S.I.com 2007 NCAA football preview - DFWstangs Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
Posts: 1,368
S.I.com 2007 NCAA football preview


Bob Stoops sounds as confident as ever, pointing out the overflow of returning talent on this, his ninth, Oklahoma squad. The Sooners return 16 starters who took the field for their Big 12 title game win over Nebraska. Indeed, the Sooners are built to win. And win big. And win now. Except at quarterback. Thank you, Rhett Bomar.

This time, there’s no veteran to ride to the rescue, as Paul Thompson did when Bomar was dismissed from the team last August for violating NCAA rules. The Sooners must count on a kid. Or maybe even a former junior college transfer recruited solely to be Bomar’s backup.

And still, Stoops is counting on the same factor — surrounding talent — that aided Thompson and kept pressure off the quarterback spot and on enemy defenses.

“That will be the case even more so,” Stoops says. “We’ll be much more experienced — line, backs, tight ends, receivers — around that position. No matter who it will be, there’s enough pieces that our future will be OK.”

Oklahoma carries few question marks into the 2007 season. Yet one question — who’s capable at quarterback? — looms large.

The Sooners return nine offensive starters who took the field for their Big 12 title game win over Nebraska. Among them: four across the offensive line, every receiver and running back Allen Patrick, who subbed so superbly when Adrian Peterson was missing with a broken collarbone.

With even more talent on defense, the Sooners are built to win big and win now. Except at quarterback. Still recovering from the scandal that led to the dismissal of Bomar over NCAA violations, OU enters preseason with a three-man competition. None of the candidates — junior Joey Halzle, redshirt freshman Sam Bradford or true freshman Keith Nichol — made a convincing case to be the starter in the spring.

So all the surrounding talent is needed, allowing whoever emerges at quarterback to be asked simply not to lose games, rather than to win them. The quarterback should find comfort in a dominant offensive line and game-changing playmakers at every skill position.

Patrick proved himself with four 100-yard games while Peterson was on the shelf, yet may have to share the spotlight with elusive redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray, who was the star of the spring.

Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly is among the Big 12’s best. And sophomore tight end Jermaine Gresham can stretch the field in what could turn out to be a breakout season.

Oklahoma’s defense is built from back to front, with the secondary the strength of a unit that returns seven starters.

Cornerbacks Reggie Smith and Marcus Walker and free safety Nic Harris are All-Big 12 types. Each is strong in coverage, and Harris is versatile in blitzes and as a run stopper. Smith warrants a spot on All-America watch lists, moving from strong safety to corner, where he can showcase his playmaking skills.

The Sooners exited spring unsettled at linebacker, mostly due to a knee injury to Ryan Reynolds, who underwent surgery. As the projected leader of the unit, Reynolds’ swift and strong return could be critical. Even with a healthy Reynolds, the Sooners need touted junior college transfer Mike Reed to advance his transition from freelancer to middle man in a structured defense.

The team is stacked at tackle, with youngsters DeMarcus Granger and Gerald McCoy upgrading a rotation that already includes starters Cory Bennett and Steven Coleman. But replacements are needed at defensive end, where the top three pass rushers from ’06 moved on. Alonzo Dotson and John Williams, both seniors with inconsistent careers, are capable, yet must finally produce.

Garrett Hartley was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award after hitting 19-of-20 field goal attempts a year ago. The Sooners have two quality punters in Michael Cohen and Mike Knall. OU employs them both, with Knall excelling on pooch punts.

The Sooners must be considered a contender for another conference crown and a BCS bowl. Still, much of Oklahoma’s 2007 success will hinge on finding a quarterback capable of making the transition from unknown to unquestioned leader. An early season home date with Miami will be a test for the young quarterback of choice. Otherwise, outside the annual clash with Texas in the Red River Shootout, the schedule is favorable.

obviously this jackass didn't consult with SVTVenom before making his analysis.
BlueThunder99TA is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
Posts: 1,368
Texas caught Ohio State in Week 2 last year while trying to break in a new quarterback. This season, UT appears to have time — and the schedule — on its side to reclaim a Big 12 South title it fumbled away to Oklahoma after beating the Sooners.

