Leading into the 2009 season, the biggest question for Oklahoma's offense is who will start on the Sooners' offensive line.
With Trent Williams being the only starter from the 2008 BCS Championship game returning, who will be there to help protect the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford?
Oklahoma does not have a playing time experience question, what they have is a unit question when it comes to the o-line.
If there is a problem when it comes to the line, it is a problem that will be fixed with more starts as a unit, not personnel.
When Oklahoma travels to Dallas to play BYU, the offensive line will most likely look like this:
Senior Trent Williams will be the starter at left tackle.
Williams has started 26 games as a Sooner over the last three seasons. He was named to the Sporting News All-Freshman team in 2006 after starting the final six games of the season. In 2008, he was named to the All-Big 12 first team by the coaches.
Senior Brian Simmons will most likely be starting at left guard. Simmons has played in 35 games with four starts. He has taken over 500 snaps as a guard for the Sooners, totaling over 131 knockdown blocks.
At the center, redshirt freshman Ben Habern should be named the starter. Habern received a medical redshirt last year after suffering an ankle injury against Baylor. He played in three games (including the Baylor game) before the injury and recorded nine knockdown blocks in nine plays against Baylor.
Sophomore Stephen Good will most likely be the starting right guard. Good saw action in four games last season. His best game came against Nebraska recording four knockdown blocks. Good was rated the No. 29 player overall by Rivals.com coming out of high school.
At right tackle, look for junior Cory Brandon to get the nod as the starter. Brandon has saw action in a total of 17 games. In his career as a backup, he has recorded over 20 knockdown blocks.
This unit has the potential to be better than a year ago. All they need is time to jell and more work as a unit.
With the potential offensive line starters out of the way, the rest of the offense looks much like it did a season ago, minus the receivers.
Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner will return as the starting quarterback. With two seasons under his belt, Oklahoma should be adding more plays and giving Bradford more responsibility when it comes to audibles. He has been nothing less than spectacular as a starter, finishing both seasons as the No. 1 rated passer in the nation.
The starting running backs will be the same. Oklahoma returns two 1,000-yard rushers in DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown. However, they also have the benefit of Mossis Madu and Jermie Calhoun to give them both much needed rest if the need arises.
Matt Clapp will be the fullback. Clapp is an exceptional blocker and can catch out of the backfield.
Ryan Broyles and Adron Tennell will most likely be the wide receivers. The split end will most likely feature Mossis Madu along with Jameel Owens.
The tight ends will be Preseason All-American Jermaine Gresham along with Brody Eldridge. Eldridge took snaps as a center earlier in the week, while the backup center sat out due to a minor injury. He is also heralded as the best blocker on the team.
In 2008, Oklahoma ran a hurry up, fast-paced offense. This led to more points and more plays for their offense. Look for Oklahoma to run much of the same in 2009.
Not many programs have the versatility that Oklahoma does.
When in the hurry up offense, Oklahoma does not need to substitute its personnel. This leads to defenses being unable to substitute as well as wearing down the opponent.
If Oklahoma can shore up its offensive line and give Sam Bradford four to five seconds a snap, look for the 2009 Oklahoma team to replicate its record-breaking offense from a season ago, and repeat once again as the Big 12 Champions, earning a potential trip to the BCS Championship game in Pasadena.
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