Takeaways from Big 12 Media Days: Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables spoke Thursday on the second night of Big 12 Media Days. Venables talked about many different subjects, including the future of Bedlam, the defense, the newcomers, and the emergence of Danny Stutsman.

Venables mentions that the 2022 season was a disappointment. “We went 6-7 last year and fell well below our expectations and our standards,” Venables said. However, the coaching staff addressed the weaknesses of the team in the offseason by filling some holes through the transfer portal and recruiting.

Here are some takeaways from Big 12 Media Days.

Venables confident in big turnaround:

  • “Last year doesn’t mean anything to what happens this year,” Venables said after being asked about TCU coming to Norman and what happened last year in Fort Worth.
  • The Sooners coach also mentions how much confidence he has in his players and staff to fix the issues they had last season. “We’ve looked long and hard in the offseason at what we need to do to become a more efficient football team,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do but I’ve got a lot of faith in both our players and our staff.”
  • “Competitive depth.” Those are two words that stuck out from Venables’ press conference. OU did not have the depth in 2022 that was needed to close out games. “I really love the competitive depth we’ve developed with our current players, our returning players and what we’ve recruited, both out of high school with 40 new scholarship players and 17 transfers.”

Danny Stutsman emerging as defensive leader:

  • Stutsman led the Big 12 with 126 tackles last season, which is a huge feat. However, Venables expects him to take on a bigger role in the locker room.
  • Venables mentioned that Stutsman himself knew he wasn’t capable of leading last season, but that has changed. “He’s put the team and the expectations on his back,” he said. “We’re in a different place, and he certainly is at this point in time to where he was a year ago.”

Venables wants Bedlam to continue:

  • When asked about Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy’s comments, Venables says that he would love for the game to continue, but he does not have a say.
  • “Look, I’m not in control of whether or not we play Oklahoma State. Whether or not be play them in the future, nobody is asking me what I think,” he said.
  • “If they do ask me, I’ll tell them what I think. I love college football. I love the traditions of the game. I love rivalry games. I’d love to play the game. But we’re going to play the schedule they put in front of us.”
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