and 12 touchdowns as a true freshman for the Sooners in 2018. The next season saw Brooks with 1,011 yards, 6.5 average, and six touchdowns in 2020. This season, Brooks ran for 1,111 yards, a 6.0 average, and 10 touchdowns. He’s likely off to the NFL after this season.

Let us not forget about the wide receiver position.

How about Ceedee Lamb? The now wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys was a stud for Oklahoma. In 2019 alone, Lamb caught 62 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was the 17th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cowboys.

For the 2021 season, the top three wide receivers for the Sooners combined for 101 catches, 1,428 yards and 12 touchdowns. So, the Sooners can spread around the wealth as well.

The statistics could just keep on coming for just about as long as one wants to dig into the Oklahoma offensive numbers. Keep in mind, he was the Offensive Coordinator for the Sooners during the 2015 and 2016 seasons before taking over for former Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops in 2017.

Did not even go into those numbers, and they are also impressive.

Know that in the end, Coach Riley will bring a very balanced and explosive style of offense to California for the Men of Troy.

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