The Norman Transcript

October 16, 2012

From famine to feast

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hands out game balls after victories. They usually go to a handful of players. After the 63-21 victory over Texas, he didn’t have enough to go around.

“I was looking for some,” he said. “We give a player of the game in our locker room every week, or we have one or two or three. I gave the whole defense player of the game and the whole offense (player of game). They all did things. Like on Damien Williams’ great long run, look at Kenny Stills hustling and Justin Brown blocking down field. Justin Brown blocking for Trey after he catches a short pass and is going down the sideline. That’s how it all kind of works together. Really, it was a team deal.”

Best day ever: Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard averaged 18.9 all-purpose yards per game in the first 31 career games, which made 164 yards he had in the victory over Texas show surprising.

Millard — who played fullback at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., and came to OU because it was one of the few schools that still used the position — said it was probably the most yards he’s ever had in a game.

“It’s probably the best game of my career, I think, so far,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to get it against Texas.”

Simple works best: Kansas coach Charlie Weis said on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference that OU’s defensive scheme isn’t complex.

“It’s interesting to watch a team that just lines up and plays,” Weis said. “So many different defenses are gadgets and gimmicks and pressures on every down and stunts. These guys just line up and try to rough you up.”

Stoops said Weis’ assessment is on the money.

“We’ve never had the philosophy to blitz and stunt into stopping the run or being a great defense. We’re just doing better, overall, obviously,” he said. “We are more simple, so there’s less chance to blow it ourselves. We haven’t had those issues. In that way, it’s different. As far as philosophy goes, it’s never been our philosophy to trick or stunt to be really good.”

Need a break: OU ran 90 plays against Texas, and more than 80 of those were with OU’s starting offensive line in the game. The group — tackles Lane Johnson and Daryl Williams, guards Bronson Irwin and Adam Shead and center Gabe Ikard — didn’t get a lot of relief. Depth has been an issue with Ben Habern and Tyler Evans suffering season-ending injuries before the season started. Backup guard Nila Kasitati is also out for the season with a knee injury.

“They were tired,” Stoops said. “They don’t have as many guys to rotate now. I thought they were awesome Saturday. I still think they’re gonna keep improving. Without Nila, it’s down another guy. We have to rotate a tackle in at guard on occasion.”

Tyrus Thompson played a lot at guard and Williams moved down to guard on several plays. Also, the Sooners had backups Derek Farniok and Austin Woods on the opening drive against the Longhorns.

Notre Dame kickoff set: The Oct. 27 Oklahoma-Notre Dame at Owen Field is going to kickoff in prime time and will have a national audience. The Big 12 Conference announced on Monday morning that ABC will air the game nationally and it will kickoff at 7 p.m.

The meeting between the 10th-ranked Sooners and fifth-ranked Fighting Irish is the first meeting between the college football powers since 1966.

Oklahoma hosts Kansas on Saturday, while Notre Dame is home vs. BYU.

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