Big 12 Media Days preview

DALLAS, Texas — The Sooners are set for Big 12 Media Days, and Sooners Illustrated preps you with discussion of some of the questions that need to be answered.

The hot five:

1. Is the wide receiver situation as dire as it may seem? Losing three scholarship guys that would have received playing time and one of which would have been a certain starter, Jaz Reynolds, puts OU a lot shorter on the receiver depth chart than it would have been before. How will Bob Stoops respond to the loss of those guys, including Reynolds, Kameel Jackson and Trey Franks, and the future of his players still around? Star-to-be Trey Metoyer steps in immediately and Kenny Stills must be a leader, and that should be some interesting conversation this week.

2. Is this offensive line going to be as good as advertised? Will it live up to its veteran expectations, including four returning starters in tackle Lane Johnson, guards Gabe Ikard and Tyler Evans and center Ben Habern? Habern should be able to address that. Quarterback Landry Jones could have a security blanket around him much like last year if it does.

3. Can Mike Stoops really turn this secondary around quickly? There were lots of gaping holes frequently last season under a Brent Venables- and Willie-Martinez-led secondary. Mike returns and moves to what will be a five-defensive back set at times. Tony Jefferson shifts from Sam/nickle to free safety. There are some other shifts, so will that make a big difference?

4. Will the D-line be able to get consistent pressure? Along those lines, the defensive backs will only be able to feast as much as they want if the big boys up front get into the backfield. Star defensive end Frank Alexander is gone, so there's production lost to be had. How will Bob go about that, and does he have the tools to make it happen?

5. How much of a concern are the two new conference members? The games are both on the road and late in the season. OU plays in Morgantown against West Virginia on Nov. 17 and in Fort Worth against TCU on Dec. 1. There is obviously less of a scouting report on these two teams and the atmospheres. Is that a worry for the coaching staff and players?

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