The Norman Transcript

OU Football

September 13, 2013

OU’s full potential can be met with better air attack

NORMAN — Oklahoma running back Brennan Clay was asked about the offense this week. He believes the group is a few “tweaks” from becoming explosive.

The running game is on track, but OU’s ability to throw the ball, which has long been the offensive pillar, is what requires modification.

It would be easy to lay the struggles in the first two games on redshirt freshman Trevor Knight. His accuracy and decision making were far from perfect. The 43.8 percent completion percentage (21-for-48) for 205 yards illustrate the struggles.

Throwing the ball is a three-part process: protection, delivery and reception.

The Sooners have allowed three sacks, which is far from perfect. But the play of the receivers is what has to be elevated.

“We have to continue to push forward with even with receivers,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.

The passing game has gone through a bigger overhaul than the quarterback since last January. One aspect the coaches point to is Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard both playing the outside receiver spots after both spent last season playing in the slot.

In terms of lining up, it just means moving about five yards farther away from the ball.

But routes are different on the outside and so are the defenders covering them. Slot receivers tend to feast because they go up against linebackers and safeties. Outside receivers go head-to-head with cornerbacks. They’re usually faster and physically more adept at running stride for stride with speedy receivers.

Still, the changes shouldn’t have thrown the passing as far off track as it has. In the West Virginia game, there were several instances of receivers running the wrong routes or missing audibles.

“There’s some growth that needs to happen there,” OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We hoped it wouldn’t be as much as we’ve seen before. Hopefully, it will be better.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Football
  • OU looking into sexual assault complaint against linebacker

    The “personal issues” that kept Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon out of last Saturday’s Red-White Game are serious.
    The Oklahoman reported Wednesday night that Shannon has been accused of violating the University of Oklahoma’s Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red-White Game more of a treat for the fans

    Oklahoma didn’t play a game as much as it put on a show Saturday at Owen Field. At least, that was the intent....

    April 14, 2014

  • Red White Defense rules the day at spring game

    Fans want to see offense in spring games, and there were a lot of devotees at Oklahoma’s Red-White Game on Saturday. If 43,500 in attendance were hoping for a big day from quarterback Trevor Knight, they walked out of Owen Field ...

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooner faithful best barometer for progress

    The headline, already up at Oklahoma’s athletic website by 6 p.m. Saturday, read “White Team Prevails in Annual Spring Game,” and if there’s a more meaningless summary of Sooner fortunes, in any sport, before next year’s spring game, I ...

    April 13, 2014

  • A couple of scares

    By his own estimation, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops thought 16 returning or projected starters were not in uniform for Saturday’s Red-White Game....

    April 13, 2014

  • Red-White Game won’t showcase all the starters

    It has been a bit over four months since Oklahoma played in front of a real audience. That will change at 2 p.m. today when the Sooners take the field for the Red-White game....

    April 12, 2014

  • Grissom trying to make move to linebacker

    The next evolution for Oklahoma’s defense is under way. It’s spent two seasons tinkering to get as much speed on the field as possible....

    April 10, 2014

  • Golden Eagles top scoreless Sooners

    The feast-or-famine affliction Oklahoma’s developed when it comes to scoring runs was alive and well Tuesday night against Oral Roberts....

    April 9, 2014

  • Black and blue for Red-White game

    Anyone expecting Saturday’s Red-White game to be a true preview for next season better lower their expectations. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops gave an injury report on Tuesday. As many as 11 potential starters will miss the games due to ...

    April 9, 2014