Oklahoma football: Are the Sooners riding a Sugar (Bowl) high?

OU FOOTBALL — There’s more to Oklahoma’s renewed status as a title contender than beating Alabama, but how much more?
by Jason Kersey Published: August 26, 2014


photo - Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops congratulates Oklahoma's Trevor Knight (9) on a touchdown during the NCAA football BCS Sugar Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (UA) at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  .Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops congratulates Oklahoma's Trevor Knight (9) on a touchdown during the NCAA football BCS Sugar Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (UA) at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. .Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

“Preseason hype means nothing because at the end of the day we have to go out there and play on Saturdays,” said senior defensive back Julian Wilson.

Oklahoma’s 2014 schedule should be manageable; the Sooners get defending Big 12 champion Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State at home. The annual Red River Rivalry game in Dallas against Texas is never a gimme, and a mid-November trip to Texas Tech could prove tricky; the Sooners have lost three of their last four games in Lubbock.

For most of the past several seasons, OU’s offense has been its strength with record-setting quarterbacks like Sam Bradford and Landry Jones. The Sooners are hoping they have their next great signal caller in Knight, although he’s got few experienced playmakers to work with as the season begins.

The true strength of this Sooner team — at least as the season begins — appears to be the defense, and the defensive front seven in particular. Budding stars like Eric Striker, Charles Tapper, Jordan Phillips, Geneo Grissom and Dominique Alexander could have banner years.

“We’ve got a lot of really good players up there that have made really great gains,” Bob Stoops said. “Every one of them is bigger, stronger than they were a year ago and that should help us.”

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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