Notable Additions: RB Adrian Peterson, Palestine, Texas; DT Remi Ayodele, NEO JC; Chijioke Onyenegecha, San Francisco CC.
Notable Subtractions: CB Derrick Strait, DT Tommie Harris, LB Teddy Lehman and S Brandon Everage.
Notable Returnees: WR Brandon Jones, WR JeJuan Rankins, WR Will Peoples, FB J.D. Runnels, RB Kejuan Jones, OL Wes Sims, OL Kelvin Chaisson, OL Davin Joseph, OL Vince Carter, FS Brodney Pool, LB Gayron Allen.
|2004 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE|
Defensive Overview: Is it really possible that the major question mark facing a Bob Stoops coached team is the defense? Sure, the Sooners don't have six starters from last year's defense, including Outland winner Tommie Harris, Butkus winner Teddy Lehman, Thorpe winner Derrick Strait and co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops (now head coach at Arizona), but don't expect Oklahoma's defense to drop off much in 2004, if at all. More than capable replacements are waiting in the wings and that includes on the coaching staff, where former Nebraska defensive coordinator Bo Pelini replaces Mike Stoops. Senior linebacker Lance Mitchell, who led the team in tackles last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury, returns to fill the gap left by Lehman. Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek, who actually recorded more tackles and sacks than Harris a year ago, is a star in the making and junior safety Brodney Pool is finally ready to step into a full-time starting role at safety to ease the departure of Brandon Everage. Pool led the Sooners with seven interceptions last season. The only major question mark heading into two-a-days is who will replace Derrick Strait at cornerback?
Special Teams Overview: Don't look here for a weakness. The Sooners return kicker Trey DiCarlo, punter Blake Ferguson and punt returner Antonio Perkins. The senior cornerback set NCAA records a year ago for touchdown returns in one game (3) and punt return yards in a game (277) last season against UCLA. He is also one punt return TD shy of the tying the NCAA career mark of eight, set by Texas Tech receiver Wes Welker.
The Sooners can win the Big 12 title if... they can find a suitable replacement for Strait at cornerback and develop a more consistent rushing attack. There are plenty of candidates to replace Strait, including former junior college All-American Chijioke Onyenegecha, juniors Eric Bassey and Jowahn Poteat as well as true freshman Marcus Walker. Yet the jury is still out as to just how well they will be able to fill the shoes of the former four-year starter. As for the running game, Oklahoma ran just enough to keep the defenses honest, except in their two losses to Kansas State and Louisiana State. The Sooners averaged 146.7 yards per game, but only mustered 83 yards on the ground against the Wildcats in the Big 12 title game and 52 against the Tigers in the Sugar Bowl.
|TheInsiders.com 2005 College Football Preview|
|ACC||Big 12||Big East||Big Ten||Pac-10||SEC||Independent|
Missouri Nebraska Oklahoma Oklahoma State Texas Texas A&M Texas Tech