Sooners Illustrated hammered on a number of key storylines, and here's what Heupel had to say with respect to them below:
On Damien making him less reliant on the Belldozer--Well, I mean, tonight we didn't. We used it on the one third down and didn't execute obviously very well the first one out the gate and, you know, we're in second-and-1, third-and-1 and don't pick it up. But I think Damien's ability to have some strength running through some trash is something that's a positive for us definitely.
On if Dom is looking better to him--Dom hasn't taken care of the ball the last two weeks. You know what I mean? He's still working through those things. And obviously we as a football team need to take care of the ball. We got three of them on the ground last week, another one tonight and you can't play winning football if you're gonna do that.
On the overall offense--Yeah, I just think there's a lot of things that we need to clean up yet. There's a lot of detail, you know, that we talked about in week one that I'm not happy necessarily with the progress we made into week two. And ultimately we do some positive things, have some yards, score some points, but there's a lot of things out there that we need to clean up to be as efficient as we're capable of and you can't do that against Big 12 opponents.
On Kenny asserting himself as the No. 1 guy for Landry--Well, tonight and last week, too, their ability to connect [has been crucial]. He's been an explosive player for us, and he's continued to be. I'm sure Landry's got a comfort level with him. More than anything he's just performed at a high level and got himself open and found a way to catch the ball when it's his opportunity. But I don't think we need just one guy. I've said that in the beginning of training camp or heading into week one against UTEP. We need those other guys to continue to come on, and you saw some guys make some plays when given the opportunity. Justin Brown makes a great grab on the sidelines in a big third down situation. Trey Metoyer the same in the end zone, and you saw Sterling [Shepard] do some really positive things throughout the game as well.
On if his offensive line was doing a pretty good job--I thought we did in the second half. I wasn't happy with our execution in the first half, run game and pass game. But certainly in the second half our guys did a much better job handling the looks and the pressures they were seeing.
On how his QBs played--I thought Landry did some positive things. You know, obviously the one mistake on the tempo play, made some critical throws on in some third down situations. Our third down efficiency was a lot better tonight. You know, we weren't in a ton of third-and-shorts either, so that was a positive for us. Protection was pretty good throughout the night. I thought Blake had some mechanic things that he needs to continue to work through to be as efficient as he needs to be.
On what the chances are Damien could be the starting back--We're gonna need all those guys. You know, you can name a starter on a depth chart, but ultimately we're gonna need all those guys to play at a high level. He's certainly played at a high level here the last couple weeks.
On if they'll get an equal number of carries--Well, you know what I mean? As it continues to go forward, we'll go from there. But I certainly anticipate all those guys having a huge role in what we're doing offensively throughout the year.
On the recruiting and the speed showing up--At points. We just--the young guys and the old guys, too, we need to operate a lot more efficiently than we have. And staying out of negative plays, negative situations, it's tough when you're in second-and-15. You know, odds are you're gonna end up in a third-and-long. You know, and tonight we got a couple big runs and then also we got something going on behind the play that takes us to second-and-20. And you just can't do that on a consistent basis.
On the tempo coming out of the half being what they want--It's what you're looking for every time you take the field. Obviously your goal is to go score points. When we didn't do it early, it's because we were playing behind the chains and we weren't operating efficiently. And, you know, we talked in the locker room. It's not major overhauls. It's not big things. It's all the fine things, the small details that ultimately coming into play. Offensively football is 11 guys doing it right. And you saw tonight when 11 guys were doing it right, all of the sudden we had some big plays, explosive in the run game, same in the pass game and it looks pretty. You know what I mean? It looks easy. And it's not easy, but you know, when you're doing it right, that's what it looks like.
On how he felt about Blake's arm--I thought he did some positive things, just operating and communicating. Did a couple really positive things. Clock's winding down, did a great job getting the play off. At the same time, had a couple issues that he needs to clean up. You know, he takes a sack on a first-and-10 where you give him a chance on the 35. But, you know, when he was dropping back and throwing the ball, I thought he did some positives things. So, a lot to build on. Some things to correct, and that's what you expect from a young guy that hasn't had a lot of time on the field.