The Norman Transcript

OU Football

April 13, 2014

Sooner faithful best barometer for progress

NORMAN — The headline, already up at Oklahoma’s athletic website by 6 p.m. Saturday, read “White Team Prevails in Annual Spring Game,” and if there’s a more meaningless summary of Sooner fortunes, in any sport, before next year’s spring game, I can’t wait to see it.

Not until they announce fairly even rosters and play it straight, or make it, straight up, offensive vs. defense with a scoring system that makes sense, will a headline like that ever be meaningful.

In the end, it’s only a scrimmage, which is still just a practice and they only get 15 until preseason drills roll around. Not that we didn’t get some story lines.

Like who’s the back-up quarterback now and who, maybe, is the starting quarterback two seasons from now, when Baker Mayfield, who left Lubbock for Norman, becomes eligible, because that guy looked fantastic.

We learned that Norman’s own Jordan Evans is a little bigger and should play a lot more in 2014, even if Frank Shannon comes back from the purgatory of his personal issues. And we had it demonstrated, again, that Zack Sanchez can really play. 

And maybe what the running-back-by-committee might look like, and who might catch some passes we haven’t seen before and, holy cow, there’s a new position in the Sooner offense and it’s called “tight end.”

Yet, for all of that, the most important takeaway from the spring may well be that momentum need not have a shelf life. That the Sugar Bowl, and really the six weeks that preceded it, too, remains the gift that keeps on giving to the Sooners.

For starters, there were 43,500 fans, or thereabouts, at Owen Field Saturday afternoon, besting the previous Stoops era high. No, it’s not Nebraska, where 50,000 people will come out to watch walk-ons jump rope, but it’s another measure of positive mojo prevalent throughout the program.

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