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?
Ahmad Thomas has not been stellar. Jordan Thomas and Steven Parker hardly look like players ready to make the early jump to the NFL. But the big change needed in the secondary is at cornerback opposite Thomas. Dakota Austin had his chance and failed. Parrish Cobb got a chance and looked like a true freshman. Michiah Quick has proven that he can tackle but not quite that he can cover.
A group that oozed confidence last year doesn’t seem to have much at all. It seems to be lacking a true leader, and it’s tough to think about if Zack Sanchez hadn’t left early and wound up on the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad. Would both Sanchez and Oklahoma have been better off if he had stayed? Oklahoma certainly would be in better position.
What will change?
Who gets the next chance at cornerback, and where are Antoine Stephens and P.J. Mbanasor? Oklahoma could keep searching for a new cornerback, but it seems like the Sooners are going to stick it out with Quick or Cobb. Whichever starts should grow, but he will need to grow faster than usual.
Oklahoma’s secondary needs to grow up a bit.