The Norman Transcript

October 24, 2013

Norvell defends play calling

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel wouldn’t give himself a grade when asked to assess his play calling in the first seven games.

“I don’t give myself a grade,” he said. “Ultimately we’ve got to score enough points to win every game. That’s what it comes down to. It’s not about what we’re averaging yards, points — certainly we want to score a lot of points, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day it’s a team game and you’re trying to find ways to win.”

Receivers coach/co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell fiercely defended Heupel when asked about the offense Tuesday.

“The one thing about play calling is that everybody who watches a football game thinks they can call plays, and it’s really not that easy,” he said. “I think he’s done a great job. He’s very prepared all the time, and spends a lot of time at it all year round. There’s always things that you’d like to do differently sometimes as a play caller, but no, he’s done a fabulous job.”

Ready for upgrades: OU’s board of regents approved a feasibility study for upgrades to Owen Field Wednesday. OU coach Bob Stoops declined to comment on exactly what is in the works, but believed any improvements to the stadium will be good for his program.

“I think it’s great, if that’s what they intend to do. I think it will definitely help. It’ll help recruiting. I think it will be fantastic for our fans if we continue to do things to improve the stadium,” he said. “Better views, whether it be suites or wherever they’re going with it.”

Injury update: Stoops said safety Julian Wilson has practiced the last two days and will play against Texas Tech Saturday. Wilson suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of the Kansas game.

Whether offensive lineman Adam Shead will play is still up in the air. Shead also suffered a shoulder injury against Kansas. If he can’t play, Nila Kasitati will start at right guard and Bronson Irwin will play left guard.

Stoops doesn’t think it will come to that.

“He’s been practicing more. I feel he’ll be ready to go,” Stoops said of Shead.

Reminding you of somebody? Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro has been the Big 12’s best receiver through seven games. His 56 receptions are 25 more than any other player in the league.

Stoops said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Amaro reminded him of former OU All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham.

“He’s just a hard matchup. He runs well, has great hands. And then the size, he’s hard to deal with much like Jermaine Gresham with us,” Stoops said. “He’s too quick and too good a route-runner for linebackers and too big for safeties.”

When asked how defenses used to defend Gresham, Stoops spoke frankly.

“Not very successfully,” he said. “No particular way. There isn’t any one thing you can do.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn