Big 12 Football Preview: Oklahoma vs Louisiana Tech
The Sooners will open up the 2014 college football season on Saturday when Oklahoma plays host to the Bulldogs from Louisiana Tech and as you can imagine, OU is favored by about a bazillion points. So if you're a gambling man, I suggest betting the spread because LA Tech should be able to cover that bazillion points, but it will be close. And that is why we don't cover gambling on BCSNN.
Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz is getting ready for Oklahoma and based on what he had to say about the 2014 squad that Bob Stoops has put together, he is very impressed.
"I don't know that the teleconference is long enough for me to talk about everything that impresses me about them, but there's a reason they're No. 3 in the country, preseason," said Holtz. "When you look at what they did, when you look at the number of returning starters and the way that they were playing at the end of the year, they're one of the better teams in the country."
The second-year coach with the Bulldogs also went on to comment on the success of the job Stoops has done during his time with the Sooners.
"Coach Stoops is a great football coach," said Holtz. "He's done a fantastic job with this Oklahoma program with the consistency that he's built there year in and year out, with the recruiting. I believe this is ear 15 (16) for him. I just think there's great stability in that program. You can see what they want to do and they're doing it."
So basically Skip Holtz wants to have Bob Stoops baby. Maybe we're reading too much into this. Okay, maybe way too much. Perhaps this is what they call professional respect among peers, but we've never experienced professionalism or felt respect, so it's foreign to us.
Entering Saturday's season opener against Louisiana Tech, Norman North High School alum Jordan Evans currently sits atop the depth chart at Oklahoma's at the club's left inside linebacker position. The son of three-time All-Big 8 Oklahoma defensive tackle, Scott Evans, the younger Evans could play a prominent role in the Sooners' defense this season. His freshman campaign got off to a strong start before an ankle injury sidelined him after playing in eight contests.
"Jordan (Evans) has looked really good," said head coach Bob Stoops. "He was held out early just because of an illness, but once he was over that he was stronger. He is up to about 220 now. He's big.
"He made a few plays in our Friday, it wasn't a scrimmage but we simulated a game, and he made some nice plays. The offensive coaches have commented on his length in the middle. He's hard to get the ball over, so he's been really solid. He's a guy who played some a year ago, so he's ready for it."
Will We See The Belldozer?
Bob Stoops has acknowledged that the "Belldozer" package is in the playbook for another season.
"We do (have it available)," said Stoops. "That is something that we always think has a certain number of plays we can go to. If you do that it is taking some hits away from Trevor (Knight). There are some bigger spots inside that maybe you get bigger piles you don't want him in.
"There is a place for it, but how much maybe depends on how successful we are with other things that we are doing."
When asked if he sees it as a form of a Wildcat package Stoops thinks it is different than the typical Wildcat because of Bell's years of experience as a quarterback and the threat of a polished thrower.
"In the end it wouldn't be a wildcat package because he can throw pretty well," said Stoops. "Those running backs they put back there usually couldn't throw a grenade in a tub. Blake doesn't have that problem if we wanted to give him a shot at something.
Louisiana Tech Names Their Starting QB
At Scottsdale Community College Cody Sokol broke the passing records originally set by LA Tech Legend Tim Rattay. On Monday, Sokol was given the chance to do it all over again as he was named the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs.
Coincidentally after a near decade-long NFL career, Rattay is back in Ruston as an assistant coach for Louisiana Tech.
A fifth-year transfer from Iowa that is eligible to play immediately, Sokol won the job over incumbent Ryan Higgins after a vigorous battle throughout fall camp.
Sokol transferred to Iowa after two seasons at Scottsdale Community College. At Iowa, he redshirted the 2012 season and lost out on the starting job at the same point last season. He eventually saw action in one game but did not record any stats.
Higgins played in seven games last season for Louisiana Tech, splitting time with recently departed QB Scotty Young. He threw for 1,715 yards as a redshirt freshman last season going 166-for-281 with six touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Sokol's first career start will be against Oklahoma at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.
Portions of this article may contain materials or information provided courtesy of the Oklahoma athletic department.