“I hope that are passing game is really good. It has a chance to be. We have some really talented receivers and a quarterback that, through most of five games last year, threw for about 1,000 yards.”
Barnard said the Pioneers will bring a spread offense designed to take advantage of its deep receiving corps. That starts with junior Brandon Prather and senior Spencer Parsons.
“Both of them have really good ball skills,” Barnard said of his two receivers. “Brandon is a speed guy, a lot of jumping ability. Spencer is more of a route-runner, possession-type guy.”
Jordan Brown is another receiver the Buffs will need to watch. Pratt and Barnard have already traded film, and Pratt said he’s well aware of Stillwater’s potentially dangerous passing game.
“They’re really good,” Pratt said. “They have a receiver that will probably be one of the best receivers we see all year.”
“Their defense flies to the ball.”
That defense includes safety King Williams, who led the 2012 Pioneers in interceptions and tackles, and linebacker Cameron Mayberry. Barnard said his team will work out of a 3-4 front, but he plans to give opponents multiple defensive looks out of that alignment.
“You have to be pretty multiple, I think, when you get into a 6A district, and the same thing in 5A,” Barnard said.
“We’ll play some four (man) front, five front, but everything starts for us in 3-4 this year.”
As for Barnard’s film analysis, he said he expects a “really fast” game from McAlester, especially its offense.
“Their read-game and their run game is going to be difficult, and they run so many possession-type concept routes that it’s going to pose a problem,” Barnard said.
“The team that Coach Pratt, they’re always one of the best teams in 5A.”