It’s about that time again. Expectations are high. Questions abound. Yep, it’s time for Oklahoma spring football.
The Sooners, coming off an 11-2 season where they won the Big 12 championship and the Sugar Bowl, will no doubt be expected to be in the national championship and playoff hunt once again.
The calendar turns to March. The page officially turns to 2017, and although things look rosy for OU, there are still plenty of unanswered questions going forward.
What are those? That’s where Sooners Illustrated comes in. We’ll take a look at one pressing question each day leading up to OU starting spring practice March 21. The spring game is April 8.
Sooners Illustrated’s 17 questions for spring 2017
Where can Baker Mayfield improve on the field?
Mayfield is going to spend all spring and the rest of his senior season trying to prove to people that one night being arrested in Fayetteville, Ark., doesn’t define him.
That will be his goal off the field. What does he do, however, on the field? Following back-to-back incredible seasons where he has been a candidate for the Heisman Trophy Award, where he has helped OU to back-to-back Big 12 titles, what’s next for Mayfield?
In other words, what’s the next chip on his shoulder? Mayfield finished with the highest passing efficiency season of all time in 2016. He made good on his vow after the loss to Ohio State of how he was going to change and make sure the Sooners won the Big 12.
The 2015 season was about introducing himself to the nation with his ability to scramble and make big plays. The 2016 season saw him become more cerebral, stay in the pocket and wait for opportunities to come open. It also displayed his arm with the deep balls to Dede Westbrook.
It’s year No. 3 for Mayfield and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, so what’s in store? Mayfield is going to have continue to straddle that line of showing patience and also doing what he does best in creating something out of nothing.
Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine are gone. He can’t panic. Westbrook has moved on. No time to get jittery. It was the trust Mayfield showed in his teammates down the stretch that defined the 2016 season. It led to his success and OU’s success.
For one more year, Mayfield has to trust the process. It works. He just has to believe it one more time.