The Red-White game is finally upon us, and Sooners Illustrated delves into what to watch for.
The main storyline:Quarterbacks Blake Bell, Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson have been battling it out for the starting signal caller spot in the fall, and this is their first chance to take that race public. Each will showcase his arm out on the field today in front of a live audience. No clear leader has yet emerged and that is likely something that will carry over into fall camp, perhaps even late into fall practice. Yet, all eyes will be on these three on this April day.
Expect to see:Several seniors sitting out. Head coach Bob Stoops said the other day there's no reason to risk any kind of injury with veterans by playing them in a mostly pointless spring game considering their experience, so anticipate that being the case. Cornerback Aaron Colvin has already gone public in saying he won't play. Running backs Brennan Clay and Damien Williams and fullback Trey Millard are among other candidates. It's important to note none of these guys are hurt, and there's no reason to panic if Nos. 14, 24, 26, 33 and others don't show out there. Additionally, freshman defensive end D.J. Ward is active after the NCAA cleared him, and he's one that will most certainly take advantage of playing time.
Don't be surprised if:Stoops keeps it very vanilla offensively. They've been working on the zone read a lot in practice, but not too many variations of that will be utilized in the Red-White game. Fans might see it some, but mostly the plan will be to see how the quarterbacks throw and how the offensive line protects and blocks against a defensive line looking to play in more negative yardage situations this year near the line of scrimmage.
Potential breakout player:The coaching staff and players alike have talked about him all spring: safety Ahmad Thomas. From Miami, Thomas is no stranger to physical football and he's showcased that so far since arriving as an early enrollee. He could easily wow the crowd with a nice performance today.
Needed to note: The field will have a bit of a throwback feel to it with a 60's helmet at midfield instead of the traditional O-U logo. The north end zone is "Oklahoma" painted in crimson, while the south end zone is the same in cream.