Taylor, Woods make impact for OU

Derrick Woods is trying to work his way into the WR rotation as is Stanvon Taylor at cornerback. But both delivered on special teams last week.

Young players will do whatever it takes to try to get on the field. At Oklahoma where the talent runs long and deep, sometimes special teams is the only option.

Junior Trey Franks has embraced that role this year, being named the team's special teams player of the game on multiple occasions.

Against Iowa State, though, Franks was out because of the flu. Somebody else had to step up. Lucky for OU and special teams coach Jay Boulware, a couple of young kids did raise their game.

Redshirt freshman Derrick Woods is still waiting for his turn at receiver, but his speed has been felt on kickoff coverage. Woods had three tackles for the Cyclones.

Freshman cornerback Stanvon Taylor has seen spot-duty this season but embraced playing a stronger role in the punt coverage game. It didn't go unnoticed by Boulware.

"Derrick Woods did a phenomenal job on the coverage units, particularly on the kickoff unit." Boulware said. "He did a phenomenal job on the punt team for us. The best I've seen all year from that position was the freshman Stanvon Taylor. He went in there and did a great job."

Taylor was credited with one tackle, and he also deflected a pass that was eventually picked off by safety Quentin Hayes.

It's always been the philosophy of OU coach Bob Stoops to play his best players on special teams. It's backfired a bit this season with injuries to freshmen Keith Ford and Jordan Evans that both occurred on special teams. And of course the biggest blow was the season-ending torn ACL that happened to Trey Millard.

That hasn't stopped OU was going with its next man up attitude. In this case, it has been seeing more of Roy Finch.

"We have Roy out there, if you haven't noticed," Boulware said. "With the speed of Roy and Stanvon, it's hard to contain them man-to-man. You have to put at least another man on them to stop them."

Woods and Taylor will most likely have to wait until the 2014 season to make an imprint on offense and defense, but it hasn't stopped them from improving with each game and doing the little things to help the team.

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