Five things I'll be keeping an eye on today as the Sooners travel to Tulsa.
1. Knight's moves
OU's last two games raise some interesting questions about how the coaching staff now views Trevor Knight within the Sooners' broader offensive scheme. Until the Sugar Bowl, Knight did most of his damage with his feet on option plays and quarterback keepers.
Last week, however, looked a lot more like the Alabama game. Knight was more judicious with his scrambling and clearly took evasive measures to avoid punishment from defenders when he did run.
Knight had trouble staying healthy last year, so you can't fault Bob Stoops for ordering him to play it safe. On the other hand, the offense does lose some of its potency when Knight's mobility is taken out of play. Let's see how offensive coordinator Josh Heupel balances things in this week's game plan.
2. Intermediate passing
The Sooners had more than their fair share of success throwing the ball versus the Bulldogs, but we didn't get many answers to the overarching questions about the passing game.
The biggest unknown at this point remains OU's ability to convert consistently in medium and long situations on third down. Whatever his struggles, Landry Jones excelled in the 8-12 yard range and kept alive more drives than the Sooners deserved by sticking throws on money downs.
I don't know if that will ever be part of Knight's repertoire, but it doesn't have to be. Just a little more consistency on those downs is all OU needs to be a straight filthy offense.
3. Shepard, Neal and ?
This goes hand in hand with numero dos. OU has a star in Sterling Shepard. I think we saw signs last week that Durron Neal has taken the training wheels off. Otherwise, the receiving corps remains somewhat undistinguished.
K.J. Young looks like he's rounding into a solid third option. Maybe it's him. Maybe it's a tight end. Whatever. Knight has to find someone else whom he can count on when his primary options are taken away.
(Lots of talk about the offense...)
4. New faces in new places?
Talking about linebacker, natch. Is Tim Kish still rolling with walk-on Caleb Gastellum as Jordan Evans' understudy? Gastellum can fill in admirably when called upon, but it's just a viable long-term option. Would be pretty loco not to consider someone else out of all the talent on that side of the ball.
After getting ejected last week, Evans needs plenty of reps today. Hopefully, though, we get a chance in the second half to see if anyone else is in the mix.
5. Wilson picking
Newly minted starting cornerback Julian Wilson didn't get challenged very often versus La. Tech. TU has more weapons split out wide in Keevan Lucas and Keyarris Garrett. The 'Cane also boast a superior better trigger man in Dane Evans.
TU coach Bill Blankenship may ask Evans to test Wilson more often. If so, it should make for a nice warmup for Wilson before OU hits the meat of the schedule.