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Oklahoma Football Hot Links: Alex Grinch brings the brutal honesty, and it’s refreshing

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Oklahoma is well on its way to a culture change on the defensive side of the ball.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Everything you hear and read about DC Alex Grinch makes you believe the defensive culture for the Oklahoma Sooners really is on track for some serious improvements. He recently spoke about the defense being 129th in the nation versus the pass last season and how he occasionally sees those bad habits creep into practice now. It’s brutal honesty, but it’s absolutely necessary and a long time coming.

The part about getting ‘129’ tattooed on the players is amusing, but only just, because while he’s not being totally serious, it’s still a seriously awful statistic when it means being ranked dead last in the nation. This is Oklahoma. Being ranked last in anything should never even be a thing with the kind of talent this program is able to bring in. That speaks to how poor the player-coach formula was before the staff changes were made.

Fortunately, that talent is starting to increase with recruiting, and the defensive hires appear to be making a difference already. The OU Spring Game won’t show a ton, but it will give the fans their first glimpse into what the future could hold for the defense.

Now on to today’s Hot Links! Grant Calcaterra does NOT (Borat voice) have an agent, the NBA regular season wraps up for the successful Sooner trio, the Thunder will face the Blazers in the first round and more!

OU Links

  • Lincoln Riley is here to give you a heads up on what’s to come this Friday night. You heard the man, it’s going to be the place to be, and who knows, even though this was a last minute change, perhaps this will be the start of something new if everything else goes over well.
  • The NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks think Kyler Murray can be the best QB Kliff Kingsbury has ever coached if Arizona drafts him. It’s quite high praise, too, considering former disciple Patrick Mahomes is basically taking the league by storm in Kansas City.
  • OU Assistant AD for Communications Mike Houck was there with the clutch PR save when Grant Calcaterra and some media members were joking about the junior tight end having an agent. Well done, everybody. Keep it fun and controversy-free.
  • From offensive line to quarterback, and everything in between, you’ll want to check out Allen’s preview of the Sooners’ offense heading into OU’s Spring Game. There are many variables within this group given the new faces competing for starting spots throughout.
  • While you’re at it, you’ll also want to check out Allen’s defensive preview. It’s strange, because even though there are more returning players on that side of the ball compared to the offense, there are probably even more questions considering how bad the group was (and has been), as well as all the coaching turnover.
  • Caleb McCourry from the OU Daily put together the second installment of the project on Oklahoma born players on this season’s Sooner Football team. In this edition, redshirt sophomore Creed Humphrey out of Shawnee takes center stage, no pun intended. Okay, maybe a little pun intended.
  • The 2018-19 NBA regular season has come to a close, so how did the Sooner trio of Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young perform over the last week? Kartik’s got you covered, so check it out right away!
  • In case you missed it, you’ll want to catch episode 15 of the C&C Machine podcast — Oklahoma Breakdown. Jack and Kamiar talked about the scheduling change for the OU Spring Game, the huge recruiting implications of the weekend and more. As usual, keep in mind that there is some NSFW language.

Around the Sports World

  • Dirk Nowitzki became quite emotional in his final NBA game. It was awesome for the San Antonio Spurs to put together a tribute for the man who helped make their rivalry with Dallas so competitive for so many years.

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