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September 5, 2012

Are receivers catching on?

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s receivers set an early season standard with last Saturday’s performance at UTEP and it wasn’t the one they wanted.

“We were frustrated with the way we played,” said slot receiver Kenny Stills, who was the bright spot with six receptions for 121 yards and a 68-yard touchdown catch in the fifth-ranked Sooners’ 24-7 victory over the Miners.

The frustration came in almost every aspect of their play. When asked on Tuesday what needs to improve, receivers coach Jay Norvell named a long list and then summed it up in one word.

“Precision,” he said.

It was no shock to Stills, who, playing in his 25th career game last Saturday, seemed to thrive. Even senior Justin Brown, who played his first game at Oklahoma after playing three years at Penn State, displayed the skills of the veteran.

Freshman Trey Metoyer, however, proved he’s not going to make an immediate transition from five-star recruit to college stardom. His four catches for 21 yards wasn’t the spectacular debut the Sooner fan base was expecting.

“I could have done better,” he said. “I think now that I have the speed down and I got some game experience. Hopefully, I’ll be ready for the next game.”

It will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field when OU (1-0) faces Florida A&M (0-1). The challenge for OU’s receivers is to raise their level of play a couple notches over the season opener.

Norvell has said since preseason practice began that the youth of OU’s receivers was going to be an issue. The rational goal is for them to improve every week.

“We knew we would have growing pains with new guys that hadn’t been in there, and we did have some. At the same time, we practice and we expect execution on game day,” Norvell said. “We have to improve from what we saw from Game 1 to Game 2 and every week throughout the season. Good teams pay attention, they study, they get better. All we ask our guys to do is get better every day when we go on the practice field. If we do that, we’ll continue to do that. We have a lot of good players.”

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