The Norman Transcript

November 14, 2012

OU not in the hunt

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma isn’t likely to win a championship this season. At 7-2, it’s out of the national title race. To win a Big 12 championship, it must have No. 2 Kansas State lose twice while the Sooners still have to win their next three games against West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU.

Receivers coach Jay Norvell said the main reason is the 13 turnovers OU’s committed this season. It’s exceeded the limit with three games to go.

“We talk all the time that you if we can be around 12 turnovers a year, that’s kinda where championship teams are. It averages out being one a game,” he said. “You don’t want to have any, but if we have two, it’s far too many in a game.”

It’s going to be important on Saturday against West Virginia. Despite their four-game losing streak, the Mountaineers have only committed nine turnovers this season.

“When you’re playing against a talented team like West Virginia offensively, you really can’t afford to give it up at all because you give them a short field. You give up a series and give the offense a short field to score points. It’s just something that we’ve really gotta be great with,” Norvell said.

Wrap the up: West Virginia wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey average 19 catches 224 receiving yards a game between them. Most of it comes on short throws that they’ve been able to turn into long gains.

“Tackling is going to be very, very important,” OU cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “Our technique is going to be important. We know when they get space, that’s what they like. They want to get the receivers space. We want to eliminate some of that, so this week we’re going to focus on tackling and just playing our technique.”

Feeling better: Damien Williams rushed for 99 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns in the victory over Baylor and appeared to be close to 100 percent healthy. He was severely limited in the previous game agains Iowa State by an ankle injury.

“It was good to accomplish those things coming off the injury,” Williams said, “but I felt like I could have done better and we could have done better as a team.”

Fortunate one: OU quarterback Landry Jones will make his 47th career start on Saturday at West Virginia. He’s one of the fortunate few who’ve never missed a game due to an injury.

“I’ve taken a lot of big hits around this place and I’ve never had a concussion and never really been rolled up on and I really attribute that to God and there’s nothing more than I can say to kind of explain it,” he said. “Even in high school I never missed a game, never got hurt, so he’s just kind of watched over me all these years.”

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