The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 5, 2013

Heupel:Knight’s pass numbers will improve

NORMAN — Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight passed his first major test in the season-opening 34-0 victory against Louisiana-Monroe. Winning always comes with a passing grade.

However, his struggles throwing the ball (11-for-28 for 86 yards) left a lot to be desired.

OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel hopes the struggles were related to nervous energy.

“I think it’s just his first game, you know what I mean? His first time in front of 85,000 at home, you know what I mean? A bunch of energy,” Heupel said. “He did some really good things. He’s just got to settle down and be a little more accurate with the football. His decision-making, he was rushing through his reads a little bit. But in the second half he settled down. I expect to come out this week and play extremely well from the very beginning.”

It takes time: OU unveiled the zone read as part of its offense last Saturday and the quarterback run game figures to be an offensive staple this season.

What’s surprising is how long ago the Sooners started working on that wrinkle. They began working on it in December 2012 prior to bowl preparations.

“There were a couple things we did before the Cotton Bowl, playing around with some things when some of the young guys were getting reps,” Heupel said. “Most of it happened in January and then into spring ball.”

OU coach Bob Stoops said getting the timing and options down were a trying process. Installing something new is often that way.

However, Heupel said the players were enthused about adding it and it helped the process.

“Our guys loved it. They were excited about it. It’s something different,” he said. “I think you learn a little bit as you go as well, what works, what doesn’t, your coaching points. We’re continuing to get better at it.”

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