The Norman Transcript

October 3, 2013

Stoops not sweating polls

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma is undefeated and No. 11 in the country, but there’s some reason for concern. For one, there’s the path to a potential national championship. The path seems to be blocked by teams from the SEC, Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten.

All those conferences have at least one undefeated team ahead of OU in the Associated Press Top 25 and likely still will if all remain undefeated when the initial BCS standings are released Oct. 13.

OU coach Bob Stoops wasn’t perturbed about it Wednesday.

“We’re in the fourth game. We’ll see how things go. I’m not concerned,” he said. “All I can do is concern myself with playing well Saturday and then playing well the following Saturday. That’s all I concern myself with.”

But he did wonder about the perception of the SEC. The league has three teams in the top six in passing efficiency with Georgia at No. 4, LSU at No. 5 and Texas A&M at No. 6.

“How’s that happening playing all those SEC defenses?” he said before being reminded that Texas A&M, with its spread offense and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, had no problem scoring points in the SEC last year. “I still don’t know how A&M was third in the country in total offense and scoring offense playing all those SEC defenses. I have no idea how that happened. Oh, they’ve got a quarterback, that’s right.”

Tweeking the Belldozer: Blake Bell’s first two starts could not have gone any better, but the old short-yardage package he used to run was a bust against Notre Dame. Bell failed to pick up a first down or score a touchdown on any of his short-yardage carries.

Offensive lineman Bronson Irwin said the Sooners have changed some things as far as blocking in short-yardage since last season. Some things still need to be ironed out.

“We’re not doing the same stuff that we did last year. Toward the end of the year, I kind of felt like teams started figuring it out a little bit,” he said. “But I like what we’re doing up front right now. We just have to execute better in short-yardage situations.”

Bell fine with Knight doing more: Bell said he has no problem if the coaching staff wants to develop a package for redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight to run in games.

“That’s the coaches’ decision and whatever we can do to help the team win,” he said.

OU coach Bob Stoops hinted on Monday that a package for Knight could be in the works. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was caught off-guard when questioned about it Tuesday night.

“Bob said that?” he replied when first asked.

When told that’s who the information came from, Heupel only elaborated a tiny bit.

“There’s a place for that, probably. They’re both good players,” he said. “Obviously, we felt Trevor was a great player at the beginning of the year.”

Tight end progress: None of OU’s tight ends have a catch through the first four games and fullback Trey Millard only has seven. The tight end spot still hasn’t progressed into much of a role in the passing game.

“I’ve only used them at times this year,” Heupel said. “I’m not sure what percentage of the time we’re using them, but probably 30, about 40 percent of the time, if you count when Trey is in there by himself at tight end.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com