The Unknown

Will Drew Allen or Blake Bell be the backup?

NORMAN, Okla. — Spring ball answered a lot, but it didn't answer everything. Sooners Illustrated breaks down the few remaining mysteries about this team heading out of spring and into summer and fall camp.

1. Who is the backup quarterback? Everyone knows the amount of stock that can be placed on the Spring Game. Sometimes too much emphasis is placed on performances in the annual scrimmage, but it's hard to ignore Blake Bell's 14-for-19, 179-yard outing which featured a beautiful touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaz Reynolds. People have questioned him for his inability to make throws when, in all reality, the playbook hasn't opened up for him. He showed his ability to make some of those throws over the weekend. Still, the more veteran Drew Allen has made progress as well and while his numbers, 10-of-18 for 72 yards, weren't nearly as gaudy, he's still the more experienced of the two. Allen certainly has the poise and leadership to step in as a viable option should starter Landry Jones go down. Coaches made it fairly clear last year he was the No. 2 guy. But this time around they are calling it an open competition for that spot coming out of spring. Production Saturday calls for Bell to be the backup; history lends it to Allen.

2. How healthy and stout will the defensive line return? It's hard to gauge too much off the defensive line just for the simple fact of how many injuries they dealt with this spring. Defensive tackle Casey Walker missed spring after his shoulder setback, defensive tackle Stacy McGee was also out and defensive end R.J. Washington missed the spring game. Couple that with fellow defensive end Geneo Grissom's foot injury, and they were missing some key cogs they'll need next year. But one thing it did is give some of the younger, more inexperienced guys a chance to see a lot of action. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips excelled and showed some of that in the Red-White game, racking up a couple tackles, including one for loss. Fellow interior D-lineman Damon Williams had a good showing as well, recording a tackle. Defensive end Chuka Ndulue was one of the most talked about defensive linemen throughout March and April and he had one tackle last weekend. But again, how healthy will Grissom and McGee and Walker and Washington return? That answer remains to be seen and is a key one for OU's success up front defensively in 2012.

3. How much will OU utilize fullback Trey Millard? This much we know: Millard will get more touches in 2012. Whether the Sooners hand the ball off to him, swing the ball out to him on screen passes or find other ways to get him involved, he will have his hands on the pigskin. But what remains to be seen is just how extensive OU's utilization of Millard will be. The 6-foot-2, 249-pound bruiser tallied 21 yards on just three carries, while catching a couple of short passes for four yards in the spring game, but displayed his potential all the while on those five touches. The offense figures to be at its best if Millard gets a decent amount of touches, so that will be something to keep an eye on as the fall grows nearer.

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