The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 10, 2012

Depth at skill positions isgiving offense greater variety

NORMAN — Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel will not divulge the length of his playbook. However, it was obvious in last Saturday’s victory over Texas Tech the Sooners dug in a little deeper than it had in previous weeks.

Quarterback Landry Jones completed passes to seven different receivers in the 41-20 victory. More importantly, all of them had a reception for at least 10 yards. Among that group were freshman Durron Neal and junior college transfer Lacoltan Bester.

“That’s big. Durron and Lacoltan came in and did a really good job for us,” Jones said. “Just seeing those guys in the game, the more depth that we have the better at wide receiver just in case someone gets gassed, someone gets tired you can put in another guy and have fresh legs out there.”

You can also be less predictable about where the ball is going. That’s something the Sooners have tried to emphasize for years. The performance against Texas Tech in several ways got away from the script it had shown in the first three games.

Running back Damien Williams had a season-high 20 carries or receptions. Fullback Trey Milliard got five. Most importantly, however, Jones was willing to go to second and third options. Senior wide receiver Justin Brown got his first touchdown catch in an OU uniform in that scenario. That’s also how players like Neal and Bester got involved.

They will all need to be involved when the 13th-ranked Sooners (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) face 15th-ranked Texas (4-1, 1-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

This is a game a defense spends an entire off-season studying. By the time game week rolls around, they know every offensive tendency and can recite them on command. The second and third options routinely get a chance to shine in the Cotton Bowl.

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