FootballScoop is proud to announce that Lincoln Riley is the 2015 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
In less than 12 months on campus, all Riley did was transform Oklahoma's offense, help turn an 8-5 team into a Big 12 champion and College Football Playoff semifinalist, and tutor a former walk-on into becoming a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Starting with his work with Mayfield -- that's where every offense starts, after all -- Riley helped harness the talents of a player that walked on to Oklahoma's roster in the spring and turned him into an instant success. Mayfield hit nearly 70 percent of his throws for almost 12 yards per attempt with three touchdowns and no picks in his first start, then led the crimson and cream to a come-from-behind win at Tennessee in his second.
Mayfield finished the regular season connecting on 68.6 percent of his passes for 9.6 yards per attempt with 35 touchdowns and five interceptions, good enough to finish second nationally in passing efficiency, fourth in Heisman voting and to win the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year award.
Like any effective offense, the Sooners' attack was more than just the quarterback.
The Sooners, charged by sophomore Samaje Perine and redshirt freshman Joe Mixon, rushed for 235 yards per game, 5.21 yards per carry and 31 touchdowns -- all good enough to finish in the top 20 nationally. Most importantly, Oklahoma's running game improved as the season wore on and the Sooners' schedule increased in difficulty. OU pounded out 405 yards and seven touchdowns in a blowout win of Texas Tech, 241 yards and three scores in a season-altering win at Baylor, 333 yards in a win over TCU and, finally, 344 yards and five touchdowns on 8.19 yards per carry in a Big 12 title-clinching blowout at Oklahoma State.
True to his Mike Leach roots, Riley spread the ball around to a number of playmakers throughout the season. Sterling Shepard finished the regular season ranked 13th nationally in receiving with 79 grabs for 1,201 yards and 11 scores, Dede Westbrook earned Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors after snaring 42 receptions for 674 yards and four touchdowns, and receiver Durron Neal and Mixon both caught at least 25 balls as well. Mark Andrews led all Big 12 tight ends with 17 receptions for 286 yards and six touchdowns. On the ground, Perine paced Oklahoma with 211 carries for 1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns, Mixon rushed for 749 yards and seven scores on nearly seven yards per carry, and Mayfield contributed 420 yards and seven additional scores.
As a unit, Oklahoma averaged 45 rushes per game to 33 passes (good for only 57th nationally), a balance that helped the Sooners rank sixth in total offense, eighth in yards per play and third in scoring. OU also ranked seventh nationally with 241 plays of 10 or more yards; with 937 total snaps on the season, one in four (25.7 percent) of Riley's play calls gained at least 10 yards.
In addition to Mayfield and Westbrook's individual honors, eight Sooners earned recognition on All-Big 12 teams.
This fall marked Riley's first season on Stoops' staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Prior to his arrival in Norman, Riley spent five years in a similar capacity at East Carolina, but before that got his start as a student assistant at Texas Tech from 2003-05. Riley was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2007, helping Michael Crabtree win the Biletnikoff Award as college football's top wideout, then moved to inside receivers in 2008-09. He served as the Red Raiders' interim play-caller for the 2009 Alamo Bowl before joining then-Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill at ECU.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Tyson Helton [Western Kentucky], Chip Lindsey [Southern Miss], Seth Littrell [North Carolina], and Riley) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Riley will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January. Riley also won the Broyles Award earlier this month.
Previous winners of the Offensive Coordinator of the Year award are Kevin Wilson (Oklahoma, 2008), Bryan Harsin (Boise State, 2009), Gus Malzahn (Auburn, 2010), Kliff Kingsbury (Houston, 2011 and Texas A&M, 2012), Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2013) and Tom Herman (Ohio State, 2014).
3rd Nationally - Scoring Offense
3rd Nationally - Yards Per Play
3rd Nationally - Touchdowns Per Game
8th Nationally - Yards Per Play
6th Nationally - Total Offense
7th Nationally - Plays of 10+ Yards
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