Oklahoma football schedule for Brent Venables’ first season as head coach will have a favorable opening with tough tests late.
The Oklahoma Sooners are heading into the 2022 season with a slew of unknowns to sort through.
The ones like who will replace departing starters like key defender Nik Bonitto and running back Kennedy Brooks were expected.
Ending up with a whole new coaching staff and losing quarterback Caleb Williams to the transfer portal were not.
The good news for head coach Brent Venables is he’s getting a favorable schedule to settle into his first gig running a program from the top with reinforcements like Dillon Gabriel arriving in the transfer portal to help him on his way.
Oklahoma football schedule: Game-by-game predictions for 2022
- Sept. 3 vs. UTEP — WIN (1-0)
- Sept. 10 vs. Kent State — WIN (2-0)
- Sept. 17 at Nebraska — WIN (3-0)
- Sept. 24 vs. Kansas State — WIN (4-0)
- Oct. 1 at TCU — WIN (5-0)
- Oct. 8 vs. Texas — WIN (6-0)
- Oct. 15 vs. Kansas — WIN (7-0)
- Oct. 27 at Iowa State — LOSS (7-1)
- Nov. 5 vs. Baylor — LOSS (7-2)
- Nov. 12 at West Virginia — WIN (8-2)
- Nov. 19 vs. Oklahoma State — LOSS (8-3)
- Nov. 26 at Texas Tech — WIN (9-3)
Out-of-conference matchups with UTEP and Kent State will be a good way for Venables and the Sooners to get their feet wet before a road trip to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers won’t roll over for Oklahoma at home but the trip should still end in a victory.
The next stretch of four games is tricky but winnable. The Wildcats were 8-5 in 2021 and gave Oklahoma a game. This time they’ll have to come to Norman. TCU will have new coach Sonny Dykes in place so the offensive and defensive chess match between head coaches could be fascinating. Kansas shouldn’t pose a problem.
Texas is Texas and the Red River Showdown is the Red River Showdown. The Sooners won it in 2021. They can do it again in 2022.
Venables could be looking at a dream start at 7-0, though a loss or two mixed in there would be understandable given the roster and staff turnover.
The last month of the season is a tougher task entirely.
Iowa State won’t have Brock Purdy or Breece Hall, so their threat could be diminished. Still, it’s Ames and Matt Campbell’s team will keep it close at the very least.
Dave Aranda has Baylor on the rise and that defense should be as formidable as ever in 2022. There’s no reason to write the Sooners off in that one, but Aranda has already gone through the growing pains Venables could still be dealing with in Year 1.
West Virginia and Texas Tech should add to Oklahoma’s win total.
The rivalry game against Oklahoma State is another difficult one. The edge goes to the Cowboys given Mike Gundy’s established program.
Patience has to rule in Venables first year. He’ll have to build up the defense in his image while giving new OC Jeff Lebby the time to figure things out without an offense-minded head coach overseeing him.
Oklahoma should have plenty of success but they should be prepared for a couple of missteps here or there.
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