Spring games pump out fool's gold by boatload every year to college football fans far and wide. On net, you probably know less about a given team after watching a spring game than you did going into it.
Coaches structure the games to get the outcomes they want. Scheme-wise, no one shows much of value on either side of the ball. The known quantities play a limited number of snaps, if they play at all.
In short, the odds that your eyes will deceive you during what amounts to a marketing event are high.
This year's Red-White Game features its own quirks that will probably make it even less valuable for sussing out info about Oklahoma's upcoming season. Chief among them is that the Sooners are staging it midway through their spring season.
Personally, when it comes to evaluating a spring game, I just try to look for the flashes and individual plays that stand out. Those tell you far more than about the players in these situations than anything that might show up in a spring game box score.
With that in mind, here are a few things I'll be watching closely when OU scrimmages on Saturday:
I've already speculated about how I envision the coaching staff revamping the defense this season. I'd assume that we'll get a sneak preview on Saturday of what Mike Stoops has planned. Equally important to how they line up will be who lines up where.
How good is Marquise Brown?
Whispers out of spring camp suggest the junior college transfer will take over as go-to receiver sooner than later. Hopefully, the speedster will get a chance to show off his wheels on a couple deep routes.
Are the inside linebackers getting off blocks?
OU's inside linebackers getting muscled contributed to a sometimes shoddy run defense in 2016. With leading tackler Jordan Evans gone, those issues could conceivably get worse this year.
Seeing guys like Jon-Michael Terry and Ricky DeBerry in action inside for the first time should, at the very least, be intriguing. Importantly, let's get a look at how they hold up when taking on blockers.
Murray will reportedly take a break from the diamond on Saturday to take part in the spring game. If Lincoln Riley plans on doing anything exotic with the Texas A&M transfer, it probably won't be unveiled until the fall. Even so, we might get a better idea if Murray will factor into the race to be Baker Mayfield's backup this year.
Plus, a quarterback competition is looming in 2018...
Another Murray: Kenneth
The early enrollee's name consistently comes up this spring when coaches and players talk about the most impressive newcomers. His fast start could put him in position to add some needed depth at LB. Let's see what the fuss is all about.