The Oklahoma football team avoided the rain for the second straight day and worked out under cloudy, overcast skies and cooler 65-degree temperatures Tuesday in Norman.
Tuesday's practice was the first for the Sooners in full pads and it started off with a bang as the Sooners participated in the famous "Oklahoma" drill right off the bat.
The Oklahoma drill was a very spirited one with coaches trying to motivate players on every play and players whooping it up and slapping helmets after big hits. The big hit of the morning came from redshirt freshmen linebacker Clint Ingram. Ingram fought off Lance Donley and put a big hit on the running back jarring the backs helmet completely off. On one side of the spectrum, Brent Venables came running in with praise for Ingram, while tight end coach Jonathan Hayes yelled, "This isn't a pillow fight" in Donley's face.
The Sooners then split up and worked on their punt and kickoff coverage units. Blake Ferguson has a sore groin but returned to practice today and participated in both the punt and kickoff teams. Steve Sarrubi joined Ferguson on the kickoffs while Trey DiCarlo and the other kickers kicked on Owen Field today.
Curtis Fagan continues to be the Sooners most consistent punt returner. Fagan is always the first player to field punts and receivers coach Darrell Wyatt stressed "beat the ball to the spot" today to the returners. Antonio Perkins, Mark Clayton and JeJuan Rankins also field punts today as well.
Oklahoma's offense worked some against the first team defense today and then the two first team units split up and worked against the second and third teams.
Jason White continues to take the first snaps with the Sooner starters and was very impressive this morning. White was almost perfect throwing the ball deep, to the sidelines and over the middle, to his favorite target in Trent Smith. Oklahoma's trio of starting receivers - Savage, Clayton and Fagan - all had great days catching the ball and getting open against both the first and second team secondaries.
Nate Hybl also looked good today throwing the ball and playing flawless football. There is no doubt that Hybl has improved and has not given up on his desire to be OU's starting quarterback. Nevertheless, if Hybl doesn't beat out White Sooner fans should rest easy knowing they have an experienced gamer in the backup role. Hybl seems to be separating himself from Brent Rawls, who despite his cannon arm, still seems to be inconsistent at times throwing the ball.
Kevin Wilson is continues to tinker with his offensive line. Redshirt freshmen Kelvin Chaisson was back as the starting left guard today. Chaisson (LG), who rotated with Brad Davis and Jerod Fields on the first unit, started out with on the first team line with Vince Carter (C), Wes Sims (LT), Mike Skinner (RG) and Jammal Brown (RT).
On the defensive side of the ball it was another tough day for juco linebacker Pasha Jackson. Remember when your old high school coach used to tell you the day he quit yelling at you was the day he will have given up on you? Well Mike Stoops must have BIG plans for Jackson as he was in the linebacker's face after virtually every play. Jackson certainly looks the part, but is obviously still having trouble picking up his assignments in OU's base 3-4 defense.
Jackie Shipp's defensive line crew is pretty much the walking wounded thus far this fall. Juan Prishker's career ended before two-a-days even started and Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek were held out again today, forcing Shipp to rotate Kory Klein, Jacob Hager, Lynn McGruder and Davin Jospeh at the tackles spots.
One freshmen who was very impressive this morning drawing high praise from Bob Stoops was Jason Carter. Carter, who had seemed to be behind the other freshmen DB's early on, had his breakout performance today with Stoops looking on.
In the one-on-one drills against the defensive backs, Carter read the quarterback perfectly picking off two straight balls.
"He's hot," Stoops said of Carter. "That's two straight. Good job Jason."
Stoops then predicted Carter would make it three in a row on his next attempt. Carter was slightly beat on a crossing route, but the ball was overthrown through the outstretched hands of the receiver and almost caught by a diving Carter. Stoops jumped up in excitement when it looked like Carter would make the pick, but fell to his knees with a smile on his face after seeing his prediction didn't come true after Carter dropped the ball when falling to the ground. On his next attempt, Carter was beat deep on a post but stayed with his receiver and forced him to fumble from behind two steps after catching the ball. Tuesday was a good day for the Jenks product.
The matchup of the day that didn't happen in the one-on-one drills would have been Carter against Antwone Savage. Savage was almost unstoppable going head-to-head with the OU defensive backs. On one play, Savage shook Eric Bassey so bad he made the redshirt freshmen turn a complete 360 and trip over himself trying to stay with the speedy Savage. After his great move, Savage was then scolded by Stoops for running the wrong route.
Speaking of Bassey, the heir apparent to Roy Williams seems to be picking up position more and more every day. A good sign that you are playing well on defense is usually judged by the fact that Mike Stoops leaves you alone. Bassey was left alone on this day and made a couple of great plays blitzing the quarterback and batting down a passes.
The Sooners will return to the intramural practice fields tonight for their final workout before the first big scrimmage of the fall on Wednesday. Wednesday's scrimmage is set for 6pm on Owen Field.
Tuesday 8/13 Morning Practice Report
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