Chat with Jake Trotter
Welcome to SoonerNation! On Monday, writer Jake Trotter stops by to chat about everything Oklahoma.
Trotter joined ESPN.com in 2011 after four years with The Oklahoman covering OU and Big 12 football. Before that, he worked at the Austin American-Statesman and Middletown (Ohio) Journal. Trotter grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Washington & Lee (Va.) University.
Send your questions now and join Trotter Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Is Frank Alexander a legit pro prospect? I thought the dline would be a weakness but they have been stout so far.
Jake Trotter (4:01 PM)
Seth, he's making himself a lot of money this season. This was a big year for Frank. Early on in his career, it seemed as though he was on the cusp on becoming a big-time end. But last year, he sprained his ankle in the preseason, and never got going. The talent is there, as we've seen through five games. He has the chance to have a solid NFL career.As for the dline, I thought it would be the weak link of the defense. So far, it's the strength, according to Brent Venables.
Providing everything plays out as "expected", how good is Bedlam going to be this year? Any chance that Okie St. takes Texas to lightly after watching OU decimate the Horns or do they just keep chugging along?
Jake Trotter (4:03 PM)
To me, it would be the biggest Bedlam game in series history. Bigger than '76, '84, '88 and '10.I can see Texas bouncing back and showing some pride this weekend. But I can't see OSU taking a program they've beaten in Austin just once since 1950 lightly.
How do you see OU matching up with an SEC team in New Orleans?
Jake Trotter (4:04 PM)
It's not ideal, particularly if it's LSU. That's a home game for the Tigers.LSU or Alabama would be favored in that game, but OU would have a shot, because of the QB advantage.
Are Not (okc)
How good is OU's offense in comparison with LSU, Alabama, Wisky?
Jake Trotter (4:05 PM)
It's definitely better than LSU's and Bama's. Both of those teams beat you with defense. I would take OU's offense over Wisconsin's, but Wisconsin probably has the best offense in the Big Ten. Russell Wilson is the real deal at QB.
Tal East (Daviston, AL)
The size differential between LSU & Alabama's defense and Oklahoma's is to me glaring. Provided they make it, can Oklahoma's line give Landry Jones enough time to do what he does?
Jake Trotter (4:07 PM)
Yeah, it would be a problem. I can't even count the number of future NFL starters that play on both of those defenses. While I don't think OU would have much success running the ball, this line excels in pass protection and I think they would matchup relatively well protecting Landry.
Hey Jake! Putting Saturday's score aside, how good are we and/or how bad is Texas? Also, why doesn't anyone give us a chance at beating an LSU or Bama team? The Sooners look great. I don't get it.
Jake Trotter (4:09 PM)
Texas has problems. Its defense is not as good as we thought, specifically in the secondary, and its offense is not much better than last year. Texas could easily lose to OSU, K-State, Baylor and Texas A&M.OU would have a shot, because its defense is better than most people believed it would be. In fact, when it's over, this defense could be the best of the Stoops era. High praise, considering how good the '01 and '03 units were. But this defense has no glaring hole. Bama and LSU would have a hard time scoring against these guys.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Hi Jake, the Sooners have looked great so far, but the one Achilles Heel, that continues to rear its ugly head, has been OU's inability to run the ball effectively in the red zone against teams with similar athletes on defense. As a Sooner fan, how concerned should I be about this one dimensional attack inside the 20 through the first five games as I look forward to a potential showdown with Bama or LSU?
Jake Trotter (4:11 PM)
It's something that needs to be addressed. This came back to bite OU in the '08 national championship against Florida. At some point, it's almost like hitting your head against the wall. If I were Heupel, every time in the red zone, I'd take a shot to Stills and/or Broyles. Those guys are OU's best red-zone options at this point, not running between the tackles.
Any word on Tom Wort's injury ?
Jake Trotter (4:12 PM)
Wort said after the Texas game that it was a bruised back and that he should be fine for this weekend's game versus Kansas. It's possible OU holds him out as a precaution, since they really don't need him this weekend. We'll ask Stoops tonight if Wort practiced today.
James (North TX)
Could Whaley be a potential superstar? How has he not played the last two years?
Jake Trotter (4:14 PM)
He's not Adrian Peterson, Steve Owens or Billy Sims. But he could be an All-Big 12 running back before his time at OU is done, and play several years in the NFL.What I really like about Whaley is how he catches the ball out of the backfield. He's the complete back. And you have to admire how hard he runs between the tackles. You can tell this kid has been through a lot, and he truly plays like every play might be his last.
Luke McConnell (Norman)
Jake, how does OU shake the SEC love and gain some more respect? Or is this something that's just going to have to wait until LSU and Bama play each other and OU beats OSU to become the other team in New Orleans?
