Three Thoughts on Oklahoma’s Spring Game
The Oklahoma Sooners took the field in front of 54,409 fans Saturday afternoon for their annual Red-White Spring Game. It ended up with the White (Defense) topping the Red (Offense) by an 84-82 count, and here are three thoughts on what transpired.
The defense flew around
It’s year two of the Brent Venables defense, and that means we should start to see some progress. Players should be in position, look more comfortable and make plays because of that. Indeed, as much as can be seen in a spring game format, the defense was flying around sideline-to-sideline and exhibiting some of those things. Specifically, linebacker Dasan McCullough looks like the makings of a stud. He recorded three tackles, and if he can pick up pass coverage, he’ll turn into a superstar defender. Freshman safety Peyton Bowen came up with an incredible interception–not one that many make–in addition to three tackles, and he’s poised to make an immediate impact. Cheetah Justin Harrington had a solid day, with six stops of his own. Sophomore linebacker Kip Lewis led all defensive players with 11 stops, including a couple tackles for loss.
Quarterback room looks better
It didn’t take much after what we saw last year, but the Sooners are better in this regard. Statistically, Dillon Gabriel finished the day 11-of-17 for 140 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. Jackson Arnold’s line won’t wow you, but he looked solid in there with a couple very nice throws, going 6-of-14 for 64 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t make any major mistakes. Davis Beville completed all but one of his six passes for 83 yards and a score. The top two, though, are what we’re focusing on, and it’s clearly a better top two right now than a year ago.
Questions abound on offensive line
Much of this for the moment stems on the fact that this unit isn’t exactly healthy. Walter Rouse, Jacob Sexton and Jake Taylor were out of the lineup, so Bill Bedenbaugh was forced to run with a set of makeshift lineups. However, seeing some better protection in pass pro and more push on the interior of the O-line in the run game would have made you feel a lot better about this group. That wasn’t exactly the case today. Still, the second unit did fare better in the second half, so there were some positives.