The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 14, 2012

O-line not alone in blame for sacks

NORMAN — One by one, Oklahoma’s offensive linemen nodded their heads when the topic arose. They’re well aware the Sooners’ quarterbacks have been sacked six times in two games.

“From a pure numbers perspective, that number of sacks is just too high,” center Gabe Ikard said. “It’s unacceptable for the guys we have on the line.”

That sack number sticks out like a flashing sign because protecting the quarterback has been a hallmark of OU’s for years. It hasn’t given up more than 21 sacks in a season since 2003. That was a 14-game season in which OU played five ranked teams. It’s currently on a pace to allow 39, and UTEP and Florida A&M won’t rocket up any polls anytime soon.

But you can’t put all of the blame on the offensive line for Landry Jones hitting the turf more than usual. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said only two of the six sacks allowed could truly be pinned on the offensive line. The sacks are also an indication of some of the growing pains the offense has experienced.

OU’s passing game is predicated on short, high-percentage passes. Jones rarely takes drops deeper than three steps and is supposed to get rid of the ball quickly.

But receivers have to get open quickly for that to happen. Most of the sacks OU’s allowed have come after Jones’ early reads have been covered.

“There’s a lot of things that come with that,” left guard Adam Shead said. “There’s everybody else: wide receivers and quarterbacks throwing the ball away. There’s a lot of things, but we all have to get on the same page.”

OU has had a lot of time to clean that up this week. It doesn’t play again until No. 15 Kansas State comes to Owen Field on Sept. 22. A lot of that extra time has been spent trying to get Jones and his receivers to see the same things. Blitzes aren’t just blockers responsibilities. Receivers have to recognize them as well and adjust routes. That’s where the rapport quarterbacks have to build with receivers comes into play.

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