The Sooners are looking to rebound from a so-so 2010 season which was marred by injuries to QB Sam Bradford, tight end Jermaine Gresham, and then had to deal with a rebuilt offensive line. This year big things are expected from Oklahoma from venerable one man wrecking crew known as Phil Steele who has the Sooners number one in his preseason magazine. A pretty far stretch, but Steele has been accurate in his mags on the most part.
Last year QB Landry Jones and his mustache was suppose to sit and learn behind Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, but instead was thrown into action against BYU in the first game. Landry ende up playing in 13 games as Sam Bradford went down for good in the Texas game.
He did set a school record against Tulsa by tossing six touchdowns in a blowout, but Landry had an up and down season that also had him throwing five picks in a 10-3 loss to Nebraska, as well as a five touchdown performance in a romp over Texas A&M.
The Sooners are essentially bring back their entire offense which should mean improvement over last years team. All of the lumps they took last year with players being out should benefit the Sooners this year in their attempt to win the Big XII. The biggest loss who played significant snaps on offense was running back Chris Brown, but even he only managed 774 yards and seven touchdowns.
DeMarco Murray will be the stud at running back as he is back and will take on the full load of running the ball, and with an improved offensive line he should easily improve off of his 680 yard season. Now, with a solid running game with a better offensive line, the passing game should benefit from those aspects plus pre season All-American wide receiver Ryan Broyles.
The defense should be great as always and the Sooners look to have multiple players on the pre season all-conference teams, as well as a few players mentioned in the preseason All-American lists. LB Travis Lewis and DE Jeremy Beal will be the leaders of the defense. Oklahoma's defense was all ready one of the best in the Big XII and will remain that way with a chance to surpass Nebraska and Texas since they each lost high profile players to the draft.
The defense will need to play a disciplined style when they line up against Air Force in early September, because even great defenses have trouble in stopping the triple option.
Overall the Sooners have a legit shot at the Big XII title, but they must get through Nebraska and Texas to reach that goal.
Coach: Bob Stoops
Last season: 8-5 overall, 5-3 in the Big 12. Defeated Stanford 31-27 in the Sun Bowl.
(minimum of six starts)
Offense (10): T Cory Brandon, WR Ryan Broyles, WR Brandon Caleb, G Stephen Good, C Ben Habern, G/T Jarvis Jones, QB Landry Jones, WR Cameron Kenney, WR DeJuan Miller, G Brian Simmons.
Defense (5): E Jeremy Beal, FS Quinton Carter, LB Travis Lewis, SS Sam Proctor, T Adrian Taylor.
Special teams (2): K Patrick O'Hara, P Tress Way.