Saturday's contest against the Baylor Bears should be one where Bob Stoops can empty his bench. I agree with everyone that Kevin Steele's third team is better than a year ago, but Baylor still remains 0-3 in the Big12 Conference and 2-3 overall with wins over Arkansas State and New Mexico. Not necessarily major college football powers.
Finally, we are going to get a chance to see fabled QB Greg Cicero. When Cicero was a California Golden Boy coming out of high school he visited the Sooners when John Blake was still the head coach. I will have to admit he was the cockiest recruit I have ever met in my life. He told the Sooners they would have to guarantee that he could call his own plays and have full reign to call an audible anytime he wanted. The Sooner coaches got so disgusted with him, they sent him home early with no offer in hand.
Cicero is talented enough to at least give the Bears a presence on offense. Thus far this year he has thrown for 745 yards and two touchdowns against seven interceptions. He really hasn't played a lot of football over the last couple of years and his rust shows.
The Sooners will start Jason White at quarterback and he has looked great at practice. In fact, the offense had its best week of work since the start of the season. The offense just seems to click when White is under center.
Nate Hybl seems to be healthier this week and I expect OU will get him into the game as well this weekend.
The hip-pointer of Quentin Griffin has improved this week, but he is still not 100 percent. However, he is 90 percent and certainly healthy enough to play and he is in better shape than he was against Kansas. Still, he is not 100 percent and he is not expected to play much against Baylor. In fact, the coaches are still toying with the idea of sitting him out this week so that he would be 100 percent for Nebraska.
Another factor in the decision is the recent play of back-up F-back Renaldo Works. Works had a fantastic game against Kansas and continues to make great strides in practice. The coaches would love to work Works into the game more and they feel totally confident in Works abilities. Certainly, they feel good enough about Works to sit 'Q' if they need.
The coaches also want to see Jerad Estus in action. The coaching staff is still very high on his ability and they would like to get him in for a couple of series. It wouldn't surprise me if next year the Sooners don't move him to H-back to get his pure speed out in the open field.
The offensive line experiment of moving Howard Duncan back to guard and Wes Sims back to tackle is working very well. This should be the final move this season as Sims is finally establishing himself as a big-time college talent. Offensive line coach Mark Mangino feels this O-line is the best run blocking O-line he can put on the field and it is equally as good in pass blocking situations.
Mark Clayton continues to make his move at wide receiver. He has already moved ahead of Antwone Savage as a starter and he has emerged as the go-to guy for White. Clayton could be becoming that big time receiver the Sooners have never had.
Antonio Perkins continues to work at cornerback and at safety in the nickel back. The OU coaches still love Perkins upside and they like the fact he is willing to learn. However, it's tough to find playing time when future pro's Andre Woolfolk and Derrick Strait are playing corner. Perkins and Matt McCoy will split time at the nickel with McCoy getting the start.
Sooners 48 Baylor 0 .The OU defense deserves a shut-out and unless the reserves give it up, they will get one this weekend.
OU-Baylor preview and notes
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