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Update: April 15
Oklahoma held its spring game last weekend and the highlight appeared to be quarterback Blake Bell. The projected starting quarterback completed 14 of 23 passes, threw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also didn't turn the ball over.
According to Jake Trotter of ESPN, Bell was satisfied with his performance.
"I missed a couple throws," Bell said, "But overall, I thought I made some good plays, and was pretty accurate with the ball."
As for head coach Bob Stoops, he was also pleased with the overall performance of the spring game according to James Hale of 247Sports.
“I was just pleased overall with the overall play of everybody, and most of all I was pleased that nobody got hurt,” said OU Head Football Coach Bob Stoops following the game. “You saw guys early at every position, and on either side of the ball making some good plays. I didn’t see many foolish or really bad plays other than the one turnover (that led to a defensive touchdown).
“Anyway I was pleased with it and I guess from here we will evaluate this with the players, and we have one more non-padded practice on Tuesday. We will kind of go back and look at some of the mistakes here and some of the things that we need to correct and work on. Then will have our last practice heading into our coaches getting out recruiting, and our players finishing up with lifting and finals, and then they will get a little bit of a break. Overall I was really pleased with the overall play.”
Update: March 18
In one of the more surprising moves during the offseason, fullback Trey Millard decided he was going to return for his senior year. Recently asked if he regrets the decision, the playmaker told Jason Kersey of NewsOk that he is happy to remain a Sooner for one more year.
“No, not at all,” Millard said. “Whenever I made my decision, it was stuck right then. You've gotta live with the decisions you make. That was my choice, and I did it by myself, so I'm confident with it.”
As for the wide receiver position that took a hit due to players leaving early and transfers, the team is now looking to Sterling Shepard to become that big play threat. Shepard told Mike DellaVecchio of 247Sports that he will line up all over the field this season, and he believes that the team still has some valuable pieces to fill in the void.
Yea, I have been told that I will be playing both inside and outside this year so I am just going to prepare hard and work hard this summer to get ready for that challenge. We have so many guys that can play anywhere and then you have the new guys coming in and Dannon (Cavil) is already here and he is a big, physical guy (6-5, 205) so we definitely have some playmakers out there.
Oklahoma will need all of the help it can get with a new quarterback stepping in.
Update: March 15
This offseason is looking very similar to last years. With the injuries piling up, the Sooners are once again undermanned on the offensive line. This time the bug has hit senior guard Tyler Evans, who according to ESPN, has once again torn his ACL, which will not only end the upcoming season, but likely his football career.
Evans was one of the more experienced linemen on the roster and was expected to rejoin the team later in the spring as he was already recovering from an injury he suffered last year.
Update: March 11
Last season the Oklahoma Sooners could not avoid the injury bug for anything. With spring practice just underway, the offensive line still can't shake it, as it appears starting center Gabe Ikard has injured his hand.
Sources have told Jake Trotter of ESPN that the team believes the hand may be broken, but would like to confirm the details with an X-ray. If the hand is in fact broken Ikard will miss the remainder of spring practice and backup Ty Darlington will earn the remainder of the reps with the first team.
Update: March 8
Along with seeing a bunch of new faces on the defensive side of the ball, Bob Stoops and his coaching staff will play with different looks as well. One of the experiments will be with the defensive line, as there will be plenty of looks in a 50 defense, according to Eric Bailey of Tulsa World.
There’s been a lot talked about going to a 50 front. Stoops said. That’s something we have done in the past and it’s something we’ll do some in the spring, but we won’t do it solely. We’ll still be in our four-man front as well and we’ll work some different guys in the rotation there inside.
With essentially five defensive linemen and two linebackers, this should really help fix a run defense that ranked ninth in the Big 12 a year ago. While this won't be the Sooners base defense, the idea to play with this new look came when seeing many of the defensive players add on a few pounds during the offseason.
We’ve got some of those other defensive ends that have beefed up now and some are 260, 265 and we have some other bigger guys we can rotate in there. Stoops said. That’s something we’re going to experiment with when we start practicing.
Also, if you are looking for a brief injury update before practice officially beings, Bailey of Tulsa World has provided that as well.
OL Tyler Evans (ACL) has been cleared for the spring; OL Nila Kasitati (ACL) is out; TE Taylor McNamara (shoulder) will miss week one, but should be back after spring break; Aaron Ripkowski (wrist) will miss spring; OL Adam Shead (back) and Bronson Irwin (back) will practice.
In other news, according to KJRH, this season's matchup against the Baylor Bears will in fact be televised nationally either on ESPN or FOX.