SI Take: OU's offensive outlook

It's just about time for Oklahoma's season to start. With that in mind, one last examination of how the offense looks heading into Saturday.

The time for talking is just about done. Oklahoma opens its season Saturday night against ULM. The Sooners entered camp with plenty of questions. Many have been answered, some still linger.

So how is OU's offense shaping up heading into game one?

Quarterback

It has now been a week since OU coach Bob Stoops shocked many by choosing redshirt freshman Trevor Knight to be the quarterback instead of Blake Bell. During the last few days, it has become apparent there is no dissension amongst the teammates.

Senior leaders such as Gabe Ikard and Corey Nelson have spoken about how Knight brings such an interesting dynamic to the field. He can make something out of nothing. OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel mentioned Knight's consistency during the battle.

It remains to be seen if Bell will be used Saturday. Stoops didn't rule it out, while all Heupel said was "we'll see" regarding Bell being utilized. What is clear is the OU coaches and players have full trust in Knight.

Running back

Not nearly as many questions regarding this group heading into camp and not many heading into Saturday night.

If senior Damien Williams was in the doghouse because of his actions during the summer, it certainly hasn't translated during camp. Williams seems poised to have another stellar season.

Senior Brennan Clay is about as steady as they come and will also see significant playing time. Senior Roy Finch is the question mark. Everybody expects Finch to have more of an impact than he had last season, but how much more? Finch has mentioned having to mature, and Heupel said Finch has done all the necessary things to be on the field.

Trey Millard

He is his own category. Named a team captain for the second year in a row, there's no telling what Millard is going to do this season. All that's known is he will be productive. At running back, fullback, and tight end – it won't matter. Millard knows how to make big plays, and he has had a solid camp.

Wide receiver

Got a glimpse into the wide receiver outlook Tuesday when coach Jay Norvell addressed the media. Norvell mentioned five wide receivers will get the bulk of the playing time in seniors Jalen Saunders, LaColtan Bester and Jaz Reynolds. Sophomores Sterling Shepard and Trey Metoyer will also play huge roles.

Bester has been the surprise of camp as not too many people expected him to make the cut. Saunders and Shepard should be the top two options for Knight.

Norvell said the depth is a necessity in keeping guys fresh and that should mean playing time for sophomore Durron Neal, redshirt freshman Derrick Woods and freshman Austin Bennett.

Offensive line

The depth at offensive line is in stark contrast to where OU was at regarding this group in 2012. Anchoring things is team captain Gabe Ikard, who will be flanked by Adam Shead and Bronson Irwin.

The tackle situation seems to be set with Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson. Last year you could pretty much stop there regarding names as injuries shortened the bench.

Not this year. The depth for the interior linemen is phenomenal for OU with names like Nila Kasitati, Ty Darlington and Dionte Savage among those who should see time. At tackle, Derek Farniok and Josiah St. John should both be utilized.

Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has brought physicality and refined technique to the group, which now could be the strength of the team.


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