The Longhorns are trying to find a running game to complement what should be a lethal passing attack. With serious holes to fill on the offensive line, that will be a challenge. There are also questions in the secondary. Texas will try to figure it all out against Arkansas State, TCU, UCF and Rice before diving into Big 12 play.

Mack Brown promoted long-time co-defensive coordinator Duane Akina to call plays on defense after Gene Chizik was named head coach at Iowa State. Akina figures to be more aggressive and take more chances with blitzes than Chizik, something that might have helped in last year’s 45–42 loss at Kansas State — a loss that helped crush UT’s BCS hopes after a 9–1 start.

Texas didn’t know if it had a quarterback going into last season. Now, it may have one of the nation’s best thanks to a record-setting rookie campaign by Colt McCoy, who tied an NCAA mark for freshmen with 29 TD passes. McCoy will throw to the deepest group of receivers Brown has had in 10 years as coach. That group is led by Limas Sweed, who tied Roy Williams’ 2002 single-season record for TD receptions with 12 in 2006.

The passing game is the good news. The running game and the offensive line’s ability to protect McCoy are the question marks. Texas struggled to run the ball consistently last year, and that was with three of the best interior linemen in school history — All-American right guard Justin Blalock, center Lyle Sendlein and left guard Kasey Studdard. They have moved on. Three new faces on the line could make things tough for running back Jamaal Charles, who averaged 7.4 yards per carry as a freshman and 5.3 as a sophomore.

Freshman quarterback John Chiles, a gifted runner, could help the ground game by executing the team’s zone-read, shotgun offense in certain situations.

Texas had the nation’s third-ranked run defense in 2006, setting a school record for rushing yards allowed per game (61.2). But UT also had the 99th-ranked pass defense (236.2 ypg), giving up a school-record 3,071 yards through the air.

Akina has developed the last two Thorpe Award winners (Aaron Ross in 2006 and Michael Huff in 2005) and shouldn’t be blamed for last season’s pass defense woes. Spotty play at linebacker forced defensive backs to over-commit to stopping the run, making the defensive backs susceptible to play-action fakes. Akina also figures to be more aggressive with blitzes than Chizik, who preferred to rush four in a base defense.

There is tons of proven experience on the defensive line, led by tackles Derek Lokey, Roy Miller and Frank Okam. There is good competition at linebacker, but the secondary must replace three starters, including Ross and All-Big 12 safety Michael Griffin, the team’s leading tackler the last two years.

Larry Mac Duff, who coached Arizona’s Desert Swarm with Akina in the early 1990s, was brought in to coach linebackers and serve as Akina’s co-defensive coordinator.

Walk-on junior Ryan Bailey will handle field goals after being discovered last season on a game-winning, 22-yarder at Nebraska. Bailey got in because of an injury to then-senior starter Greg Johnson. After Bailey, Texas lacks proven experience throughout its special teams with new faces kicking off, punting, returning and even long-snapping.

Texas has a very manageable non-conference schedule, which should help the Longhorns get valuable experience on the offensive line and in the secondary before Big 12 play. Outside of Oklahoma, the two toughest games could be on the road at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M — both in November. If UT can win those, the Longhorns can win the Big 12 and get into the BCS mix. But if Texas can’t run the ball or stop the pass any better than last season, the Longhorns could lose three or more games for the second straight year.
BlueThunder99TA is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 09:18 PM
SVTVenom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The 40 Acres
Posts: 12,385
Originally Posted by BlueThunder99TA
obviously this jackass didn't consult with SVTVenom before making his analysis.
So where in that article did he say that RB is a strength?

The only thing I read was that Allen Patrick was a good sub while Adrian Peterson was hurt. I've already agreed with that, but pointed to the fact it was against some pretty weak run defenses too.

While I applaud you for actually seeking out a legit source to try and prove your point instead of going to collegefootballprojections.com or whatever it was, this really doesn't substantiate your/Chip Brown's claim that OU is the favorite to win the Big XII or the Big XII South. In fact, it clearly states that OU is just a contender. That can be said about several teams in relation to the Big XII Championship including: Texas, OU, Nebraska, and Missouri.

Keep digging though, I'm having fun...
SVTVenom is offline  
Sponsored Links


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the DFWstangs Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome