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What we don't know about OU after two-a-days

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: August 20, 2011
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Regardless of who wins the starting jobs, coaches are encouraged they have three quality cornerbacks and three quality offensive tackles.

4. How much will Sooners use the Okie 50 defense?

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables installed the “50” defense the week of Bedlam to great success. In the “50,” the Sooners lined up one defensive tackle, two defensive ends and essentially lined up Jeremy Beal and Tony Jefferson as stand-up linebackers that could drop into coverage.

The Sooners have worked on both defenses during two-a-days. The “50” can be effective against spread offenses. OU's base “4-3” defense, though, is the better option against power, run-oriented teams. The Sooners will use the “50” this season. But how much?

5. Backup quarterback race. Is it Allen or Bell?

If Landry Jones suffers a long-term injury, the Sooners will be forced to go with an inexperienced backup. Coaches, though, like the progress made by sophomore Drew Allen and redshirt freshman Blake Bell.

Allen enters his third year in the system and was Jones' backup last season. Bell, though, was a highly touted recruit out of Wichita, Kan. Bell flashed potential in the spring, and coaches say he's taken his game to a new level this fall. The tiebreaker could be which quarterback the coaches feel can best minimize turnovers.