2014 Spring Game: The Defense Shines


Apr 12, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight (9) runs the ball before being contacted by Sooners defensive end Geneo Grissom (85) during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports.

The annual 2014 Red White Game was many things. A fun family experience, with live music during the game and a wide array of players demonstrating their progression during the spring work outs.

As far as game scrimmages go, this one played out how you would expect it, vanilla plays on both sides, but it did answer some questions. The group I was blown away by most in the spring game was the defense. Eric Striker was my MVP for the game. He shed blocks and appeared to perform zone coverage duties in the nickle fairly well. He also recorded two consecutive “sacks” on Trevor Knight to start the second half.

Zack Sanchez defended several passes, as did Quentin Hayes, who nearly had two interceptions from Cody Thomas and Baker Mayfield. Charles Tapper was fast on the point of attack. Geneo Grissom, continued to demonstrate why he was the leader of this defense. The front seven just looked good.

As good as the defense was in the game, the offense was a little under whelming. Trevor Knight looked uncomfortable at the beginning of the game, the wide receivers were dropping passes, though as the game progressed the quarterback group appeared to find a rhythm. Knight, though wowed the crowd with his feet, as well as some tight window passes. However, the future is bright for Justice Hansen. He completed some fairly impressive looking passes. The wide receivers however didn’t appear to be themselves in the game. However, redshirt sophomore tight end Taylor McNamara had two touchdowns.

The running back group was solid. Alex Ross looked fast. He ripped off several good runs while he was on the field. Keith Ford looks like he will be the bruiser we were expecting him to be and fast to boot. Daniel Brooks looked elusive against the 2nd string defense. This position just from the outward appearances, could be even better the upcoming season than they were in 2013, even though they lost a ton of experience and leadership.

Michael Hunnicutt was impressive, kicking two long field goals of 47 and 52 yards into some very strong Oklahoma winds. A Groza candidate? Perhaps. It wouldn’t surprise me. The winds affected Jed Barnett and Jack Steeds ability to have effective punts.

In defense of the offense. A large majority of the starters were not playing in this game, including Sterling Shepard and Blake Bell. A healthy portion of the offensive line were still recovering from injuries themselves. I am not too concerned with some of the performances as the team, as coupled with injuries, both sides were utilizing watered down playbooks. Oklahoma will be ready for the regular season, as the summer work outs commence, and players continue to return from injury, and continue to improve. The defense, and mark it down now, will be awesome in 2014. There were two injuries in the game, Geneo Grissom and Dimitri Flowers both suffered apparent knee injuries during the spring game. They fortunately, were able to walk off the field.

The White squad got the better of Red this year, winning with a final score of 28-13.