Joe Mixon touched down on the University of Oklahoma’s campus in 2014. With that came a lot of expectations from him, although he was fresh out of high school and still very immature. Shortly after his arrival, this highly anticipated presence became an enemy to some Sooner fans and many people nationally due to him hitting a female student and breaking multiple bones in her face in an altercation between the two at Campus Corner.
After dealing with the consequences of his actions (having to sit his entire freshman year), Mixon has become a star and a crowd favorite. It appears like he may be the best player on this Sooner team that seems to simply lack an abundance of talent this 2016-2017 season. He’s simply been the shining star on this team thus far and often times appears like a potential leader on a team that’s in desperate need of leadership.
Head coach Bob Stoops mentions how Mixon’s largest area of growth has been on the field.
“He’s really matured well,” Stoops said. “He’s been an excellent student. He’s never on the list for anything. He does everything you want him to do and been a great teammate. All of it. In the locker room, he’s one of the more popular guys because he’s a friend to everybody.”
His growth has been obvious. Last season was his first season playing for the Sooners and he was labelled as one of the best all-around players in the conference, but this year he’s even better than that. His ability to mix speed and agility, with his 6-foot-1, 226-pound frame and hands of a wide receiver, but the powerful running style of a running back makes him a legitimate dual threat.
Oklahoma hasn’t looked good, at all. But Mixon has shown some dominance and a little promise for the rest of the season in a conference that seems to not be able to play any defense. Against Louisiana-Monroe, he ran for 117 yards and the following week he may have been the only positive aspect of the Sooners’ game against Ohio State with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown along with 78 yards on the ground on only nine carries (8.6 yards per carry).
Looking forward, Oklahoma has a bye week following the Ohio State nightmare, which means coach Stoops has some time to really get things in order and change what needs to be changed. Mixon will and should be used even more, as he may be Oklahoma’s best running back and wide receiver this year. Thus far, Mixon averages 8.1 yards per carry and 13.1 yards per catch, which happens to be better than many Oklahoma receivers. Definitely placing Mixon as one of the top two or three receivers for the Sooners.
After a (1-2) start, the Sooners need improvement. Although the defense may not be great this season, it can improve. And on the back on Baker Mayfield and Joe Mixon, the offense will beat most of the lackluster defenses in the Big 12.