With Sam Bradford out for at least 2 weeks (and personally I think we will do well to see him on the field before October 17) and Jermaine Gresham out for the season it is time to rethink our perceptions of this team. In my opinion this team will look very similar to the 2006 season. In that year we saw Adrian Peterson go down against Iowa St and the Sooners became an old school, grind it out team. That team relied on a power running game highlighted by Allan Patrick and a stingy defense to record a Big 12 title and another BCS Bowl.
This season it seems likely that after Saturday the Sooners may not score more than 50 points again all season (they averaged 51/game last season). Instead, with coaches saying the no huddle will be deemphasized and a stable of healthy running backs, I would expect the Sooners to pound the rock and try to grind out wins, espcially while Landry is the QB. If Sam can come back at 100%, a big "if," then the offense might open up but without Gresham to draw coverage and defensive focus, and an inexperienced recieving corps, it will still be difficult to rack up big offensive numbers regularly.
This will raise the pressure on the defense who simply must perform much better than they did last season. Fortunately, with the exception of Tom Wort, that unit is injury free. If the BYU game was a preview they should be much improved by big tests await against Miami, Texas, Kansas, Tech and OSU. They simply can't give up a ton of points.
So I don't think the season is lost. The Sooners can still claim an unprecedented 4th straight conference title, but the road will be much more difficult and much less flashy than we had hoped. It should be an exciting season, perhaps too exciting, and the team will have to show the character and resolve they showed in 2006 to win any championships this season.
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