One way OU can help its cause against undefeated Texas Tech is to come out strong early. Bad starts…
Back when camp opened Sooners Illustrated posed five questions Oklahoma had to answer on both offense and defense.
Now it's time to revisit those questions, starting with offense.
Then: When will the starting quarterback be named?
Now: After a two-game stint with redshirt freshman Trevor Knight, junior Blake Bell has been the starter for the last six games. Neither Knight nor Bell have set the world on fire, but the Sooners are 7-1 overall, 4-1 in the Big 12 and No. 10 in the BCS. Back then proposed the idea of multiple quarterbacks playing since they all brought about different skill sets. That hasn't materialized, and it sure looks like Bob Stoops and Josh Heupel are going to ride with Bell the rest of the way.
Then: How good can the offensive line be?
Now: Dang good, apparently. OU is averaging 234 yards per game on the ground. And when OU has needed to put games away on the ground, the line and the versatile set of running backs have come through. OU has effectively chewed up the clock in wins at Notre Dame, vs. TCU, at Kansas and last week against previously undefeated Texas Tech. Senior Gabe Ikard has led the way, while OU has also been lucky to avoid the injury bug. Still not sure how deep the line is, but it hasn't needed to be at this point. The physicality Bill Bedenbaugh wanted to bring to the table has happened.
Then: How big of a role will tight ends play?
Now: Umm, not much. And certainly no role at all in the passing game. Senior tight end Brannon Green has been used effectively as a blocker. With a season-ending injury to Trey Millard, the last third of the season should see Green play an even bigger role. Will that result in anything in the passing game? Remains to be seen.
Then: Who will emerge at running back?
Now: Nobody has, and that's not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. At times, the Sooners have relied on all three senior running backs. One game it's Brennan Clay. Another game it's Damien Williams. Then Roy Finch has been sprinkled in. They all contribute in positive ways. Clay leads the team with 538 yards. Williams has added 412 yards and a team-high five rushing scores. OU is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, cannot ask for much more than that.
Then: Is this the year for Trey Metoyer?
Now: A resounding no. Metoyer was a factor in the first two games but disappeared after that. OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said earlier this month Metoyer was taking a leave of absence. That changed into an indefinite suspension from Stoops a week later after Metoyer was charged with two felony counts of indecent exposure. Instead it has been LaColtan Bester with the breakout season. He has 14 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown. He has rushed for a 35-yard score and thrown for a 49-yard touchdown. No idea what will happen with Metoyer, but the Sooners have bounced back fine and found other options.