The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

November 9, 2013

Sooners’ problems are evident, but a solution may not be that clear

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s offensive problems did not start with Thursday’s loss to Baylor. The sluggish starts and inconsistent quarterback play have plagued it the entire season.

What really comes to the forefront after the 41-12 loss to the Bears is do the Sooners have the ability to change things?

After Thursday’s loss OU coach Bob Stoops stopped short of saying offensive personnel would change. He defended quarterback Blake Bell and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. But he did say everything would be evaluated this weekend when the coaches returned from the recruiting trail.

The Sooners (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) have six more days to prepare for their final home game. Iowa State visits Owen Field at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“All I know is, from here, we have to go in the right direction and get ready for the Cyclones at home — that’s all we can do,” Bell said.

What OU has to do is figure out what it aspires to be as an offense. Through nine games, what OU has tried has been a failure. It’s currently averaging 28.9 points a game and set to be the lowest scoring OU team since 2005.

Much like that team of eight years ago, OU had a first-year starting quarterback. But the differences end there. Experienced starters have surrounded the quarterback since the opening snap this season.

The offensive line is stocked with veterans. The running backs are seniors. With the exception of sophomore Sterling Shepard, all the receivers the Sooners are using are experienced upper classmen.

But the production doesn’t mirror the experience.

OU thought it had things going in the right direction after its 38-30 victory over Texas Tech Oct. 26. But considering the Red Raiders have given up 101 points in their games following the loss to OU, it wasn’t much of a feat.

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