Oklahoma Sooners Football: What Did We Actually Learn This Spring?

By Luke McConnell

It’s been a week since the Oklahoma Sooners wrapped up spring practice with the annual Red-White spring game. Since that time, everyone’s been discussing the things they saw at Owen Field last Saturday.

Spring practice is by no means a solid indication of how the season will happen, but it did reveal a lot of things OU needs to work on.

Or, did it?

One thing we learned is the Oklahoma defense still has work to do in order to become an elite defense. However, it’s tough to tell just how much more OU has to go. In the spring game, there were four starters out with injury, including three along the defensive line.

Predictably, the Oklahoma offense ran the ball extremely well against the depleted Sooner defensive line. However, another reason behind that could be the Sooners’ offensive line, which could be extremely good this year. Maybe not as good as the one that helped OU produce two 1,000 yard running backs in 2008, but it could be close.

Also, the secondary could still be a problem. Or it’s good to go. Safety Javon Harris was beaten on a deep pass from quarterback Blake Bell to wide receiver Jaz Reynolds, but it was a scramble play where Reynolds just snuck behind Harris and Bell lobbed it deep.

Harris drew the ire of OU fans everywhere for his play last year, particularly in the Baylor game, where several blown coverages gave Baylor several long touchdowns, and arguably, gave Robert Griffin III the Heisman Trophy. However, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said multiple times throughout spring practice Harris was one of the most improved during practice.

It’s a lot easier to look at what we do know than focusing on what we learned.

1. We know Oklahoma has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball.

2. We know the Sooners have some work to do on both sides of the ball.

3. We don’t know how much further the Sooners have to go to be an elite team.

So there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the 2012 Oklahoma Sooners, although I don’t think it’s a bad sort of uncertainty. Like I said, there’s a lot of talent on the OU team, and more coming once the summer rolls around.

But what if that talent doesn’t develop or come together? What happens then?

Well, if that happens, the Sooners could very easily be looking at a situation similar to 2009: lots of talent, but not a lot of team cohesion.

Until the team steps on the field in September, we won’t know.

That much, is certain.

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