NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma is ready to push its Sugar Bowl upset over Alabama into the past.
The Sooners appear to be in position to contend for a national title, with significant experience returning and a strong freshman class. They start practice Aug. 5 in preparation for the Aug. 30 opener against Louisiana Tech.
Oklahoma should to be especially strong on defense, where 11 players with at least five career starts return from a unit that led the Big 12 in total defense and pass defense. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops says the unit can be even better this year. Last year, the Sooners switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4. This year, there is a greater sense of familiarity for coaches and players that should allow the team's improved athletic ability to shine.