The Norman Transcript


October 23, 2013

Where did the Sooners’ vertical passing game go?



It would be if OU could hit more of those deep shots. The reasons OU hasn’t are multiple.

“That goes along with a little bit of everything with the offense,” Bell said. “We can get our running game going a little bit better — obviously, we are doing a great job with our running game, but going that way and then obviously taking shots down the field and connecting on a couple of more. Missing, obviously, some is a little bit of the reason too. That can be a little bit on me, the receiver and the offensive line.”

This will be essential for the 17th-ranked Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) when they face No. 10 Texas Tech (7-0, 3-0) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field.

It’s a game OU will try to dominate by running the ball, controlling the clock and thereby controlling the game.

But it has to do something to loosen up defenses. In its last two games defenses have shown little fear of being beat deep. Texas and Kansas both sold out to stop the run. They kept one safety deep and played mostly man coverage on the outside.

It’s the scheme of choice to stop the run, but it makes it very hard to cover deep.

Midway through the season, the Sooners still haven’t shown enough reasons for defenses to get out of it.

The offense is going to struggle until it does.

“It’s the difference, whether it’s in the run game or throwing it,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We haven’t the big hitters.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014