Bob Stoops had his first game week media session on Monday and as the Sooners get ready to play Houston at NRG Stadium it’s pretty obvious that all eyes are going to be on Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr..
“Offensively everything goes through number 1, Greg Ward Jr. Great, great player. Has the ability to run the football, designed runs, great scrambler, great thrower as well.” – Bob Stoops on Greg Ward Jr.
While Ward may be the catalyst that makes the Houston offense hum, he’s not along as a play-maker and the schemes will keep the Sooner offense on their toes.
“Very disciplined football team in the way they play. Offensively they give you a lot of problems of course with formation and some motions, quarterback run game to go with your traditional pass and run game.” – Bob Stoops on the Houston offense
Quite possibly what’s being lost in the conversation about Houston is how good they were on defense last year. It’s certainly not something that has been overlooked by the OU coaching staff.
“Really created a lot of turnovers a year ago. Really aggressive defense in the way they play so we’ll have to be excellent on offense handling all that pressure.” – Bob Stoops on the Houston defense
Of course there’s still a few things to learn about Oklahoma’s defense. The Sooners should be solid but the linebacker position will most likely make of break OU on defense this fall.
“I’ve been excited about our linebacker crew, it’s really been coming along in particular the last week with Jordan Evans and Tay Evans back there together have been really great communicating and being where they need to be. Obo continues to come on strong and then Will Johnson has been a main stay back there to go with Kapri Doucet and some of these other guys, Caleb Kelley and Rick DeBerry out on the weak side. They’re coming along. I think they’ve shown a lot more discipline in what they’re doing with their technique and how they’re playing.” – Bob Stoops on the new linebackers
Linebacker isn’t the only position where Oklahoma will be debuting new talent. Much of Sooner Nation is anxious to see what the receiving corps looks like minus Sterling Shepard.
“I feel like the group is in good shape, I said all along that I expect Dede Westbrook to be a guy that’ll have a chance to make more big plays this year, more guys are showing up overall. A.D. Miller, Mykel Jones when he’s back out there, Jarvis Baxter, there’s just more guys who’re being more consistent in how they’re practicing and playing on the field that I feel will have a chance to make a bigger impact overall this year. I think the whole group is just more prepared.” – Bob Stoops on Oklahoma’s receivers