The college football season has (finally) begun and we’re all curious, we all have questions.
Here are my five biggest questions for Oklahoma’s 6 p.m. season opener against Louisiana Tech on Owen Field:
1. Trevor Knight: My question is not at the quarterback position, but with Knight himself. Exactly how good is this kid? He’s been voted a team captain, he’s likeable, mature, terrific in many ways, but is he actaully the quarterback he was against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, where he completed 32 of 44 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns? No matter what Knight’s true identity is, his top priority is to stay healthy. Presumably (hopefully), backup Cody Thomas will get some quality snaps against the Bulldogs.
2. Receivers: Dorial Green-Beckham was ruled ineligible, which was no surprise, but that doesn’t make it any less of a bummer. The dude is a top-5 NFL pick. Junior wideout Sterling Shepherd is a stud, this we know. He is a proven commodity and fellow starter Durron Neal had 13 catches last season, but KJ Young is a redshirt freshman and the backups are a gaggle of unknowns in Michiah Quick, Austin Bennett, Derrick Woods, Jordan Smallwood, Dannon Cavil and … you get the idea.
3. Running back: Keith Ford, Alex Ross and Samaje Perine. What exactly is the pecking order, and why? Will Ford hang onto the ball? Will their playing time depend on down and distance? Running backs coach Cale Gundy decides who plays and when. Might be the most interesting guy to mic up during a game.
4. Linebackers: No problems whatsoever on the outside with Erik Striker and Geneo Grissom holding down the fort. Dominique Alexander is solid at inside right. Inside left belongs to sophomore Jordan Evans with leading tackler Frank Shannon nowhere in sight. No one has better get hurt, because depth is a huge concern.
5. Physicality: Exactly how physical will the Sooners be, with a 260-pound former quarterback now starting at tight end in Blake Bell. There also are smash-mouth running backs in Ford, Ross and Perine, plus road graters Aaron Ripkowski and Dimitri Flowers at bulldozing at fullback.