By Michael Bradley &
2007 OU Offense Preview |
2007 OU Defense Preview
2007 OU Depth Chart
2006 CFN Oklahoma
Has any team
ever had a more bizarre year than the 2006 Oklahoma Sooners? Has
anyone ever had so much success, with almost no one remembering it?
The program withstood the late-summer revelation that quarterback
Rhett Bomar had been on a no-show job plan, had to deal with the
soap opera that was the blown call on a late onside kick in a loss
to Oregon, and will forever be known as the team that lost to Boise
State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Head coach: Bob Stoops
9th year: 86-19
Off. 25, Def. 20, ST 5
Lettermen Lost: 10
Best Sooner Players
1. WR Malcolm Kelly, Jr.
2. CB Reggie Smith, Jr.
3. OG George Robinson, Jr.
4. FS Nic Harris, Jr.
5. DT DeMarcus Granger, Soph.
6. C Jon Cooper, Jr.
7. CB Marcus Walker, Sr.
8. RB Allen Patrick, Sr.
9. RB DeMarco Murray, RFr.
10. PK Garrett Hartley, Sr.
CFN Prediction: 10-2
at Iowa State
at Texas Tech
2006 Record: 11-3
Preview 2006 predicted wins
vs. Texas L 28-10
at Missouri W 26-10
at Texas A&M
at Oklahoma St
Big 12 Championship
Nebraska W 21-7
Boise State L 43-42 OT
yeah, and it won the Big 12 title.
If an 11-3 record and a BCS berth is a bad season, there are roughly 110
other teams that would love a similar misfortune.
However, OU plays for national titles, but is the program as strong as
it was before losing back-to-back national championship games? Can Bob
Stoops, who didn’t run off to coach the Cowboys, Alabama or anyone else,
as many feared, get the Sooners back on top? The answer lies under
center, where it has for a while in Norman.
Two years ago, Bomar had to suffer through his apprenticeship. In 2006,
Paul Thompson returned to the quarterback spot and acquitted himself
fairly well. Now, it’s up to Sam Bradford, Joey Halzle and Keith Nichol
to lead a loaded offense, with the winner of the job to be under the
microscope all season long. But for a program that went through last
year’s adversity, simply finding a quarterback is a walk in the park.
Adrian Peterson may be in the NFL, but there are enough good backs
around to tempt Stoops to go back to the wishbone. The offensive line
returns four starters and plugs massive (6-8, 350) JC newcomer Phil
Loadholt into the left tackle spot. Wideout Malcolm Kelly is an
All-America candidate, and there’s good depth behind him. The defensive
front seven took some hits, but the secondary is going to be excellent,
and reloading is never a problem up front. If the quarterback position
solidifies, and it should, Oklahoma will be right where it wants to be.
Ho hum, it might just be the Big 12 champion once again.
What to look for on
a word, balance. The Sooners are going to look to run and pass in equal
doses, and it would help a lot if Halzle or Bradford or Keith Nichol
came around quickly. OU will be able to run the ball well, thanks to a
great line and plenty of backs, led by Allen Patrick, providing a steady
dose of last year’s formula. Run well, get timely passing, win.
What to look for on
the Sooners can fix their front seven, this could be a highly dangerous
outfit. The question is not only whether the D can stop the run, but
whether it can get pressure on the passer with just the front four. The
Sooners had just 26 sacks in 14 games last year, hardly enough to be
considered imposing, considering they had one of the nation’s most
talented, and deepest, defensive lines.
This team will be much
it improves its passing offense. As effective as Thompson became, the
Sooners were still 70th in the country in passing. Without
Peterson around to bull through eight-man fronts, the Sooner running
attack will stumble at times if Bradford/Halzle/Nichol can’t launch an
effective downfield attack.
It’s far better
than it looks on paper. Considering Miami isn’t Miami and has to
come to Norman, that’s not the non-conference nightmare it would’ve been
a few years ago. The rest of the non-conference schedule is a joke, as
the Sooners play North Texas, Utah State and at Tulsa, which will be
like an OU home game. The one really tough game against the North,
Missouri, is at home, while the only true Big 12 road games are at
Colorado, Iowa State and Texas Tech. A three-game home stretch late in
the year against Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Baylor might seal the
South title, if the Sooners can beat Texas on October 6th.
Best Offensive Player:
Malcolm Kelly. The 6-4, 217-pound junior has to come back from a knee
injury that cost him almost all of the Fiesta Bowl. If he’s back to his
old form, he’ll be one of the Big 12’s best receivers, as he comes off a
62-catch, 993-yard, ten-touchdown season, with three 100-yard games in
his final four before the Boise State loss.
Best Defensive Player:
corner Reggie Smith…or junior safety Nic Harris…or senior corner Marcus
Walker. Smith started out at corner before moving over to strong safety
and now will move back to corner. Wherever he plays, he’s fast enough to
always be around the ball. Harris was mostly a nickel back before
turning into a whale of a free safety late in the year, finishing with
68 tackles, four interceptions and eight broken up passes. At 6-3 and
226 pounds, he’s an intimidating force who can do it all. It took Walker
a few games before he became a starter, but he grew into the role,
finishing with three picks and nine broken up passes. These three form
the bulk of the nation’s best secondary.
Key player to a
Redshirt freshman Sam
Bradford. Along with
junior Joey Halzle
and true freshman Keith Nichol, Bradford was in a battle to replace Paul Thompson.
Even though he'll start the season, he isn’t guaranteed to end it. Nichol is the future star
of the show with the most upside and talent, Halzle has the most
experience in the system, and Nichol has a nice mix of skills to be the
number two man.
The season will be a
... OU wins the Big 12 title again and is in the hunt for the national
title. There are several major issues to worry about, from the
quarterback situation to the defensive line, but the overall talent is
in place to make a run for the whole ball of wax. The schedule works out
well enough for any team worthy of the BCS to get through undefeated or
with one loss at most.
Oct. 6 vs. Texas. The
last time OU lost three in a row to the Longhorns was 1997 through 1999.
Losing to them two years ago was one thing (Texas had Vince Young and a
national title team), but getting beaten 28-10 last year made this year
vital to stop the bleeding. The momentum in the series has to turn back
OU’s way in what should, once again, be the game to decide the South
2006 Fun Stats:
- Third quarter scoring: Oklahoma 119; Opponents 47
- Fumbles: Oklahoma 33 (lost 22); Opponents 23 (lost 14)
- Rushing yards per game: Oklahoma 177.1; Opponents 98.7