Sooners prepare for Red/White game

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about Thursday's final spring practice and gives some details about Saturday's Red/White Game

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma's final practice of the 2003 spring season was a rather uneventful one. The Sooners worked out for two and half hours Thursday in helmets, shorts and jerseys in preparation for Saturday's annual Red/White game.

"Today's practice was like playing basketball without any basketball shoes," joked Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops after Thursday's workout. "That's kind of what it's like to practice football without pads. You can still accomplish some things, but you can't accomplish a lot."

Stoops said the players are clearly ready for the big show on Saturday.

"Guys had a lot of excitement out there today," Stoops added. "You can tell they're ready to play the big game."

As usual, all eyes were on the Oklahoma quarterbacks, but there's not much the four can do at this point to break away from the pack with the big one coming on Saturday. Jason White was hot and cold and seemed to have some communication problems with his receivers at times. Brent Rawls wasn't spectacular, but still seems to be improving on his short passing game. Paul Thompson had a good practice and is by far the best of the Sooner quarterbacks throwing the ball when rolling out and throwing on the run.

Offensive Line Coach/Running Game Coordinator Kevin Wilson was the most vocal of the Sooner coaches today. Wilson really tried to drive home the point to the Oklahoma linemen of staying with their blocks, and at times had drills where the line blocked there opponent 20 yards down field.

Will Peoples has been a quiet for most of the spring, but had his best practice today catching just about everything thrown his way. Mark Clayton and Travis Wilson also seemed to be open for most of the day over the middle for short gains, as the secondary did a good job of not giving up the deep ball for the second straight practice. Senior linebacker Lance Mitchell also had a great day in pass coverage.

The Sooners continued to work on the short passing game and threw a lot of short passes out of the backfield to J.D. Runells. If this spring is any indication of what is to come next fall, expect Runells to get the ball some through the air. Runells has been doing a lot of work with the tight ends in practice to help improve his catching ability.

Tight end James ‘Bubba' Moses has had a fantastic spring but dropped two balls today. Other than the quarterback race, the tight end battle between Moses and Lance Donley may be the other most intruiging battle to watch on Saturday.

Red/White Notes
Stoops said that Jason White will play in at least the first quarter and go from there depending on how his knee feels. Stoops also said that junior receiver Brandon Jones has decided to not travel with the baseball team for their weekend series with Texas and suit up Saturday, depite Stoops' urging for him to go to Austin.

"Now that he's beginning to hit we wanted him to go play baseball," Stoops joked. "If he was still going 0-for-4 we would want him to play just football."

As for the scrimmage itself, Stoops said the Red team will consist of the first team offense and second team defense and the White will be the first team defense and second team offense. The Oklahoma quarterbacks will wear the blue jerseys and rotate between the Red and White offenses.

Stoops also noted that the game will consist of a 15 minute first quarter and 12 minutes for the second, third and fourth quarter. The game is set to kick-off at 1:30 p.m.

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