NORMAN — The news wasn’t good for Oklahoma center Ben Habern Sunday. He broke the radius bone in his right arm Saturday against Missouri and will miss the next six to eight weeks.
Under that time frame, the earliest Habern, who made his 27th career start Saturday, could return would be the Nov. 19 game at Baylor.
Left guard Gabe Ikard was moved center after Habern was injured early in the third quarter. Stephen Good played left guard the rest of the game.
“It was definitely a huge loss with Ben, but I took a bunch of snaps at center during two-a-days. It was nothing out of the ordinary,” Ikard said. “I hadn’t been taking many in practice at all, but I had to adapt when called upon. I did my best, but obviously I’ve got to get better, which will come in practice next week getting a lot of reps.”
The absence of Habern means Ikard will have more on his shoulders. The center is responsible for calling out defensive fronts at the line of scrimmage.
Ikard said he can handle that part of the job.
“I’m just bumping over one spot and it’s not that big of a deal for me,” Ikard said. “It’s just making sure all the other guys know where I’m going. It’s definitely different, but we did a decent job without Ben in there, but we’ve got to step it up.”
Comfortable in tough spots
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who had three touchdown receptions against the Tigers, said there was no sense of panic when OU fell behind 14-3 against Missouri.
“I feel like we’re getting used to that, fighting through it,” Broyles said. “… I feel like we have maturity. I feel like we can fight through a four-quarter game.”
But trailing by 11 points midway through the first quarter marked OU’s largest deficit at Owen Field since trailing Texas Tech 24-10 in 2006.
Stepping up at wide receiver
The Sooners were without two wide receivers Saturday night. Kenny Stills missed the game with a concussion and Trey Franks is serving an indefinite suspension that will keep him off the field for the Ball State game as well.
Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said he was pleased with the way the rest of the group stepped up. Jaz Reynolds had five catches for 93 yards and Dejuan Miller had four for 40.
“I mentioned in the locker room after the ballgame, I thought our wide receivers stepped in, in place of a couple of guys and really performed extremely well,” Heupel said.
No sacks allowed
The Sooners didn’t give up a sack to Missouri and have only given up one in three games. They’re tied with Air Force, Oregon, Michigan, Boise State and Navy for the fewest allowed this season.
The difference is OU has attempted 58 more passes than Oregon, 65 more than Boise State and 96 more than Michigan. Air Force and Navy both run option offenses and average less than 15 passing attempts per game.
John Shinn 366-3536 firstname.lastname@example.org