Oklahoma had the talent to finish with a better record than 10-3 in 2011. The Sooners entered the season ranked No. 1 in numerous polls but various issues resulted in an Insight Bowl berth and no championships.
Receiver Jaz Reynolds believes all the attention the Sooners received took its toll on the team.
“Focus on one game at a time and not let the hype get to us,” said Reynolds, when asked about improving in 2012. “Last year with all of the cameras around, everybody giving each other nicknames, it caught up to us. Teams like Texas Tech came in and smacked is in the mouth -- we have to stay focused.”
Many believed team chemistry issues were to blame, but safety Tony Jefferson doesn't buy it.
“I think we’ve always had very good chemistry with the team, I think it’s stronger now,” he said. “I think our attitude is... three losses at the University of Oklahoma is unacceptable. A loss at all is [unacceptable], especially when they are games we should have won. Our team has a good attitude right now and I think we’re hungry.”
Tackle Lane Johnson agrees the overall chemistry within the team is good and expects the team leadership to improve, pointing to quarterback Landry Jones, guard Gabe Ikard along with defensive ends R.J. Washington and David King as potential leaders.
“We have a great group of guys, great chemistry in the locker room,” Johnson said. “I think we know who our leaders are and they are going to do a better job this year in executing.”