The defense, so brutal at times last year, has the new stamp of an old genius

Key Recruit

TREY METOYER Rivals.com's No. 2--rated receiver, who caught six passes for 72 yards in OU's spring game, will see plenty of action after the departure of NCAA career receptions leader Ryan Broyles and the suspensions of three returning wideouts.

Breakout Player

R.J. WASHINGTON The career backup defensive end moves to full-time duty now that standouts Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis are gone. Washington looks to build on his performance in the Insight Bowl win over Iowa, in which he had two sacks against first-round draft pick Riley Reiff.

The Skinny

AFTER AN eight-year run as Arizona's head coach, hot-tempered Mike Stoops has returned to Norman. As the original defensive coordinator on brother Bob's staff, Mike helped the Sooners produce four straight top 10 defenses and win the 2000 national title. A year ago Oklahoma entered the season as the nation's top-ranked team only to be done in by a leaky D that was overwhelmed by Texas Tech (572 total yards), Baylor (485 passing yards) and Oklahoma State (495 total yards in a 44--10 loss). Playmaking safety Tony Jefferson still smarts over last season's breakdowns. "You're at Oklahoma," he says. "That's not acceptable." His fiery new coordinator agrees. "I take things very personal," says Stoops, "and hopefully the players will as well."

Final Analysis

THE RETURN of Landry Jones, OU's career passing leader (12,379 yards), puts the Sooners in position to field another explosive offense, but Jones will need to find new receiving targets, since junior Kenny Stills is the only experienced returnee. Senior running back Dominique Whaley, who missed the last five games with a broken left ankle, will take some pressure off Jones, and 6'6", 254-pound backup QB Blake Bell (a.k.a. the Belldozer) gives OU a nearly automatic option in short-yardage situations. If the Sooners' reconfigured secondary shines, they'll play for the Big 12 title when they visit TCU the final week of the season.

THE VITALS

Coach Bob Stoops (14th year)

139--34 (91--22 Big 12)

2011 Record 10--3 (6--3, T-3 in Big 12)

Final AP Rank 16

Returning Starters Offense 5, Defense 8

2011 STATS

Total Offense (FBS Rank) 512.3 YPG (5)

Rushing Offense 162.9 YPG (50)

Passing Offense 349.4 YPG (5)

Total Defense 376.2 YPG (55)

Rushing Defense 134.7 YPG (43)

Passing Defense 241.5 YPG (79)

TELLING NUMBER 7

Big 12 titles won by coach Bob Stoops during his 13 years in Norman; he has never gone more than one year without a championship.

TOP PLAYERS

Offense

QB Landry Jones

Sr., 6'4", 218 pounds

4,463 YDs, 29 TDs, 15 INTs

WR Kenny Stills

Jr., 6'1", 190 pounds

61 RECs, 849 YDs, 8 TDs

c Gabe Ikard

Jr., 6'3", 288 pounds

88 knockdowns

Defense

FS Tony Jefferson

Jr., 5'11", 212 pounds

74 tackles, 4 INTs

CB Demontre Hurst

Sr., 5'10", 183 pounds

55 tackles

DT Jamarkus McFarland

Sr., 6'2", 288 pounds

20 tackles, ½ sack

Special Teams

PK Michael Hunnicutt

Soph., 6'0", 173 pounds

21/24 FGs, 55/56 PATs

PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHORaise your hand if you're a Sooner and were appalled by last year's defensive performance? Yes, thought so. PHOTOJEFF MOFFETT/ICON SMI (WASHINGTON)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)