Players to Watch: Oklahoma

Peter Sblendorio

Sophomore QB Trevor Knight

Coming off an impressive performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season, Knight entered 2014 with enormous expectations. He’s mostly failed to live up to the hype so far, completing just 54.5 percent of his passes with five touchdown passes and five interceptions in his first five games. Still, he’s proven to be capable of making big plays with both his arm and legs. He’s passed for at least 200 yards in every game so far, and his 130 rushing yards rank fourth among Big 12 quarterbacks. He struggled greatly last week against TCU, though, and he could have some issues moving the ball against Texas’ impressive defense.

Freshman RB Samaje Perine

Of all the weapons on Oklahoma’s roster, Perine has made the biggest impact so far. The true freshman leads the Big 12 with 506 rushing yards, and his eight touchdowns on the ground are tied for the most in the conference. He’s been especially impressive in his two games against conference opponents, in which he’s combined for 329 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Perine, who started the season as the third string running back, has seen has role grow considerably since the start of the season. He’s recorded at least 25 carries each of the last two weeks, and he’s likely to receive a similar workload against the Longhorns this weekend.

Junior WR Sterling Shepard

In his first five games, Shepard has already set a career-high with 651 receiving yards, and he figures to be on his way to setting more personal-bests. Shepard continues to establish himself as one of the premier big-play threats in the Big 12, as his 21.7 yards per catch rank second in the conference. He is coming off of a career-high 215 receiving yards against TCU last week, and he’ll look to continue his red-hot play this week against a solid Longhorns secondary.

Senior CB Julian Wilson

Wilson has thrived since moving from nickelback to cornerback this season to replace two-time All Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin. The senior leads the Sooners with seven pass breakups and eight passes defended through five games, while racking up 19 tackles in the secondary. In addition, Wilson showed his big-play ability when he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown last month against Tennessee. At 6-foot-2, 201 pounds, he’s likely the Sooner’s most versatile defensive back, as he’s shown an ability to line up cornerback, nickelback and safety throughout his career.