The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 6, 2013

Heupel learns to adjust on the run

NORMAN — Any football coach eventually has to make this simple decision: Do they want to create a system and recruit players that fit into it, or will they assess the talent the roster has to offer and run what best fits them?

It has becomes more apparent every season that Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has decided he wants to be in the second group.

“You’ve got to fit whatever you’re doing to your personnel. I’ve been here for three years as a coordinator and for some unforeseen circumstances — or this year you have a change in quarterback and your personnel that you’ve got coming back is different, too — we’ve changed all three years,” Heupel said.

The obvious change this season has been an emphasis on running the ball. OU ran the ball 50 times against Louisiana-Monroe in the 34-0 victory. The last time, it had that many carries was October’s 63-21 rout of Texas. The Sooners spent the entire second half trying to run out the clock after erecting a 33-point halftime lead.

If the trend holds, the Sooners will actually run the ball more than they pass for the first time since 2008.

The running emphasis goes beyond taking advantage of Trevor Knight’s speed and elusiveness.

The last two seasons the Sooners threw it more than 55 percent of the time, but Heupel insists that was what the personnel dictated. Landry Jones couldn’t run, but he was an effective short- to mid-range passer.

It takes experience to put the success or failure on the quarterback’s arm more often than not. It’s a variable OU no longer has at the quarterback position.

Knight’s youth and athletic ability, coupled with an experienced offensive line and three senior running backs and a senior fullback, means a different emphasis.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Lorenzana Texas-Arlington wrecks Sooner momentum with double plays

    Oklahoma didn’t arrive at L. Dale Mitchell in a listless state on Tuesday. It knew the meeting with Texas-Arlington was important. Momentum needed to start heading in a positive direction....

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners continue winning streak on the diamond

    After an up-and-down weekend against Texas that ultimately ended on a high note with the Sooners winning two of three, Oklahoma continued its streak on Tuesday....

    April 23, 2014

  • Sooners blank Mean Green thanks to one-hit shutout from Stevens

    Kelsey Stevens’ impact at Oklahoma continues to grow....

    April 24, 2014

  • Sooners rolling in almost every program

    It doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it’s been almost a decade since I wrote a snarky, though not inaccurate column questioning the head-coach-hiring skills of Sooner athletics director Joe Castiglione....

    April 24, 2014

  • Grizzlies will let Russ shoot

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper. Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tigers, T-Wolves set for showdown

    For many teams in Norman, the Crosstown Clash is the biggest date on their schedule. It’s the game that can make or break the season. The one that determines bragging rights, and the one that the players are most concerned about....

    April 24, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014

  • North playing for big picture, NHS fighting for a better place at the table

    While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mets edge Cards

    NEW YORK — With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind....

    April 24, 2014

  • Seahawks will open against Packers

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL’s regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4....

    April 24, 2014

Facebook