The Oklahoma Sooners fell just short of winning a National Championship last year, and this year, they return the same nucleus. Sam Bradford, the reigning Heisan trophy winner, returned to college to lead this team back to the BCS National Championship game.
In this article, I will preview the Oklahoma Sooners offense, defense, and special teams. I will also breakdown their schedule, and look at their top challenges in the Big 12.
The Oklahoma Sooners offense performed above expectations last season, and this season, with a few key player losses, the Sooners will have to show they can remain a top team in college football.
Oklahoma is led by quarterback Sam Bradford. He is now a junior, and has even more experience than a year ago. Bradford is the reigning Heisman trophy winner, and could certainly win it again this season. The offense starts with Bradford, because he is the one that makes the plays happen.
First, he must be protected by his offensive line to give him time in the pocket. The offensive line is led by Trent Williams, but otherwise, this offensive line lost a lot of starters. The new members of this season's offensive line must step up, and let Bradford know that they have his back. Trent Williams must also be a leader for this young offensive line.
Second, the running game must perform well to take pressure off Bradford throwing the ball. The Sooners return DeMarco Murray, and Chris Brown who played well last season. This season, they must do the same.
Lastly, the wide receivers need to come out big. They lost most of their big recievers, but still have Jermaine Gresham at tight end. He was a big target for Bradford last season, and must do the same this season. At receiver, Ryan Broyles, Mossis Madu, Jameel Owens, Adron Tennell, Brandon Caleb, and Dejuan Miller are all young, but must prove to be big targets for Bradford. Broyles is the no.1 receiver this season, and he is a sophomore for the Sooners this season.
The Sooners defense is led by Gerald McCoy, but the Sooners also return a eight other players on defense. Other top players are linebacker Ryan Reynolds, cornerback Dominique Franks, linebacker Travis Lewis, and defensive end Jeremy Beal. All are either juniors or seniors. The Sooners linebackers and defensive line could be special, and scary this season.
Last season, according to Scout.com, the Oklahoma defensive line had 42 tackles, and 106 tackles for a loss. That makes it hard for teams to run on the Sooners. This defense also had 42 sacks for 292 yards last season. The Sooners defense must stop opponents from scoring, and let the offense win games. They have to remember defense wins championships. Their secondary must also perform well, and not give up big pass plays or touchdowns.
2009 Oklahoma Sooners scheadule:
9/12 Idaho State
10/3 at Miami
10/24 at Kansas
10/31 Kansas State
11/14 Texas A&M
11/21 at Texas Tech
11/28 Oklahoma State
BYU could provide a test for Oklahoma, just because of Max Hall. This game could be a high-scoring affair, and a tough game for Oklahoma.
Miami is the next big test, because they have good players on both sides of the football that could create some trouble for the Soooners.
Texas is the most lethal team on this schedule. They lost to Texas last season, and Texas could be better this season. They still have Colt McCoy, and a good team that wants revenge on the BCS. The Sooners must beat Texas to be in the race for a national championship.
Kansas is their next big opponent. Todd Reesing is still quarterback. This could be a high scoring affair, and game that hinges on the defense to keep Kansas from scoring.
Nebraska could be tough this season. They are picked to win the Big 12 North, and could win 10 or 11 games. Bo Pelini has this team on the right direction now.
Oklahoma State is again a tough team, and it starts with quarterback Zac Robinson. He is a quarterback on the rise, and their offense is pretty good.
In the Big 12, Texas will be their biggest challenge this season, but don't count out teams like Oklahoma State in this conference.
Prediction: I see the Sooners only losing to Texas this season, but who knows. If the offensive line is as good as it was last season when the go to Dallas to play Texas, look out Texas. This team is loaded with talent, and isn't afraid to score points. I see this team in the BCS once again, but it all depends on if they beat Texas. If they do, they will be in the national championship game, again.
Now, sit back and relax, and watch the Oklahoma Sooners and the rest of college football this season.