Spring games tend to be ragged affairs that don't offer those outside of the program much to go on regarding the upcoming season. That was partially true of Oklahoma's Red-White Game on Saturday.
Nothing earth-shattering came out of the scrimmage. However, the ragged part didn't really play out that way. The Sooners put on a sharp performance across the board. Tackling, coverage, assignments – everything about the defense looked solid.
Offensively, Trevor Knight didn't exactly light it up (although that might be the best D he will see this season). Not much to complain about otherwise. The execution in the running game looked to be improved from last year.
Who knows if it means anything, but I can imagine Bob Stoops will take that kind of showing over a sloppy one.
*Jordan Evans made a big impression playing in place of an M.I.A. Frank Shannon. He got into the offense's backfield on the regular and played with some nice physicality in the middle of the field. I didn't notice any boners in coverage, either.
Stoops said after the game that Shannon is dealing with a "personal issue" – always an ominous sign. With Shannon's future apparently up in the air, the progress of the other inside linebackers in the offseason takes on even more importance. Evans showed promising signs on Saturday.
*The story on offense? Baker Mayfield (9-of-9 passing attempts, 125 yards, 2 touchdowns), without a doubt. The transfer from Texas Tech sliced up the opposing secondary and delivered the best throws of the four quarterbacks who played.
Watching Mayfield in action, it struck me that he really must have wanted to go to OU. He not only has to sit out the 2014 season, but he's losing a redshirt year as well. Mayfield would be the shoe-in starter at any number of major programs in 2015, and he'd have an extra year of eligibility.
He won't take the field for the Sooners this fall, but he'll certainly give them one of the best scout team QBs in the country. And if Trevor Knight stumbles...
*Want to know just how jacked Sooner Nation is right now? This year's spring game drew the biggest crowd in Stoops' tenure (43,500). How often does that happen when the program's coach has been on the job as long as he has?
Between the turnout and all the former players in attendance, that makes for a nice little recruiting pitch for the coaching staff.
*Daniel Brooks has a lot of competition for carries at running back. Based on how he ran in the open field, however, he deserves a long look on kickoff return.
*Josh Heupel rolled out a whole mess of big personnel groupings and double-tight sets. Maybe he's just experimenting, but that would make for an interesting departure from OU's recent aversion to the tight end.
*How will Dmitri Flowers' injury affect Heupel's plan for the tight ends and fullbacks? Hopefully both he and Geneo Grissom really did dodge a bullet.
*I'll review the game again in the next couple days and see what I missed.