Last weekend against the Texas the Sooner run game officially became a major factor in college football this year, and Adrian Peterson became a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Kevin Wilson, who is right in the middle of the Sooner run game as the Run Game Coordinator and the Offensive Line Coach, sat down with OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: You have seen a lot of running backs, who does Adrian remind you of?
KW: "He is as physically mature as any young skill player that I have seen. Just being that strong set him part, and I like his mental maturity too. He is handling all of this success well and he is working hard with a great attitude. He has a total maturity package and not just a guy who is strong and physically put together. He is a very mature kid."
JH: Five games into the season, is the line playing better than it did last year?
KW: "I thought we played pretty good last year. We just got one-dimensional at the end and got away from the run. I don't think you score that many points last year and play bad. We didn't run the ball well at times because our receivers were going great. This year everybody has blocked and we got the edge. If Mark Clayton and Brandon Jones don't hold up it is a two to three yard gain, but they do and we are getting big plays. You saw the support of our corners and our secondary the other day. That means that our offensive line and our tight ends have blocked their guys. Unless you see a d-tackle or a d-end in the backfield, they are kind of their own guys. It is a total team effort.
"Personally, we played pretty well the other day Saturday. I thought we ran the ball so well because of some little wrinkles that we put in and our fullback and receivers blocked so well. I thought the o-line blocked well, but there is still a lot of improvement for those guys. That is not in a negative way, but there is a lot to build on in that."
JH: Does this offensive line get better as the game goes along?
KW: "I think because you are running it you get momentum, versus if we are throwing it every down you are sitting back and catching all day. I think you are coming at them all day in the run game and it may look like you are getting stronger, but our teams have always played hard for four quarters because of Jerry's (Schmidt) program. Due to our conditioning level, I don't think we have ever wilted at the end. I think when you are coming off the ball and pounding on guys a little bit more than we have in the past, it might take a little more physical toll on those guys."
JH: Vince Carter was talking about hitting a rock with a hammer as a philosophy for your o-line?
KW: "Yeah, if you just go out and hit a rock with a hammer it won't break, but if you keep pounding that rock with a hammer it will eventually break. In the run game you may start out and get one on the first play, and you may hit the wall the first two or three times. However, if you keep coming and keep coming off the line then you have a chance to be successful."
JH: What about Kansas State's defense?
KW: "To me, they have lost a couple of key players off of last year's team. However, they are an opponent that we felt, and all of you (media) felt, might be our toughest challenge this year. They have lost a couple or three games now, but they did the same thing at this same time last year. We are going into a tough environment.
"They have two good ends on the edge in Huntley and Edmonds that will create a lot of speed problems. We had problems handling their ends last year in pass rush. Their best player may be their g-tackle (Jermaine) Barry inside. They are going to load the box to stop the run like everybody else has done. That is college football and that is football of today's age.
"We are going to get a plan and an attitude that we are going to run the ball, but keep us in balance by taking some shots. All of you guys (media) eight weeks ago talked about this game was the game to watch out for and to me it still is. You look at No. 3 losing last week and the Buckeyes going into Northwestern and losing, so you better come ready to play or you are in a heap of trouble. This will be a tough game."
Wilson: "This will be a tough game"
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