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Oklahoma Sooners
2006 Schedule
9/2 UAB
9/9 Washington
9/16 at Oregon
9/23 Middle Tennessee
10/7 at Texas
10/14 Iowa State
10/21 Colorado
10/28 at Missouri
11/4 at Texas A&M
11/11 Texas A&M
11/18 at Baylor
11/25 at Oklahoma State

2005 overall record:
8-4
Conference record:
6-2

Returning starters
Offense: 5, Defense: 8, Kicker/punter: 2

2005 statistical leaders (* returners)
Rushing: Adrian Peterson* (1,104 yds)
Passing: Rhett Bomar* (2,018 yds)
Receiving: Malcolm Kelly* (471 yds)
Tackles: Rufus Alexander* (102)
Sacks: Calvin Thibodeaux* (10)
Interceptions: Clint Ingram (5)

Spring Answers: So it turns out this Adrian Peterson is a pretty good little back. You might have heard of him. The kid from the Lone Star State who piles up yards by the hash mark when healthy. Well, Big 12 fans, here's a scary thought: That Peterson guy is once again at 100 percent -- and looking better than ever. He's lighter on his feet and was even more evasive than usual this spring. Avoid injury and he can go ahead and book a trip to the Big Apple. … Based on proven talent, one could make a strong case the Sooners' defensive ends are the best in the country. In fact, let's just go ahead and say it. Larry Birdine and John Williams were in line for huge seasons in 2005 before devastating injuries hit. Their absence only cleared the way for C.J. Ah You, who was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, and Calvin Thibodeaux, who led OU with 10 sacks. Now all four are in the rotation, along with Alonzo Dotson, who sat out last year due to academics. … The emergence of rising sophomore Reggie Smith had to be the story of the spring for the Sooners. A converted safety, Smith already looks like a shutdown corner opposite D.J. Wolfe. At least one source inside the program is already predicting a Thorpe Award awaits Smith later in his career. Keep an eye, too, on converted WR Lendy Holmes, who looks like a solid nickel back.

Fall Questions: With the rash of injuries that took over the O-line last fall, several young linemen gained some valuable experience. Still, it's never easy losing three starters up front, along with an underappreciated fullback (J.D. Runnels) who could block the Red River. A couple of the potential starters on the line weren't able to participate in the spring, so it was tough to gauge (seven players took all of the snaps). The talent is there. At what point does the unit gel, though? … Instead of a fullback, might the Sooners consistently utilize a two-tight end set? We'll see. Between Joe Jon Finley, converted end Auston English and 6-7 uberprospect Jermaine Gresham, the options are aplenty. … Can Rhett Bomar crank it up a notch in the leadership department? It's hard to demand of a second-year player, but it's a must if OU wants to get back into national title contention, which it clearly has a chance to do. Peterson isn't really a vocal guy and there's only one senior starter on offense. Some have argued Bomar gets a little too emotional at times, but he's smart enough to find a happy medium (and maybe improve that 1-1 TD-INT ratio while he's at it). … Late in the spring, Bob Stoops threw starting punter Cody Freeby off the team for various off-field reasons. What does this mean? It's anyone's guess. Junior Mike Knall is in the mix, but Stoops hasn't ruled out seeking some help this summer. So if you're a soccer player with a good leg in the greater Norman area, you might consider giving Bob a call.

 

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