Playing with that kind of tenacity can pay dividends for receivers.
Lynn knows it all too well.
“Little dudes like that that have attitudes just get on your nerves,” he said. “Sometimes you’d rather have a big, slow dude because those little guys get on your nerves.”
OU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) hopes its receiver are in a feisty mood when it faces TCU (2-2, 1-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field.
The ability to run the ball has separated the Sooners from its previous four predecessors. They’re averaging 5.7 yards per carry and are actually averaging more rushing yards than passing per game.
The receivers’ willingness to block has played a major role.
“Most receivers want to catch the ball and get stats and all that. The reality is that 90 percent of the time they’re not gonna have the ball in their hands,” Norvell said. “How they play and how hard they play when they don’t have the ball is really, really important.”
The better OU runs the ball, the more opportunities that will open up down the field. Shepard’s touchdown catch against Notre Dame was an unrivaled example.
Safeties were cheated up to stop the run. Shepard beat his man then had a clear path to the end zone. It was like OU spent three quarters setting it up.
“It’s a mindset. We definitely had that and we’ve got to continue that,” Norvell said. “It’s got to be an every week thing.”
Follow me @john_shinn