Jake Trotter (4:15 PM)
Until OU (or anyone else for that matter) beats the SEC in the national championship, the SEC will continue to get all the respect. The SEC has dominated college football the last five years, and until someone topples them, they deserve the respect they're getting.
Meni (New Hampshire)
I see Kenny Mossman tweeting about Whaley's "combine' numbers vs Adrian Peterson's. I think that is silly. They are running backs and AD is a legend, that just makes Whaley a workout warrior.
Jake Trotter (4:17 PM)
It's a little hard to believe. But Stoops said the same thing during his press conference two weeks ago. I agree, Peterson is at another level, but you saw on the breakaway run vs. Texas, Whaley has big-time speed, and he's shown the power to break through tackles.
So, which team should we be rooting for when LSU and Bama play?
Jake Trotter (4:17 PM)
Alabama, no doubt. You do not want to be playing LSU in New Orleans. I think the Sooner fans that attended the 2003 Sugar Bowl can attest to that.
How do you think this team compares to other great Bob Stoops team from years past?
Jake Trotter (4:19 PM)
Cody, it's too soon to tell. The offense isn't quite as good as the '08 group. I would still put the '01 defense ahead of this one. But it's not about having the best units, it's about having the best team. And this group is, by far, collectively the sharpest group I've covered, they seem to have great leadership from the sophomores to the seniors, and they also seem to get along well. I think all of those things win football games. Just ask the '00 national title team.
Phillip (a stadium near you)
Hey Jake,how you like all that fried food at the State Fair and was this really a little revenge going back to the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State,I heard that said a few times this past weekend?
Jake Trotter (4:21 PM)
Phillip, I went with the corn dog after the game. Solid choice. Last year, I had fried frito chili pie. It sounds horrible, but it was tremendous.Not one player on this team was around for the Fiesta Bowl. So I don't buy the revenge factor. I will say, the win was probably a little sweeter for defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who had a tremendous game plan against Bryan Harsin this time around.
Would OU beat Stanford in Palo Alto?
Jake Trotter (4:23 PM)
Stanford is though, but Palo Alto isn't the strongest home field advantage in college football. I'd say OU would be favored in that game, but not by much.
how will the receiver rotation be when broyles leaves?
Jake Trotter (4:24 PM)
Kenny Stills, Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks would be the starters, with Kameel Jackson, and possibly Trey Metoyer off the bench. We'll see if Justin McCay or Sheldon McClain can make a move into the rotation, but they have a ways to go.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think Roy Finch will see some more time in the backfield as the season progresses? He gives the Sooners more explosiveness in the backfield than Clay? Was his offseason that bad that is caused him to drop that far on the depth chart.
Jake Trotter (4:26 PM)
I think the way OU is using Finch now is the way they will use him the rest of the season. As a slot receiver/jet back. The Sooners obviously don't feel good about Finch's pass protecting, and it appears there's some concern with his knowledge of the offense. But you're right, Finch is explosive, and a special player with the ball in his hands. He needs at least 5 touches a game.
I agree. I was there and it sucked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went to LSU and OU for school, but I've always been a Sooner!
Meni (New Hampshire)
Do you see OU sleep walking thru Kansas?
Jake Trotter (4:27 PM)
Maybe a little. But OU is so much better, does it really matter? It's hard to get up for a game like this coming off such a dominating performance against Texas. I can see OU struggling a bit, and still winning by 40.
Jake was this a "perfect storm" type of game with it being UT, realignment, Brian Harsin, etc... Or is this team that good and UT that bad? Or a combination of all things?
How serious is Mario Edwards statment after the game? And if he commited, would it help DGB? If that was the case would this class rival 2010?
Jake Trotter (4:30 PM)
Venables called it a "perfect storm" and to some extent he's right. No matter how well you're playing, you can't count on getting 3 defensive touchdowns. On the other hand, take away the kickoff return and the late UT touchdown, and the score could have been 55-3. If these teams played again, would OU win by 38? Probably not. But if they played 10 times, I couldn't see Texas winning once, either.
Jake Trotter (4:31 PM)
It sounds like Edwards is looking around. If OU landed DGB, too, it would be one of the best classes of the Stoops era, no doubt.
Landry Jones a legit first rounder?
Jake Trotter (4:32 PM)
Yes. He has the arm, he has the smarts, he has the size to be one.
Jake Trotter (4:34 PM)
Guys, that's it for the first edition of the SoonerNation chat on ESPN SportsNation. We'll be doing this at 3 p.m. CT on Mondays throughout the season. If you didn't get a question in, send to the mailbag (http://es.pn/q4Zc4o), and I'll get it answered Friday morning. Have a great week.