Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oklahoma Football Spring Outlook

Oklahoma Football Spring Outlook

In the Rearview Mirror
Oklahoma finished the 2005 campaign strong, winning 6 of their last seven games to compile an 8-4 record overall. A very young team and the a schedule that was the most difficult in college football is part of the reason for the drop off. They also fought injuries to key personnel including RB Adrian Peterson.

Looking to the Future
The Sooners have 26 players back from last year that have starting experience, including standout RB Adrian Peterson and QB Rhett Bomar. On Defense, OU returns their leading tackler, Rufus Alexander and leading sacker Calvin Thibodeaux. The Sooners will once again be a dominant team in the Big 12 and should battle Texas to represent the South in the Big 12 Championship game.

Biggest Questions for 2006
Offense: Offensive Line – The Sooners only have one starter returning from last years team, RT Chris Messner. OU does have several players with starting experience
Defense: Defensive Line – OU’s defense is looking pretty stout heading into this year. The loss of Dusty Dvoracek will be a big hole to fill in the front four.
Special Teams: Punter – Coby Freeby was booted off the team earlier this week which means OU will have a new punter for the 2006 season. Freeby had a solid year last year averaging 42.3 yards per punt. He also was the holder on Place Kicks. This combined with the loss of Long Snapper Jacob Rice will be an area of concern for Coach Bob Stoops.

Team Strength in 2006
Offense: Running Back – Adrian Peterson missed most of 4 games last year battling an ankle injury and still managed to gain over 1200 yards and average 5.0 YPC. If the Offensive line can reload, Peterson should be back to his Freshman form when he finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Defense: Defensive Backs – Oklahoma was very young in the Secondary in 2005 and has a lot of players with experience returning. This from a group that in Big 12 games last year ranked #1 in Completion Percentage Defense, #2 in Passing Efficiency Defense and #3 in Passing Yardage.
Special Teams: Kicker – Garrett Hartley handled all the kicking duties last year and he has a strong leg. More then half of his kick-offs went for Touchbacks and he was 14-22 on Field Goals, including a 52 yarder against Texas.

Schedule
Sep 02 UAB Norman
Sep 09 Washington Norman
Sep 16 Oregon at Eugene, Ore.
Sep 23 Middle Tenn Norman
Oct 07 Texas at Dallas, Texas
Oct 14 Iowa State Norman
Oct 21 Colorado Norman
Oct 28 Missouri at Columbia, Mo.
Nov 04 Texas A&M at College Station, Texas
Nov 11 Texas Tech Norman
Nov 18 Baylor at Waco, Texas
Nov 25 Oklahoma St at Stillwater, Okla.

2006 is Successful if…
The Offensive Line can reload and fill the holes from last year.

2006 is a Failure if…
They lose to Texas.

1 comment:

dolphinfan said...

I think the Sooners will be much improved from last season. The will still be young but more experienced that last season. The offensive line is ahead of where they were this time last year as well.

The one thing that really scares me is that four of the last five games are on the road.