The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

September 27, 2012

Moving forward, finding offensive identity must be Sooners’ top priority

NORMAN — The uniforms haven’t changed, but there’s a lot about Oklahoma’s offense that doesn’t appear the same.

Through three games, it hasn’t played at the rapid pace of past seasons. It’s run the ball effectively enough, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, but it only ran the ball 27 times in Saturday’s 24-19 loss to Kansas State.

The 16th-ranked Sooners seem to have an offensive identity crisis. After three games, they haven’t locked in to what they do well.

“I’d say we’re making it confusing for the coaches,” center Gabe Ikard said. “Some days we’re running the ball really well and some days were not. Protection is firm and crisp some days and other days it’s not. We’ve made it tough for (offensive coordinator Josh) Heupel to call plays.”

They’ve been the model of an inconsistent unit, at times moving the ball with precision. At other times, it’s simply grounding to a halt. Quarterback Landry Jones, who has admittedly struggled in the first three games, said there’s no real difference between the Sooners’ offense from 2010 and 2011 to the one he’s running now. The plays are the same and so is the scheme. However, the personnel is different. Five of the eight receivers, running backs or tight ends that caught passes against Kansas State were playing in their third career games at OU.

Clearly, the comfort level Jones had with previous receiving corps hasn’t carried over.

“You do scratch your head. You wonder and you think,” Jones said. “It drives me nuts that we’re kind of underachieving right now. I feel like, especially for myself, definitely been underachieving this whole year, but it’s one of those things that we played a good team in Kansas State and we made mistakes that put us into a position that we couldn’t win.”

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