In a season the Oklahoma Sooners played five one-score games and went 0-5, one could say the Sooners were clo … err, not far from keeping their streak of winning seasons alive.
It’s really hard to lose that many one-score games. It takes a great many bad breaks, so 2023 should see offer a regression to the mean. All the Sooners had to do was win one of those one-score games to prevent their first losing season since 1998. However, maybe that losing season is just what the doctor ordered to reset the program.
Oklahoma hasn’t laid back on the recruiting trail or in the first month of the 2022-2023 transfer portal. It has made significant additions to the defensive front and in the secondary to bolster a unit that allowed 30 points per game and allowed 35 or more points in seven games in 2022.
“Based on where they fell to this past year, they’re probably thinking that they’ve got to make a quick fix,” a Power Five coordinator told Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.
To that end, the Sooners have added Dasan McCullough, Rondell Bothroyd, Jacob Lacey, Davon Sears, reggie pearson jr. and Trace Ford to improve their defense. Each should have a significant role if not start for the Sooners in 2023. McCullough, Bothroyd and Pearson, in particular, will bolster the Sooners’ defense. They were playmakers in their previous programs, something the Sooners lacked in 2022, especially from the pass rush. If the Sooners can improve their defense, there’s no telling how good they could be with the offense they have.
“They aren’t far from an SEC team on offense,” a defensive coordinator who faced Oklahoma shared with Rittenberg. “To say that team’s 6-6, I don’t know why. If you’ve got a quarterback and guys that can catch the football, you’re going to be able to score points.”
Oklahoma was 1-6 in games the defense allowed 35 points or more. The Sooners were 5-1 in games the defense held opponents to fewer than 30 points. The path to returning to the top of what will be a convoluted Big 12 in 2023 is getting the defense closer to 20-25 points per game allowed. Of course, that’s easier said than done. However, if the parts can come together, the Sooners will have a chance to do something significant in 2023.
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