2013 Oklahoma Spring Football Analysis
Oklahoma Sooners 2013 ...
Head Coach: Bob Stoops
Why To Be Excited Oklahoma went 10-3 last season, went into the final weekend of the season with a shot to win the Big 12 title outright, and were in the mix for an at-large BCS spot, and no one is happy – that’s a good thing. Give Bob Stoops credit for setting the bar higher than merely winning ten games and going to a nice bowl game, and he’s shaking things up with a few new assistants coming aboard to go along with a good base of players to work around. The offensive line loses sure-thing NFL first round draft pick Lane Johnson at right tackle, but JUCO transfer Josiah St. John might be an instant answer to pick up the slack for a front five that gets the other four starters back, not including injured guard Tyler Evans. It’s OU, so the passing game will end up coming around once the quarterback situation is settled, but early on the ground attack should shine with Damien Williams and Brennan Clay working behind the solid line.
| 2013 Schedule|
9/7 West Virginia
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 at Notre Dame
10/12 Texas (in Dallas)
10/19 at Kansas
10/26 Texas Tech
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/9 at Baylor
11/16 Iowa State
11/23 at Kansas State
11/30 OPEN DATE
12/7 at Oklahoma State
Why To Be Grouchy This spring is all about auditioning defensive players for fall camp, because little is likely to be settled by April 13. The defensive front loses most of the key players with linebacker Tom Wort leaving early for the NFL and tackles Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland also done. The biggest his is in the secondary where do-it-all safety Tony Jefferson is gone after doing hitting everything in sight in a terrific junior year. Also, don’t sleep on the importance of the loss of punter Tress Way, who averaged 44.15 yards per boot and did a nice job of working well with the coverage team.
What Needs Working On Yes, the defense loses a ton of talent and plenty of good hitters up front, but the line wasn’t up to its normal snuff against the run, and has a whole, the D failed miserably at consistently generating big plays. OU’s defense came up with a whopping three recovered fumbles on the season and just one over the final seven games. The secondary might have picked off 13 passes, but, outside of a good say against Baylor, it was also roasted by most quarterbacks who could throw a forward pass and chew gum at the same time. The run defense was surprisingly soft over the second half of the season allowing 185 rushing yards or more in six of the final eight games while giving up two touchdowns or more in eight games on the year.
Non-Conference Games: ULM, Tulsa, at Notre Dame
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 10-2
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: ULM, West Virginia, Tulsa, at Notre Dame, TCU, Texas, at Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, at Kansas State
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Baylor, at Oklahoma State
Schedule Analysis: The Sooners have to be on upset alert from the start with Kolton Browning and ULM coming into Gaylord to kick things off, and the fun shootouts don’t stop with a high-powered West Virginia team coming in next to start up the Big 12 season followed up by a date with a dangerous Tulsa squad. That should be enough tune-up time before getting to the meat of the schedule.
OU gets a week off to prepare for a revenge game against Notre Dame, but it’s not crazy to suggest that the date with TCU the week after might turn out to be more challenging. And after all of that – five straight games against almost certain bowl bound teams – the Sooners make the trip to Dallas to face Texas. The schedule eases up a bit with a road game at Kansas and a home affair with Texas Tech before getting a week off, but three of the final four games are on the road going to Baylor and Kansas State – wrapped around a home game against Iowa State – before getting a week off to prepare for Oklahoma State. In all, six of the final nine games are away from Norman.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Sooners have to make sure that Blake Bell can ball. Everyone knows him as the Belldozer, and there isn't a more physical quarterback in America, but if it really is Bell who takes over for Landry Jones, he needs keep the nation's 12th-ranked passing game rolling behind a line that loses tackle Lane Johnson but gets foru starters back. The defense has to be up to Stoops snuff after
finishing last in the Big 12 in tackles for loss and turning in a surprisingly soft season against the run. The three starters lost off the defensive front is a problem, and not having safety Tony Jefferson or linebacker Tom Wort to rely on after they chose to leave early for the next level.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Bob Stoops went big on defensive linemen a few years ago, and now he's restocking the shelves for a few years from now led by Kerrick Hughes out of Dallas, who has the talent to be the next great OU defensive tackle. D.J. Ward and Matt Dimon are terrific end prospects who should soon be key parts of the pass rush, while JUCO transfer Quincy Russell could b used right away. The secondary is getting some help, too, with
four-star corner L.J. Moore on Signing Day to go along with safety Hatari Byrd and corner Stanvon Taylor. Offensively, can Keith Ford become a part of the puzzle early on? He has the talent to make a big impact right out of the box.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 11. That Class Was Heavy On ... Oklahoma isn’t slipping under Bob Stoops, but it’s having to work a bit harder lately to not only bring in the four and five-star types, but keep everyone happy. The Sooners need running back help, and now. Everything was supposed to be set, but Jermie Calhoun, Jonathon Miller, and Brandon Williams all bolted and Dominique Whaley is coming off an injury. The receivers are flocking to Norman with the biggest boost to come when Trey Metoyer, a top recruit last year, is ready to roll after spending a year at the Hargrave Military Academy.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 17. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. It’s more about quality than quantity across the board with some of the nation’s top prospects at most of the key positions. Kendal Thompson isn’t the typical OU star passer, but he has good skills. Brandon Williams might be the nation’s best running back in the 2011 class, and if Trey Metoyer isn’t the No. 1 receiver, he’s in the top three. Defensively, the line is loaded with some special prospects led by 6-5, 300-pound Jordan Phillips for the inside and pass rushing terror Nathan Hughes on the end. Dan Tapko will be a part of the end rotation soon, while Jordan Wade could be a special tackle with a little bit of time in the weight room.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 3. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Offensive talent.
Bob Stoops went after defensive backs last season,
and this year he was out to step up the skill
positions. Blake Bell will sit and wait his turn at
quarterback with Landry Jones the likely starter for
the next few seasons, but when it's his time, he
should become a star. Brennan Clay and Roy Finch are
runners who can fly, and Kenny Stills and Justin
McCay lead an all-star cast of receivers who should
bring in more firepower in the next few seasons.
Defensively, OU came up with a big early story on
Signing Day getting top linebacker Corey Nelson to
change his commitment from Texas A&M. The Nelson
signing overshadowed the addition of Tony Jefferson,
a speedy outside linebacker from California who
could've gone anywhere and played running back if he
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 8. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive backs. Everyone in the Big 12 went heavy on the secondary, seeing it as a must after the offensive explosion of this year, but Oklahoma got the best ones of the bunch. Gabe Lynn might be the nation’s best corner, and Marcus Trice isn’t all that far behind. Javon Harris and Kevin Brent will be starting safeties by 2011, while Demontre Hurst and Marshall Musil are interesting prospects.