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No. 9 Oklahoma in unfamiliar function after teaching change

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There’s a totally different vibe across the Oklahoma program this 12 months.

The Sooners’ run of convention championships ended at six final season with a loss to Oklahoma State that value them a spot within the Massive 12 title sport. Coach Lincoln Riley then shortly left for Southern California and quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler transferred elsewhere.

Oklahoma employed Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to regular the ship, however with all of the motion, the Sooners aren’t even favored to win the convention this 12 months — the coaches picked Baylor to repeat.

That doesn’t matter to Venables, who has been centered on the method heading into the ninth-ranked Sooners’ opener Sept. 3 towards UTEP. He has a big-picture strategy and expects to ultimately have the type of success the Sooners had when he was an assistant with this system from 1999 to 2011, which included a nationwide title in 2000.

“Right here we’re, fall camp 2022, first season,” he mentioned. “Our coaches and gamers and our workers have labored extremely exhausting, relentlessly, making an attempt to construct for this season and past. And so I couldn’t be extra enthusiastic about what’s in entrance of us.”

The Sooners have a brand new quarterback in Central Florida switch Dillon Gabriel. The preseason Massive 12 Newcomer of the 12 months handed for greater than 8,000 yards and 70 touchdowns whereas main among the nation’s most efficient offenses. He likes the group surrounding him, each on the talent positions and on the road, and he’s not shying away from excessive expectations.

“The joy’s actual,” Gabriel mentioned. “Individuals say they’re excited. However I’m really excited as a result of there’s only a bunch that we will do in each place.”

Lots of the gamers haven’t been in motion collectively, however Venables believes exhausting work will make up for it.

“We wish a assured, bodily, powerful, blue-collar work ethic group,” he mentioned. “Popping out of fall camp, I would like our guys to be extremely assured via the work that we put in during the last a number of months.”

New prime assistants

Venables’ workers consists of some extremely achieved assistants in offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and defensive coordinator Ted Roof. Lebby, who is also the quarterbacks coach, led one of many nation’s prime offenses at Ole Miss final season. Roof, is also the linebackers coach, adopted Venables from Clemson.

Bulked up

Oklahoma operating again Eric Grey placed on 10 kilos within the offseason to place himself to deal with a higher workload because the clear starter. The senior is listed at 211 kilos.

Kennedy Brooks was the first ballcarrier final season, however Grey nonetheless managed to hurry for 412 yards and achieve 229 yards receiving.

“The room goes to begin with EG,” Lebby mentioned. “Eric has performed an unbelievable job. The man’s a professional. All the pieces he does is in an expert manor. Couldn’t be extra enthusiastic about the place he’s at and what he’s going to have the ability to do for us this fall.”

Sticking it out

Marvin Mims caught 32 passes for 705 yards and 5 scores final season. He stayed with the Sooners, though Mario Williams transferred to USC, Jadon Haselwood left for Arkansas, and Austin Stogner transferred to South Carolina.

New receiver’s coach

Oklahoma assistant head coach Cale Gundy introduced his resignation on Aug. 7, and the varsity mentioned the following day that Gundy uttered a racially charged phrase a number of occasions whereas studying off a participant’s gadget throughout a movie session the earlier week. Gundy had been with this system since 1999.

Venables mentioned L’Damian Washington, who had been an offensive analyst, will coach receivers on an interim foundation: “He’s already had unimaginable relationships constructed with these guys and belief and actually a deep understanding of who they’re as younger males.”

Former Texas Tech coach Matt Wells and former Oklahoma receiver Nick Basquine will help Washington.

Schedule 

Oklahoma visits outdated rival Nebraska on Sept. 17. There’s the annual showdown towards Texas in Dallas on Oct. 8. Two of the most important matchups are at house — Nov. 5 towards No. 10 Baylor and Nov. 19 towards No. 12 Oklahoma State. Run the desk, and a return to the playoff might be within the playing cards.

Reporting by the Related Press.


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