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Jason Kersey: OU's defensive line, linebackers and offensive linemen are the unknowns for 2012

The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at
by Jason Kersey Modified: August 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm •  Published: August 13, 2012
/articleid/3700589/1/pictures/1773028">Photo - Jason Kersey, OU beat writer
Jason Kersey, OU beat writer

Kass Everett is still there competing for PT, and could definitely earn it. But no, Demontre Hurst and Aaron Colvin have the corner spots locked down.

What is it about Landry Jones? Two or three games a year he seems to get lost and make bad decisions. He is going to leave OU with the most losses of any quarterback in the Stoops era (and the most wins), will likely have the worst winning percentage of any Stoops quarterback. Why should anyone think this year will be different. Probably two or three losses. What say you, about Landry and about the losses?

Well, part of his "most wins" AND "most losses" comes from the fact that he has, by far, started more games than any other Stoops QBs. He also had the unfortunate task of replacing Sam Bradford during the 2009 season, when everything went wrong. Not exactly the best year for a freshman to get his first starting experience. There's no doubt that he's still mistake prone and does make the occasional, very questionable, decision. But I think he's worked hard to improve that stuff in the offseason, and he's got a great group of wideouts to work with this year. I think it will also be good for him to not have the Ryan Broyles security blanket right from the get go this year; he's had all offseason to get used to not having Broyles, so I wouldn't expect him to struggle the same way he did late last season.

Is there any chance that UTEP could upset OU?

No, there is zero chance of that happening. I think UTEP has shown an ability, when they play at home, to play well against great opponents (in recent years, I seem to remember a Texas game that was tougher than the Longhorns probably expected it to be). But it would be among the greatest upsets of all time if UTEP pulled out a win over the Sooners.

Now that the Sooners have had a few practices, can you tell how Whaley looks? Is he 100%?

Everyone talks like Whaley is back to his old self. I think there are probably still areas where he is or was rusty, just because he hadn't been on a football field in such a long time. But from the comments of his teammates and coaches, sounds like Whaley is going to be good to go for the season opener. It's probably going to be tough to know anything for sure, though, until he actually plays in a game.

How much of Tapper and Onuoha will we see this year?

Sounds like there's a decent shot that those two guys will get some PT this season. Bobby Jack Wright spoke very highly of them last week at media availability, but they are still definitely behind starters RJ Washington, David King and then Chuka Ndulue.

When looking at the All-American seems that there were many more in the early Stoops years. Do you think the caliber of player at OU has fallen off from those early years? Early years, one or two defeats/year. Last seven years, average of three losses per year. What do you attribute the increased losses to?

That's a great question, and it's one I really can't answer with any certainty. You've brought something up that I'm going to look at and investigate a little bit, and hopefully I'll be able to give you an answer in a blog post or a story a little way down the line. Thanks for the thought!

Since we have the champions bowl, would it better geo. to just go to the SEC?

You mean for OU to join the SEC? No, I don't think that would be better for OU right now. I think the Big 12 has put itself in a good position to be a strong conference in the future, and bolting for the SEC now would probably hurt OU more than it would help.

Does OU give Will Latu a shot to get his stuff together since it didn't work out at Arkansas State? Or has that ship sailed?

It's my understanding that ship has sailed.

What do you know about Saturday's scrimmage? Who stood out?

Sounds like Blake Bell had a strong scrimmage, along with Jalen Saunders who, I believe, caught 2 TD passes. If Saunders is ruled eligible by the NCAA, things are going to get awfully interesting for the OU wide receiver corps, which will be incredibly deep.

I wonder how OU can be ranked in the top 5 nationally. What is their strength? Unknown at the receiver position, think at the O-line, questionable at the running back position, experienced but not great D-line, injury prone starter at linebacker. D-backs of good quality. It boils down to having quality recruits each year, but I don't see many difference makers and a lot of lack of experience.

I agree. I don't think OU deserves a top-5 ranking nationally at this point. I'd probably put them in the 8-10 range to start the season.

Have you heard any more about Kevin Bookout going to the Jets training camp?

No, I haven't heard anything else about it.

Is the time set for the K.State and Notre Dame games yet?

No, times haven't been set yet for those games

Thanks everyone for the good questions today, and hope everyone has a great week!

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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