SI Take: OU's special teams 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 special teams shaping up heading into game one?

The only question is punter. Junior Jed Barnett was named the starter by OU coach Bob Stoops on Monday but reports have been neither Barnett nor Jack Steed have been incredible in that department. Stoops has praised both guys and said it was a tight battle throughout with Barnett barely getting the edge.

Everywhere else OU fans can breathe a sigh of relief or even give a fist bump about how good things look.

The return game is going to be manned by Brennan Clay and Roy Finch on kickoffs. Both did a solid job last season in the role and there really was no reason to change.

OU has one of the best punt returners in the nation with Jalen Saunders. And if Saunders ever needs a breather, sophomore Sterling Shepard will step right on in.

Kicker Michael Hunnicutt has done a great job in camp and was named one of the special teams captains to go along with deep snapper Austin Woods.

The hiring of Jay Boulware as special teams coach has put even more emphasis on a group that was pretty stout for the Sooners in 2012.


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