The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 6, 2013

Heupel learns to adjust on the run

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“You’ve got to take some off of his (Knight’s) plate, and then the personnel that we’ve got back that’s experienced makes you be different, too,” Heupel said. “Every year is different in college football. You can’t just go sign a free agent, necessarily, to fit your system every year. We’re just trying to get them in the right position to be successful.”

Most successful OU offensive coordinators have used that philosophy. The offense has always tilted in a direction based on the cast. Kevin Wilson was offensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007, when OU ran the ball to control the clock and let its defense win games.

He also installed the record-setting up-tempo offense the Sooners ran in 2008. OU had an experienced quarterback in Sam Bradford and unique players like tight end Jermaine Gresham and running back DeMarco Murray.

What OU has done this season isn’t quite as dramatic as the elimination of the huddle. But it shows he’s willing to make major changes if that’s what best fits the offense.

Heupel learned long ago, that was the best route to success. His father, Ken, was a coach. He taught his son that rosters change every season and coaches have to change along with them.

“Just growing up around it, watching it, being a part of it, you’ve got to find a way to make your guys be successful,” Heupel said.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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