The Norman Transcript


August 24, 2010

Sooner O-line returns healthier, more experienced, focused on consistency

NORMAN — No group took more knocks than Oklahoma’s offensive line last season. Those knocks caused a flood of injuries at nearly every position. They also put the group in the crosshairs of pundits throughout college football.

To most, OU’s uncharacteristic 8-5 season was pinned on the inconsistent play of the offensive line.

The Sooners heard all of them last season and have taken them to heart in the seven months since.

“We set big goals every year, and this year I feel like we’re really on top of everything,” left guard Stephen Good said.

The goal for the Sooner offensive line is to become a cohesive unit in 2010. It sounds easy, the offensive lines from 2007-08 made it look that way. They were able to basically well out the same five on a game-by-game basis for two straight seasons. Last year, OU wasn’t able to start the same combination more than two games in a row.

But health hasn’t been an issue in the preseason and it has allowed for that bond to take hold.

“It’s important to get those five guys up there so we can start working together and getting comfortable with how each of us blocks,” center Ben Habern said. “And that’s where we’re at right now, we have a set five and so now we’re starting to work together as one unit.”

Habern and Good are two of six starters in the two deep with starting experience. Even if it came in the chaos of last season, it should be greatly beneficial this year.

The Sooners set a starting five heading into the preseason with Habern and Good being joined by sophomore guard Tyler Evans, junior left tackle Donald Stephenson and senior right tackle Eric Mensik.

Evans fought injuries but played in 12 games as freshman. The center and two guard spots are holdovers from last season. It’s the two tackle spots where intrigue comes into play.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock Paris didn’t give up when instant success eluded her

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners will have to do the right thing eventually

    Don’t read anything into the non-suspension suspension Oklahoma leveled at true freshman running back Joe Mixon Wednesday....

    July 31, 2014

  • In this case, Sooner fans can rest easy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooner Caravan ended its summer run at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. OU coach Bob Stoops did not take questions, but one of the major topics was the $370 million renovation to ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014