The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

October 2, 2013

Heupel hoping to ignite Sooners’ offense

NORMAN — Oklahoma heads back into Big 12 Conference play after a huge victory over Notre Dame, but offensive coordinator Josh Heupel sees plenty of offensive issues. First is OU only scoring 10 touchdowns in red zone trips this season.

One reason seems to be the short-yardage package quarterback Blake Bell used in the previous two seasons has been ineffective. He was stopped short of first downs three times against Notre Dame.

Is it a matter of OU losing interest in using its starting quarterback to lower his shoulder to pick up first downs?

“We’re going to pick our points where we run the guy and how much we want to use him,” Heupel said.

Bell is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, but his most effective runs have been on draws and scrambles. He admitted Tuesday he probably wouldn’t be an effective quarterback if he was smashing into defensive linemen every time OU faced third-and-1.

“You can’t go out there and run the ball, run the ball and do it all the time. There’s a happy medium,” he said. “As a quarterback you’ve got to do a little bit of both.”

Another reason Bell has struggled as a short-yardage runner is defenses seemed to start catching up to it in the middle of last season and spend time preparing for it every time OU plays.

Nonetheless, Wednesday is the day OU practices goal line offense. It’s expected to be intense.

“We have to better in short yardage. Fortunately, it hasn’t come back and bit us and forced us to lose a game,” center Gabe Ikard said. “If we cannot convert in short yardage we will lose a game. Tomorrow we know we have to get after it.”

Where’s Metoyer?: Sophomore wide receiver Trey Metoyer only has five catches for 11 yards this season and did not catch a pass against Notre Dame. Receivers coach Jay Norvell hinted Tuesday that Metoyer won’t be a part of the offense until he solves some personal issues.

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