We all believe a Lincoln Riley led OU offense will do it's part, they'll score a bunch of points, it's the OU defense that must improve if the Sooners are going to make a run at the college football playoff.
Mike Stoops has tweaked his scheme a little bit, and he has reliable returners in like Jordan Thomas, the cornerback, and Caleb Kelly, the linebacker. Several unsung players must stand out, such as defensive lineman Neville Gallimore, from 350 pounds arrival to a cut 310 pounds now.
"I'm getting more comfortable in terms of playing my position, and understanding that I got an opportunity to play last year and now it's time to step up and have even more of an impact," Gallimore said.
Another is inside linebacker Emmanuel Beal, from 207 pounds to 225 pounds.
"There's a lot of competition, don't get me wrong, there's a lot of competition, so it brings the out the best in players, so you're going to get your best out of these mikes, weeks by weeks, day by days," Beal said.
As a two-year returning starter, Thomas has high expectations for the upcoming season.
"I so bad want us to be in the running for a national championship, but at the same time I want to be in the running for every award that has to do with any defensive player of the year," Thomas said.
The man behind the scheme, wants to use last season's performance as motivation moving forward.
"Hopefully, it bothered all of us, we're not hear to dwell on it, we know we can player better, so I think that part affected them, affected all of us," Stoops said. "They care about how they play and if we want to win like we want to win, they know we have to play better defense."