"It's obvious that the depth that we started with is no longer existent," Coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday, addressing the number or injuries that have plagued the offensive line.
Before the first snap of the year, Ryan Schmidt, Gerard Spexarth and Michael Frieson all succumbed to injury. Schmidt and Spexarth were listed as preseason starters, while Frieson was the No. 2 left tackle. Spexarth is back on the depth chart, but Saturday saw both Matt Boss and Jacob Voegeli go down with injuries.
The latest injuries even had Snyder questioning his depth chart. "I'm not sure we're two-deep right now."
Snyder said he anticipated Voegeli being able to see action on Saturday, but listed Boss as "doubtful."
Despite the constant dealing with injuries, Snyder said he's encouraged by the steady improvement the line has made. "We've made progress," Snyder said. "For this last ballgame there were signs that the improvement was continuing."
When asked whether the young offensive linemen were on par with where senior left tackle Jeromey Clary was as a freshman and sophomore, Snyder deemed the comparison as "fairly accurate."
"Their confidence is building," junior running back Thomas Clayton said of the line. "It seems as though they're peaking at the right time. Hopefully the improvement continues, and continues throughout the season. We're looking forward to big things from those guys, and they're doing a really exceptional job so far."
One player who was moved to accommodate injuries was Jordan Bedore, who entered the season as a backup defensive tackle. Bedore saw playing time at center with Voegeli out on Saturday. Snyder said Bedore is probably ahead of schedule on his transition. "Jordan didn't do poorly," Snyder said. "I thought he played well, considering it was his first time, and the change of position, and not being at that position very long."
Snyder said they aren't looking at anyone else making the switch to offensive line to accommodate the two-deep. "We'll go with what we have," Snyder said. "Some players will just get work in at a lot of positions."
Strong competition at Strong Safety Snyder said the competition between Kyle Williams and Maurice Porter at strong safety has been tight, when Williams' performance level "leveled off," Porter got a leg up in the competition. "What (Williams) needs to do is step it up a little more and continue to show me improvement," Snyder said. "He had made a substantial amount of improvement prior to our first ballgame."
Preparation never ends
The Wildcats and Sooners may not kick off until Saturday evening, but don't assume Snyder will sit back and relax any time during the day. "I think it's necessary in this day in age to keep trucking," Snyder said. "For our players we'll have meetings Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and some other things, but there will be ample time for them to relax; to watch a TV ballgame and rest. For coaches, it doesn't mean you might not have the TV set on, but you're still going to be working on the preparation.
Meier update - short, but not sweet.
Has Dylan Meier made any progress since the last media session? "No. Same." In other words, look for Allan Evridge to see snaps if a reserve QB is needed in Norman.
More uncertainty with Simmons
The on-again, off-again meter for Marvin Simmons' playing status seems to be stuck on off, again. "I don't know, I'll have to check my register today and see," Snyder said when asked whether Simmons was still with the team. In the end, Snyder left his status as "uncertain."
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