The season is still two weeks away and already Oklahoma is down three starters, and three very experienced starters at that.
Following the news that center Ben Habern had ended his football career due to lingering neck and back issues and OU's starting right guard, Tyler Evens, had tore his ACL, today came the news that the Sooners would also be missing a big piece of their defensive line.
Bob Stoops announced after practice on Friday that starting defensive tackle, Stacy McGee, was suspended indefinitely for violating university policy. McGee has started 14 games over the past two seasons and was part of the three man rotation last year that also included Casey Walker and JaMarkus McFarland.
"That's a big loss but we can always overcome anything," defensive tackle Casey Walker said. "We'll be all right."
While McGee has been a mainstay on the line over the past three seasons, it's the Sooners' depth that takes the biggest hit, even more so than his production on the field.
As a result of the suspension, starting defensive end David King will move into McGee's spot in the interior which most likely leaves sophomore Chuka Ndulue as the starting defensive end. Ndulue played in seven games last season as a redshirt freshman and recorded three tackles. According to the AP's report, OU is also likely to rely on converted outside linebacker Rashod Favors, as well, to help fill the void as defensive end.
There's been no word on how long McGee may be suspended or what may be required of him to get back in the good graces of the school. The potential good news for OU, however is that they open the season with two very winnable games against UTEP and Florida A&M. Oklahoma also has two open weeks during the season's first month which are sandwiched around a visit from Kansas State.
Assuming McGee isn't available for the KSU game, his absence would certainly be a big loss against the run-heavy Wildcats.
For now, however, Mike Stoops' job as Oklahoma's new defensive coordinator just got a little bit tougher with OU being forced to move forward without a player who was expected to be a key piece to a revitalized defense.