Carter says offense confident in running game

Oklahoma center Vince Carter chews on his mouthguard as he takes a breather in team on Thursday. See inside for quotes from Carter on OU's running game and quotes from Thursday's practice (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NEW ORLEANS — Oklahoma spent most of their sixth day of practices at the Superdome at New Orleans working on their gameplan for Saturday. And the word from the players and coaches at today's offensive press conference is that they couldn't be any more confident going into a game from an offensive standpoint.

One of the major focuses pointed out by the national media as a key for Sunday's Sugar Bowl is about the Sooners' ability to run the ball against LSU's stingy defense.

One of the key players in OU's running attack is center Vince Carter. Carter, who is key because he makes the calls and blocking assignments for the entire offensive line before the snap, is confident about OU's gameplan for Sunday.

"I haven't felt any more confident about any other game this year," said Carter. "I feel good about it. We've had an extra two weeks to study this team. My calls at the line feel they they are coming second nature to me."

"We normally only have three to four days to study our opponents, but we've had two weeks to get ready for LSU," Carter continued. "We feel like we know this team forwards and backwards. I don't think there's anything they do that will surprise us. We've seen this team so much that I just feel really confident about what we're going to do."

Oklahoma Running Game Coordinator Kevin Wilson also commented on the fact that the national media has labeled the Sooners' running game as their achilles heel.

"People have to understand that when you have our kind of offense, you don't necessarily have to rush for 200 yards to have success in the running game," Wilson said. "If you can just pick up your first downs and score inside the red zone when you need to — isn't that sill a perfect day? Of course."

"Again, we still have to run it to open up our passing game. But if we have five third and ones and only pick up four of them, we're having a heckuva day running the football."

Three amigos?
Speculation earlier in the week was that senior Renaldo Works was 100 percent healthy and could split carries with Kejuan Jones. Well, Works is still 100 percent healthy, but sophomore running Donta Hickson has received a lot of work with the first team over the last two days. So, be prepared for a possible three-headed monster at running back on Sunday.

White ready
Jason White has said nothing has changed for him since winning the Heisman Trophy, and that even goes for his constantly making fun of him.

"I've had a blast here hanging out with my teammates. They haven't treated me any differently than any of the other players," said White. "It's been the same old thing at practice where guys are dogging me. They might touch me at practice and say, 'excuse me Mr. Heisman.'"

But despite all the fun he is having with his teammates in practice, White says the Sooners are ready to accomplish their No. 1 goal to start the season.

"I feel like the practices have gone better than they have all year," White said. "Guys have energy and realize what we're playing for. You don't get to play for a national title everyday."

More Notes
Oklahoma wrapped up practice today around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon and the offensive coaches and select players from the offense made their way to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for a press conference. After practice and the the press conference, the team headed back to the hotel where they watched the Rose Bowl together before heading out for a team dinner ... One of the fun things to watch this week is how the Sooners have been collecting any type of keepsake they can get their hands on. Several of the players are even going as far as taking the name plates that sit in front of them when they go through press conferences with the media ... However, the best keepsake the Sooners will receive are definitely coming from the Sugar Bowl. Each player gets their own set of gifts at every bowl game and this year's Sugar Bowl is proving to be one of the best yet. The OU players got hand-held camcorders at the Orange Bowl in 2000 and Playstation 2's last year from the Rose Bowl. This year, each Sooner has already received Sugar Bowl warm-up suits, Nokia cell phones, portable radio's with a CD player and an X-Box video game console ... Oklahoma will return to the practice fields Friday at the Superdome from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. OU's Sugar Bowl Media day with all of the players will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of practice.

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