5 Questions: Oklahoma

TCU travels to Norman this Saturday to face off against the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners. What should Frog fans be watching from the Sooners? We visited with SoonersIllustrated.com publisher Bob Przybylo to get those answers.

1. TCU coach Gary Patterson has said he hasn't watched much film on OU quarterback Blake Bell mainly because this is Bell's first year as a starter. He did say that the Sooners' offense is improving week to week; is Bell a big factor why they've improved?

Bell has brought a certain fire to the offense, something that was lacking in the first two games of the season. Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight was still trying to get ahold of everything, while Bell has been ready to go from the jump.

The biggest reason for OU's success, though, is clearly the offensive line. It was a M*A*S*H* unit out there last season. Now all those injured players are back and healthy, and the Sooners are averaging more than 250 rushing yards per game this season. A lot of that can be attributed to Bill Bedenbaugh coming in and changing everything as the offensive line coach.

Add in Bell's accuracy through the air, and it's easy to see why OU is racking up the yards, points and victories.

2. While Bell is the starter, should TCU fans expect to see Trevor Knight as well?

That's actually a top question OU fans have as well. Knight had to replace Bell for one half of a series last week because of cramps. Knight had a career-high 30-yard run and led OU to a field goal. It's clear there are two separate offenses right now. Knight is more of a zone read option attack, while Bell is more of what you have seen from OU in the past.

OU coach Bob Stoops has been very dismissive about playing both of them in the past, but he seemed more open toward it than ever this week at his weekly press conference.

3. OU is playing very good on defense; who are the players stepping up and what is the unit's best strength. What's the biggest reason for the turnaround?

The biggest reason for the turnaround is all schematic. OU is attacking on defense again instead of reacting to everything. The 3-3-5 front has worked wonders, and the linebackers have come up huge in every single game.

I don't think there is a biggest strength. Right now everybody is playing at a high level. But if you want one name to watch in each group? Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, linebacker Corey Nelson and cornerback Aaron Colvin.

And so far OU has been able to create turnovers, something it couldn't do at all last season.

4. On offense, who are the players that have stepped up so far at the skill positions; aside from Bell of course?

No individual player is asked to carry the load for OU. You look at the stats and nothing jumps out. The three senior running backs (Brennan Clay, Roy Finch, Damien Williams) have all had their moments. Freshman Keith Ford might end up being better than all of them.

At wide receiver, Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard are starting to separate themselves from the pack, but OU goes a legit five or six deep on the depth chart.

And none of it happens without the blocking of fullback Trey Millard, who is arguably the most important player on the team regardless of position.

5. How are the OU players, coaches and even fans approaching this game? Are the Sooners looking ahead at all with the Red River Rivalry next weekend?

If it wasn't for recruiting, the fans would already count this as a W and move on. But since eight Scout 300 recruits and five 2015 Scout 300 recruits are visiting, it has a different feel. It's about making a statement and helping land these big-time recruits.

OU coaches never look ahead. I don't believe that's ever been a problem. Players can and have in the past, but this is an experienced bunch that I don't see that being a problem.

What I see being a problem is that TCU's defense is pretty dang good and should cause OU some discomfort even if the Sooners are playing well.

Trevone Boykin brings about a skill set the OU defense hasn't seen yet, and the Sooners have certainly had their problems with dual-threat quarterbacks in the past.

Much to the dismay of OU fans, Saturday's game should be competitive and not a cake walk at all for OU.

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