Venables eyes Oklahoma growth in 2nd season

ARLINGTON, Texas — Brent Venables’ first season at Oklahoma resulted in disappointment with the Sooners ending 6-7, breaking a string of 23 straight profitable seasons.

At Massive 12 media day Thursday, Venables stated the largest takeaway from his first season as a head coach was how the Sooners had lacked just a little of their Sooner Magic in closing out video games.

“We have to study to not lose to Oklahoma,” he stated.

Venables, who was a longtime defensive coordinator at Oklahoma and Clemson, stated going 6-7 was “dang laborious,” however stated that the margin between profitable and dropping is shut and that he can attest to previous expertise.

“In 2000, we gained the nationwide championship [at Oklahoma] and we had a handful of video games come right down to the final drive of the sport,” Venables informed ESPN. “At Clemson in 2016, we went 14-1 and eight of the video games got here right down to the final drive of the sport. In 5 of our seven losses [last year]it comes right down to the final drive of the sport. We have been on the incorrect aspect of it.”

He stated he and the workers began “peeling again the onion” in January to establish the place they wanted to enhance.

“There’s nothing that escaped needing to enhance, changing into extra environment friendly, a greater solution to do issues. And also you study, quite a lot of occasions, probably the most by failure.”

Venables would like to not study as a lot that approach this season, so he launched into a little bit of a makeover, including 17 transfers — 9 to the Sooners’ much-maligned protection, which ranked 99th nationally and allowed 29.6 factors per sport — and stated that provides “aggressive depth,” which can assist late in video games or when gamers go right down to damage.

Final 12 months, the Sooners struggled after Dillon Gabriel was injured in a loss to TCU, with the low level being a 49-0 loss to Texas by which the Sooners handed for 39 yards with two interceptions. The Sooners added five-star quarterback Jackson Arnold of their heralded recruiting class, which ranked No. 4 within the nation this 12 months.

“He will be a superb participant,” Venables stated. “Bought an ideal future in entrance of him. After which once more, Davis [Beville] and General [Booty]are each improved variations of themselves. It provides us just a little extra depth there. However it’s a greater, a lot better state of affairs than what it was a 12 months in the past right now, , and Jackson confirmed flashes through the course of the spring. I count on there to be exponential progress there.”

Gabriel stays the starter after throwing for 3,168 yards and 25 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, however Venables expects him to enhance as nicely.

“Dillon is his personal worst critic, and he is aware of he wants to enhance,” Venables stated. “It is a man that led the Massive 12 in passing final 12 months, the most effective in school soccer. He must be extra environment friendly; he wants to enhance his completion share [62.3% last year]; he wants to enhance his decision-making.”

Venables stated he is excited to form this Oklahoma group, which he stated options 97 first- or second-year gamers among the many 123 on the roster.

“What I would like individuals to see once they see us play is a humble soccer group, a pushed and hungry soccer group, a group that is going to run the soccer and play nice protection. And my expectation is you are going to see the thumbprint of these traits on this soccer group this 12 months,” he stated.

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Revealed : 2023-07-13 18:07:20

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