The Norman Transcript

August 28, 2013

Sooner offense has legs to run on

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — How much will Trevor Knight run Saturday night against Louisiana-Monroe? Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel won’t say.

“Both these guys, as much as anything, are going to extend plays with their feet in the pass game,” he said Tuesday night. “Hopefully, we can make some plays off of that.”

Knight, nor backup quarterback Blake Bell, will be allowed to speak to the media before Saturday’s season opener. Since Knight was named the starter last week, there has been a buzz growing over the redshirt freshman who has dazzled teammates with his ability to throw balls in tight windows, throw strikes on the run and, yes, run away from trouble.

“He just makes plays with his feet. He has a really strong arm. Some balls he throws, it’s like how did it get there? It’s just on a rope,” running back Brennan Clay said. “And he’s fast. He’s very deceptive and once he gets to that open space he’s gone.”

Heupel said where the running ability is going to be noticeable most is in the passing game. The ability to elude a pass rush is something former quarterback Landry Jones lacked, and Sam Bradford didn’t spend much time outside of the pocket either.

Receivers coach Jay Norvell said his group has always worked on scramble drills. But Knight’s ability to keep plays alive has made receivers understanding where to go when plays breakdown essential.

“Our guys are trying to match up and marry up with the personality of our quarterbacks so there is a possibility of that happening a little bit more and everybody has to be in tune with it. It’s really just extending plays more and plays can last longer,” receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “Everybody has been in tune with that and what their responsibilities are and how we need to finish all the way to the whistle on everything that we are doing, whether it’s blocking down the field or extending a pass play. It’s just a little bit different and our guys understand that.”

Healthy and ready to go: Damien Williams or Brennan Clay will start at running back Saturday night. Both will see extensive playing time.

Both are seniors, but Clay said he doesn’t feel like an old man yet.

“My body feels the best it’s ever been. I feel strong. I feel fast, I feel powerful,” he said Tuesday. “It’s just a matter of getting back on the field and being able to show what we can do. Either way you swing it, Damien or myself go out there and bust it up, give us a one-two punch.”

Staying put: Despite having a first-time starter at quarterback Heupel will continue to call plays from the press box this season. He doesn’t see the need for additional face-to-face time on Saturdays.

“I don’t know if we’ll spend any more time,” Heupel said. “We’ll go through the looks that he saw the previous series and some of the things you anticipate calling the next series and trying to give him a heads up on some of your thoughts.”

Walk-on offensive lineman suspended: Senior offensive lineman Jake Reed has been indefinitely suspended from the team after burglary and assault charges were filed Monday in Cleveland County District Court against the walk-on from Ardmore.

According to the affidavit, Reed is accused of breaking into a Norman apartment early Sunday morning and assaulting the woman who lives there and a man who was with her.

The 6-foot-4, 309-pound Reed, played in one game last season. He was listed as the No. 2 left tackle on the depth chart OU released Monday.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn