Bye Week Breakdown: OU's key player

With Oklahoma on a bye week, the SoonerNation staff is spending the week looking back on the Sooners' first nine games by answering 10 questions. View the archives here.

Who is Oklahoma's key player down the stretch of the season?

WR Kenny Stills

With Ryan Broyles done for the season, Kenny Stills will have to shoulder the role of No. 1 wideout. Is he up to the task? Since coming up with the game-winning touchdown grab at Florida State, Stills has had somewhat of a disappointing sophomore season. Injuries have played their part. He missed the game against Missouri with a concussion, and since the preseason has been battling a hamstring strain, which flared up last week. Down the stretch, Stills won’t benefit from defenses bracketing coverage on Broyles. And he’ll be the guy the offense now counts on to make key catches on tough downs.

- Jake Trotter

Tim Heitman/US Presswire

Landry Jones must lead the Sooners' offense without Ryan Broyles and Dominique Whaley.

QB Landry Jones

The Sooners have lost their leading rusher (Dominique Whaley) and leading receiver (Ryan Broyles) in back-to-back games. OU will be counting on Jones to show why he is considered one of the top players in the nation. Increased leadership off the field will be Jones’ No. 1 goal. He can’t blink with the loss of Whaley and Broyles and will have to stress to his offensive teammates that he believes they are still unstoppable and will be successful despite the losses. Second, he will have to show that on the field and spread the ball around while making minimal mistakes. The margin of error for Jones has decreased significantly.

- Brandon Chatmon

WR Dejuan Miller

OK, time to be a senior leader, Miller. With Ryan Broyles out for the season, Miller has to step up on the field and be that voice that can lead the wide receiving group. Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills will be a potent one-two punch, but who is going to lead this group the rest of the way is a huge question. It’s a question that Miller has to answer. Miller has 11 catches for 121 yards and one touchdown this season. He played well two weeks ago at Kansas State and needs to use that performance as a springboard for the rest of the season.

- Bob Przybylo

LB Tom Wort

With two of Oklahoma's best offensive weapons out for the rest of the season, the Sooners' defense must play better if they want to win out. And OU's linebackers are the key. With Dominique Whaley and Ryan Broyles, the Sooners' averaged more than 45 points per game. Can they score as much without them? When Wort has played well this season (he missed OU's loss to Texas Tech with a concussion), the defense has been phenomenal. And Oklahoma's defense could be in much tighter games the rest of the season with Baylor and Oklahoma State still on the schedule.

- Dane Beavers

What do you think? Who is Oklahoma's key player down the stretch of the season?