Five Questions: OU Vs. Chattanooga

Mike Balogun

There are number of questions surrounding his year's team heading in to the first game and many of them will be answered by the time the final whistle sounds on Saturday evening at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

1. How will Mike Balogun play at the "Will"?

When Austin Box went down with a knee injury it forced JUCO transfer Mike Balogun in to a starting role.

While his play will not be a deciding factor in the outcome of the game his play could answer a lot of questions about the seasonal depth at linebacker, because the Sooners are an injury or two away from possibly being in some real trouble at the position.

Keenan Clayton believes that Balogun is a dependable guy and he will get the job done.

"I have seen a lot from Mike," Clayton said. "There has been a couple of days Mike had a few bad days where he could have gave up on himself, but he showed a lot of maturity to keep fighting and to keep playing and to trying."

"He has came a long way. He knows a lot. I don't have a problem with Mike being on he field beside me, because just watching him in the scrimmages and in practice I can tell you he is one of those guys who will run to the ball every play."

2. Will OU actually be using a lot of no huddle?

After introducing some no huddle back in the Spring the main question surrounding Fall camp has been… How much are you guys working on the no huddle?

If you ask DeMarco Murray he will say that it is not something they are really working on that much in practice. Duke Robinson says it is all they work on in practice. Guys like Sam Bradford and Jon Cooper indicate that they work on it somewhat and it will be part of the offensive plan.

While we do not expect the Sooners to unravel any sophisticated nuances of their offense against Chattanooga (would you?) we may be able to actually get an indication of how much they will implement the no huddle in to their schemes.

3. Will a leader of the defense emerge?

Who will step up and be the leader of the 2008 defense? It seems like there are a number of guys who are emerging as leaders of their positional groups.

Gerald McCoy is a leader on the DLine and was even voted as a captain, Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes both provide some senior leadership in the defensive backfield, and Keenan Clayton and Ryan Reynolds are stepping up at linebacker.

While it is nice to have a number of guys to depend on the great defenses usually have a guy who will step up in big situations and give the rest if the guys someone to look to on critical downs.

4. How much time will the back-ups see?

Conventional wisdom would imply that the back-ups would be able to see a considerable amount of time in this one.

The Sooners have traditionally taken advantage of the early ‘cupcake' type of game scenario by putting up major points, and if they come out hot and heavy and put a ton of points on the board then the back-ups should get some considerable time.

Some guys who would be fun to get a look at: Ryan Broyles, Jermie Calhoun, Jameel Owens, DeJuan Miller, Brian Simmons, Cory Brandon, Stephen Good, Jospeh Ibiloye, Jamell Fleming.

5. How is the kicking game?

Nothing is more frustrating then getting in apposition to win a big game and not have a kicker that you can depend on to nail it down.

This year Jimmy Stevens, who surpassed the national career kicking record by compiling 50 field goals in his career, will get his chance to prove that he can get the job done.

Matt Moreland will be handling the kick-off duties, but should either guy falter then Tress Way, who is known for having a strong leg, will be waiting in the wings to get a chance to prove what he has got.

OU head coach Bob Stoops is confident that Stevens will get the job done.

"Jimmy Stevens has been kicking the ball well," Stoops said.

"He has been really good and consistent and solid, and I have really been pleased with his play. Then there are others guys in Matt Moreland and Tress Way that have a little bit bigger legs than Jimmy, but Jimmy is really good from 50 yards in."

OU will also be replacing the snapper and the holder, so there are some questions on that front as well.

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