Oklahoma will bring closure to their spring football practices this Saturday with the annual Red/White game. Fans attending the game shouldn't expect to see crisp, well executed football equal to the same caliber of play found in the Cotton Bowl in early October. It just doesn't happen that way in the spring game. Paranoia has taken over college football so we'll watch a vanilla offense take on an even more vanilla defense. Key players will be held out and quarterbacks will not be allowed to be touched. So while the game itself will offer very little insight as to what the finished product will look like this fall there are still plenty of things Sooner fans need to keep tabs on. Here are five of them.
1. Is Brandon Williams as good as advertised? Rivals guru Josh McCuistion told us a while back, when he visited our Sooner Nation Podcast, that Williams was the best running back Bob Stoops has ever recruited. While you have to trust his expertise we still want to see Williams on the field. He'll be playing on the Red team with Brennan Clay and Roy Finch but there's no need to expect him not to get a good number of carries. Even if he only got five or six touches we'd be able to get a read on his running style, speed and shiftiness. Expect him to get more than five or six though.
2. Who will step in for an injured Jarvis Jones at right tackle? Oklahoma needs to find someone fairly quickly as they are looking at spending up to half of the season without their veteran right tackle. You'd think that the leading candidates are sophomore Josh Aladenoye and redshirt freshman Daryl Williams. There's a reason they're both on the white team with Landry Jones. This is clearly an audition for both of them and I would expect them to split time on the right side of the line.
3. Who will emerge as the third receiver? Dejuan Miller has to be the favorite to compliment Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills. He has the size (6-4/216) and as a senior he has the experience to be the final piece in what could be Oklahoma's best receiving corps since Mark Clayton, Mark Bradley and Brandon Jones helped Jason White win a Heisman. That said, Miller still has questions regarding his health and youngsters like Trey Franks pushing him for playing time. Miller is on the Red team with Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills. He'll have Drew Allen and Kendal Thompson as quarterbacks.
4. Will the tight end play a bigger role in Josh Heupel's new offense? Trent Ratterree isn't on either roster which means Senior James Hanna and sophomore Austin Haywood will be the feature tight ends. Haywood is on the Red team and Hanna is on the White. They both posses the potential to give Oklahoma a vertical threat from the line and a mismatch against linebackers in the Red Zone.
5. How solid is the revamped secondary? Sophomore Aaron Colvin is making the switch from corner to strong safety. That's not the only change though. Oklahoma needs someone to step in at the free safety position as well and by all accounts Javon Harris is progressing nicely. Demontre Hurst will return at one of the corner spots but the other side of the field is still open. Look for sophomore Gabe Lynn and redshirt freshman Julian Wilson to be competing for the open spot. Wilson will be on the White team and Lynn the Red.