OU Offense Locks in on Texas D's Multiplicity

NORMAN, Okla. — Without question, the Sooners have one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

Quarterback Landry Jones, along with stars Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills at receiver and electric backs Dominique Whaley and Brennan Clay, among other offensive weapons, allow OU a number of options to virtually score at will.

But they'll be in for a major test Saturday when they hook up with the No. 11 Texas Longhorns in Dallas.

An aggressive front with guys like buck Jackson Jeffcoat, strong end Alex Okafor and others, as well as an athletic trio of linebackers in Emmanuel Acho, Keenan Robinson and Jordan Hicks and a strong defensive backfield anchored by strong safety Blake Gideon will pose a big time challenge for the Sooners offensively.

"Yeah, they've got good speed," Stoops said. "You know, like you said [Jackson] Jeffcoat, excellent guys up front. I think, you know, they do a good job trying to pressure you from different ways. So, you've got to be able to hopefully at times you got to try and take advantage of that, too. So, those are things that you work through the week and if you can protect something or catch people in something and hopefully you've got to try and counter it. But they do a nice job mixing it up and playing aggressively."

One way the Sooners will be able to catch them and combat UT's defensive game plan is by using their variety of targets on the perimeter.

Everyone knows about Broyles, who leads the team again with his 476 yards and six touchdown receptions, and Stills, who is over 200 yards himself to go along with a pair of touchdowns.

But Jaz Reynolds has emerged as a reliable target, ranking first on the team with 23.4 yards per catch and second overall with 234 yards on 10 receptions.

Trey Franks is out there again, and DeJuan Miller is another solid option.

In fact, this will be the first week OU has its full receiving corps after Stills missed a couple games early (one for suspension, one with an injury) and Franks was suspended for two games.

"We're excited," Norvell said. "I tell you, you know, this is always a real intense game. It's a real physical game. It's a real exhausting game for our guys to play, so we like to play a lot of guys. We like to pour a lot of them at Texas and have them go after them with everything they've got, and so it's good to get Trey back. It's good to have, you know, Kenny and Jaz [Reynolds] playing well, so, you know, we'll just throw all of our guys at them and see if we can empty our tanks."

Along with that, the Sooners will have to bang the ball inside.

In every contest between OU head coach Bob Stoops and UT head coach Mack Brown, the team with more rushing yards has come out on top.

That makes it paramount that the offensive line, Whaley, Clay and company establish the ground game early.

"Obviously it comes down to the offensive line and us as a position group," Ikard said. "We have to move the line of scrimmage. We got to set up some of our pass game with our run game and set up some run game with pass game. So, we just need to ID it right, get a hat on a hat and rush the ball against a very good defense."

But it will be difficult to do all these things, considering the number of different things Texas does scheme-wise defensively.

"They give you a lot of different looks," Jones said. "They're not just going to sit in one defense the whole game and just let you pick at them. They're going to change it up on you, and they're going to give you different things."

Because of that, getting into the film room has been pivotal.

"I think it's just the way we need to prepare and really focus on what we're doing and seeing all the different kinds of blitzes that they're doing and throwing at you," Jones said. "And so I think it's just one of those things, you have to sit in there and play with the game. You know, if they're changing it up on you a lot, kind of realize what they're doing."

That's just what the Sooners will attempt to do in order to keep this train rolling to another victory and the second straight in the Red River Rivalry.

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