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Football

TOP 5 QUESTIONS FACING ’09 SOONERS

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Every Sooner fan is wondering the same thing. Is this the year Bob Stoops brings another national title to the Sooner Nation? However, there are always a handful of things that must go just right if a team is going to win it all. The 2000 Sooners went the entire season without a single starter missing a game. The ’08 Texas Longhorns were actully one interception away from playing for the title.

What must happen in order for Oklahoma to satisfy it’s natives by winning the national championship? Here are the Top 5 Questions Sooner fans should have on their mind entering the season.

1. Will the offensive line develop like they seem to every other year since Stoops has been in Norman? The coach’s will tell you that the line could actually be better than last year by the end of the season. Unfortunately, they will need them to be good well before the end of the season. Oklahoma has one of the toughest schedules in the country and will need a strong performance from it’s o-line on October 3rd when they pay a visit to Miami. The biggest test will come October 17th when they begin a tough stretch in which they will play 3 of 4 games against preseason top 25 teams starting with the Red River Rivalry against Texas. Fortunately for the Sooners the one returning starter from last years line, Trent Williams, was considered by many to be the best of that group.

2. Will the special teams be a sore spot once again? It was very surprising to see the special teams perform as badly as they did in ’08. Mainly because they were coached by Bob Stoops himself. The good news is that Stoops has taken it personally and will do everything possible to improve the special teams. The word from the fall┬ácamp is that kicker Jimmy Stevens has added some leg strength and has shown to be much more accurate than a year ago. It has also been said that Stevens has dealt with some issues concerning his nerves during games. Hopefully after a year of playing in some really big games he has gotten over that.

3. Can DeMarco Murray stay healthy and finally play in a bowl game? The talented running back has missed each of the last two bowl games. There are many that believe his absence is what cost the Soonersagainst Florida. As solid as Chris Brown is, Murray adds a big play threat to the offense that they don’t have withBrown. Perhaps his biggest asset is what he brings to the passing game. Defensive coach’s around the country have said that with Murray in the lineup the Sooners are a match-up nightmare. When healthy, Murray is probably one of the top 3 or 4 running backs in the country.

4. Will Oklahoma be able to defeat Texas? This question is on the minds of Sooner fans before every season. However, this years edition of the Red River Rivalry may very well be the most hyped game the two have ever played. The anticipation brings back memories of the old Oklahoma-Nebraska games. There is so much bitterness in the air now that it may be difficult to see the game from the upper levels of the Cotton Bowl. This one is probably the game of the decade and will go a long way towards deciding both the Big Twelve and national championships.

5. Can Bob Stoops and Oklahoma win a BCS Bowl game? Until the Sooners win another BCS game this question will continue to be asked. In fact the futility the Sooners have endured in BCS games is starting to become a major problem. Nobody wants to be considered the Buffalo Bills of the NCAA and you definately don’t want to be know to recruits as the team that can’t win the big games. In defense of Oklahoma, they have won plenty of big games lately. Remember, they beat Texas two years ago and last season they defeated Texas Tech and Missouri in big games when each were ranked in the top 5. Oh yeah, don’t forget they beat OSU on the road to end the regular season┬áto send them to the Big 12 championship. A national championship in ’09 will put an end to all of that talk and the next thing you know people will be talking about the Sooners as the team of the decade.

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