“After our last game, we had nine of 10 practices here in Norman,” Bedenbaugh said. “Then we had six or seven (in New Orleans). So basically, what it kind of amounted to was spring ball. We had a bunch of time.”
Bedenbaugh also had a bunch of time to get junior Dionte Savage ready for the first start of his career. Savage, a junior-college transfer, didn't play much throughout the season as he adapted to Oklahoma's system, but started the Sugar Bowl in place of the injured Adam Shead, who was lost for the season after starting the first 10 games.
“He was down at times, frustrated at times because he wasn't playing, but he really wasn't ready,” Bedenbaugh said. “We had other guys who were playing at a decent level, so other guys really couldn't get on the field. I'm really proud of him for fighting through and sticking with it.”
Savage was flagged for two false start penalties against Alabama, but other than that, played well, particularly considering his inexperience.
Bedenbaugh said that since the Sugar Bowl, he's talked to countless offensive line recruits who were impressed by what they saw against the Crimson Tide. The Sooners also added offensive line commitments Natrell Curtis and Joseph Paul to their 2014 recruiting class within days of the Alabama win.
“People understand how guys are getting coached here,” Bedenbaugh said.