OU Football 2013 | Compiling A Scrimmage Report In Spite Of Bob Stoops' Fortress Of Solitude

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports


The Oklahoma football program held one of several (closed) scrimmages that will take place between now and the start of the 2013 season.  And in spite of Bob Stoops' paranoia still curious desire to shut out pretty much everyone from the program in which he runs, there were a collection of reports which managed to provide at least some insight as to how the team performed.  Whether through the newspaper (which was a first, hat tip to Jason Kersey for that), message boards, and/or Twitter there were means with which to collect what little information was out there.

As with any secondhand report it is important to note that it was just that, secondhand.  Without seeing things firsthand, which neither fans or media alike are ever allowed to do with a Bob Stoops training camp, these kind of reports require a certain degree of skepticism.

That said, with how little access any of us are given even the tiniest of tidbits is welcome information in the dog days of August.  So here we go.

The Quarterback Battle

We know that because of the injury to Kendal Thompson, things have been simplified to a certain extent turning, at least until Thompson returns, a three-man race into just two.  However, outside of that there is very little to be known. The actual legitimacy of the "battle" that is taking place depends both on the day and the source in which you are receiving your information.  One day you'll hear that the competition is all but over and as it's been for some time, Blake Bell is the eventual starter.  Then you might hear, as it seems to have been in recent days, that the snaps between Bell and redshirt freshman Trevor Knight are being split close to 50-50.  That despite is obvious inexperience, Knight has really come on as of late and is legitimately pushing Bell for the starting spot.

Reports from the scrimmage vary from Knight "more than holding his own" to "he was the star of the day."  Star or not, based on everything you hear it appears as though Knight is progressing at an accelerated rate.  Now he's still a redshirt freshman so he is going to make mistakes and he has, including the lone interception during the scrimmage, but he has the combination of physical skills that could present a significant threat to any opposing defense.

As with any secondhand report, it's hard to really know what to believe.  Regardless, Knight pushing Bell definitely isn't a bad thing.  And with this staff's impeccable track record of picking quarterbacks are you really that worried about whether it's Bell or Knight under center on August 31st?

The Rest Of The Offense

* 6'5" 339 pound Dionte Savage continues to be the talk of camp.  He's been described as "scary" among other things and while he's reportedly still not running with the first team offensive line, he will absolutely be a guy who sees plenty of playing time this season.  He brings a nastiness to this line that they've been missing in recent years and one can only hope that kind of attitude permeates amongst the rest of the offensive linemen.

* Stoops singled out running back Alex Ross as someone who stood out during the scrimmage, but we've heard Roy Finch made a number of nice plays as well.  Overall the running game performed well during the scrimmage and could continue to be the focus of the offense.

* A number of seniors were held out of the scrimmage, which is something Stoops has regularly done over the years. Gabe Ikard was one of those seniors who were held out, but it was primarily due to a concussion he recently suffered.  There will certainly be no rush to bring him back, so expect Ty Darlington to receive a majority of the snaps at center while Ikard is out.

* Lacoltan Bester had a touchdown reception and continues to play well making him the most likely to start, both for his ability to catch the ball as well as block down field, along side Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard.

* Trey Metoyer is still out with an apparent ankle injury.  He was on crutches and in a protective boot during Saturday's scrimmage.

Defense/Special Teams

* As expected, the defensive line has struggled somewhat throughout camp and Saturday as no exception.  It's a unit that some talent, but to this point no real difference makers.

* There were reports earlier in the week about Oklahoma spending substantial amounts of time in practice employing a three man defensive line.  There were some who immediately shot this down thinking back to the same rumors this past spring about a possible switch to a 3-4 defense which Mike Stoops later said wasn't happening.

Well, it seems as if things might actually be trending in that direction after all.  It still makes very little sense given the personnel the Sooners have on campus, but by many accounts they are considering it regardless.  If, and we stress if, they do adopt a three man front it very likely won't be the traditional 3-4 defense you're used to seeing.  Given their propensity to play five defensive backs in the pass happy Big 12, it may in fact look like something more similar to a 3-3-5 type formation.

We'll have to wait and see if this is something they are planning to adopt as their primary defensive scheme or simply a type of sub-package they used in specific situations (as they've done in the past).

* Heard Cortez Johnson made some nice plays on the ball in coverage and redshirt freshman Zack Sanchez had the only interception on the day.  Nothing really on the safety play or Ahmad Thomas and Hatari Byrd who have been talked about quite a bit so far during camp.

* While the place-kicking is in the very capable hands of Michael Hunnicutt, there have been mixed reports on the punting game.  Some said Jed Barnett performed well during the scrimmage, while others have said the punting has been sub-par and that this team is really going to miss Tress Way.

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