As Oklahoma heads into its bye week, Sooners Illustrated takes a close look at the roster. The fans, the coaching staff and the players have all been disappointed by the non-conference season and Oklahoma’s resounding failure to perform.
The season, which came with hopes of making the College Football Playoff for the second-straight season, has been reduced to a hopeful Big 12 Championship.
While Oklahoma is off, Sooners Illustrated will take a look at each major position group to figure out what needs to change and what actually will change as OU turns its sights on the Big 12 Championship.
What needs to change?
To be honest, there isn’t a lot that needs to change on the offensive line. Could the group be better? Of course. But how they are playing right now, the skill is there and the unit is playing at a high enough level. They seem to have the right combination. The challenge for Bill Bedenbaugh comes with the difficulty of replacing Cody Ford, who seemed to really be coming into his own at left guard.
With what Oklahoma has on its roster, there aren’t many better options than what the Sooners have put out there on a weekly basis. The young group just needs to grow up a bit. Bobby Evans and Dru Samia will continue to get better. Orlando Brown has the ability to emerge.
The group just needs to get better and figure out how to fill Ford’s shoes. The best option might be to keep Erick Wren at center. Jonathan Alvarez moves to left guard, like he did against Ohio State, and plays better than he has recently. Alvarez is really the lineman that can show the most improvement.
What will change?
When there isn’t much that needs to change, there isn’t much that will change. Expect Oklahoma to run the ball more often and give the offensive line a chance to be more physical up front. Ashton Julious or Ben Powers could still seem some time at left guard as they seem the only other option outside of Alvarez.