Additional Previews | Post them if you have them.
2010 Record | 12-2 (7-2 in Big 12)
Returning Starters | 17 (9 on offense, 8 on defense)
Key Losses | Losing DeMarco Murray is a huge loss and his backup and part-time receiver, Mossis Madu, is also gone. WR Cameron Kenney has also graduated. The Sooners lost DE Jeremy Beal and Adrian Taylor on the defensive line (Taylor wasn't a full-time player). The biggest losses might be FS Quinton Carter (97 tackles) and SS Jonathan Nelson (101 tackles) who started at the safety spots all of last year.
Key Additions | This is a big "if", but if freshman WR Trey Metoyer qualifies, and there are some questions if he will be in Norman starting in the fall, but I think he will be in Norman, then I can't think of a player that could have more of an impact. Metoyer is a 5-star receiver and could see the field in a variety of spots, whether it be receiver or returning kickoffs, etc. Metoyer is an electric player, just watch the YouTubery
Impact Offensive Player | I think I'm going against the grain a bit here by picking WR Ryan Broyles. It seems as if Broyles is the forgotten receiver in the Big 12. Oklahoma St.'s Justin Blackmon and Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller seem to grab a lot of headlines, but Broyles has been incredibly productive for the past two years. Maybe it's because Broyles doesn't project as an NFL wideout in that he doesn't have the height and weight as Blackmon and Fuller (Broyles is 5-10/188), but you cannot discount his production. As a sophomore in 2009, Broyles had 89 catches for 1,120 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a junior in 2010, he had 131 catches for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns. I'd expect similar numbers in 2011.
Impact Defensive Player | It's tough to pick against a guy like LB Travis Lewis, where I could make a joke about how Lewis is playing for his 10th year, but the truth of the matter is that Lewis has been and will be for this last year, a huge part of the Sooner defense. In 2008 Lewis had 144 tackles, in 2009 he had 108 tackles and in 2010 he had 109 tackles. That's incredible production for three years and I think I'd be hard-ressed to pick a more impactful defensive player for the Sooners.
|Texas St. Bobcats
|@ New Mexico Lobos
|@ Kansas Jayhawks
|Texas A&M Aggies
|Kansas St. Wildcats
|@ Oklahoma Sooners
|Iowa St. Cyclones
|@ Texas Longhorns
|Oklahoma St. Cowboys
|@ Missouri Tigers
vs. Texas Tech | It would be an understatement to say that I'm looking forward to Texas Tech having to travel to Norman for two years in a row. It's part of the new round-robin schedule and the good and the bad is that Texas Tech will play Texas and Oklahoma on the road or at home. Yeesh.
You have to play who is on the schedule and there's nothing you can do about that. And considering the talent that OU has returning, they're one of the top five teams in the country, led by QB Landry Jones (who is just a junior) and an offensive line that returns four starters, and just has to replace their right tackle. All the skill positions, besides running back return. The aforementioned Broyles, sophomores WR Kenny Stills and Trey Franks all return and this is a huge part of Oklahoma's offensive production. The only spot they have to replace is running back where Roy Finch, Brennan Clay or Jonathan Miller will probably all see time at running back.
The majority of the defense does return (I should also mention the passing of Austin Box during the offseason, RIP). Players like DT Stacy McGee (26 tackles, 3.5 TFL) and DE Frank Alexander (39 tackles, 13.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks) return along the defensive line and this is a really good start. Alongside Lewis will be sophomore LB Tom Wart (66 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks) and Oklahoma received some excellent news when CB Jamell Fleming was able to return to school (I think there were questions about his elibility), which is a huge boost to a defense that would have had to replace the two safeties and Fleming, who had 71 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 5.0 interceptions and 14 passes broken-up).
The Kansas St. game represents a flip-flop of home vs. away for the remainder of the season. K-State at home, OU on the road, Iowa St. at home, Texas on the road, Oklahoma St. at home, Missouri on the road and Baylor in Dallas. It will be interesting to see how Texas Tech responds to having to travel each week. More importantly, it will be interesting to see how Texas Tech responds to this game. I can't predict that Texas Tech will have much, if any success in Norman. Traditionally, Texas Tech just hasn't had any success playing Oklahoma in Norman and I can't imagine that things will change this year, especially for a team that's expected to be the best team, if not, one of the best, in the nation.