Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Defense is upset
The Sooners had the second-best defense in the Big 12 last year statistically, but that sure isn't saying much, especially when they gave up more than 400 total yards six times. The players have heard about the poor performances and are getting fed up, according to defensive coordinator Mike Stoops..
I think our players are excited and, you know, they want redemption. They don’t feel good about what happened. We’re tired of hearing about what happened a year ago. We understand what happened. That’s gone forever, and I’ll be surprised if they don’t come back with a vengeance in those games and take it personal. And I hope they do. Again, we’re tired of hearing about it. Now, it’s time to do something about it. (Via Joey Helmer of Scout.com)
Justin Brown fitting in
Oklahoma landed one of Penn State's best offensive players in wide receiver Justin Brown, who decided to transfer due the sanctions handed down by the NCAA. Brown is coming from an offense that liked to run the ball more than the pass, but he will likely end up at slot receiver in the Sooners offense, making him a top target heading into 2012. He told Jason Kersey of NewsOK.com:
Usually a 6'3'', 212 guy is an outside receiver....But being in the slot, it gives me a good opportunity to get certain matchups against linebackers and safeties. And just helps me become an all-around receiver.
Brown played three seasons for the Nittany Lions and had 73 receptions for more than 1,000 yards and three touchdowns.
Offensive line okay?
With all of the injuries to the Sooners offensive line, you are wondering if this team should just pack up the season and hope for better luck next season. As it currently stands, the Sooners will likely begin the season with four offensive linemen who have five career starts or less.
Guard Tyler Evans will miss the season with a knee injury, center Ben Habern quit the sport after suffering a back injury, and John Michael McGee tweeted that he is likely giving up the sport of football.
Still, with everything going on, the Sooners are confident that the offensive line will be alright.
"I'll put it on record. I'll say it. I'll vouch for us," said Bronson Irwin, Evans' replacement at right guard. "I feel like we're going to be really good." (Via Guerin Eming of tulsaworld.com)
Offensive line coach James Patton says that the backup offensive linemen are looking at this as a positive.
"It's an opportunity for the next guy. That's how we've got to approach it," Patton said. "The guys are good with that. They understand. They're competitive. They want to play."