Wilson says Blue Raiders love to blitz

Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson talks about the state of the Sooner offense and Saturday's matchup against Middle Tennessee State. (AP Photo)

Below are excerpts from OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson's meeting with the media earlier this week.

On the offensive performance against Oregon

Wilson: The first half, with all the 'work we're doing' and study and preparation, I don't think we started the game with any rhythm or any consistency. Probably tried to do too much, probably were too scattered and all over the place, probably tried to show a bunch of formations and a bunch of looks, and we're just not coming out and getting our guys into a rhythm.

We made some halftime adjustments, but the key thing we're doing at halftime each game is to kinda simplify. We're looking for these runs, we're gonna do these passes, and then we go out and we execute it.

I think in the first half sometimes, we maybe are trying to do too much. And because we're trying to doing too much there's no rhythm and we're scattered. We're running this play and then we're looking at this play. By the way, we practiced this one so make sure we throw this pass play. There's no rhyme or reason sometimes. There's no rhythm, there's no continuity.

I don't think our guys are coming out not ready to play. In some ways maybe we're over-prepared or over-schemed instead of giving our guys a chance to get the big guy running, which everything starts with the big guy running. Whether we're spread out or not, whether we're in the gun or not or whether there's a fullback or not, he's run the ball better in the second half because we've just been better. It isn't like he's been stronger.

But at the same time, I do think our conditioning level; I do think the line is wearing on people. We do want to start with a good mix, but we've got to do a better job, one. Secondly, as we said after the game and I told our kids in the locker room, I've been in places where I didn't get calls or expect to get calls. It doesn't bug me about the calls we had.

I always look at us trying to do the best we can. And I could've done a better job of getting us ready to play, to come out to play faster, to come out and get more rhythm early on offense, one. And, two, when we when we get down in the scoring zone we've got to get points.

We had, unfortunately, three holding calls. We never held until we got inside the 15. It was amazing how the umpire all of a sudden saw holding, as we got close. But we did get three holding calls inside their (the 15), let alone the two procedures. We had five penalties down there that hurt us.

But the bottom line is we've gotta get seven points. If you kick a bunch of field goals you give a team a chance to stay with you. So I must look again at scheme-wise what we're doing, play calling and rhythm and setting things up. We need to get the ball in the end zone more than that.

That again, to me, is where I've got to put it on our preparation and me. We can execute better, but I didn't think we executed poorly down there. I thought our execution was pretty solid all day. I thought our kids played really hard. I'm very proud. We talked about playing physical and we talked about taking care of the ball, and we did those two things.

I think if you look at our points, if I can get that first half production up to the second half we're probably scoring 40-something points a game and probably one of the top teams in the country. So I think we're showing we're very capable. I don't think our kids are disappointed. They're not moping around.

Offensively, I think our kids are excited. We realize we've got a chance to be pretty good and we're going to keep building on that and have a good week.

On Middle Tennessee State's defense

Wilson: The team we're playing blitzes every down. They blitzed 120 times in three games. So they're blitzing in warm-ups, they're blitzing on the bus, they're blitzing in meetings, they're blitzing.

We need to have a good blitz plan and get our kids to play fast and hard, play sound, have a better week and continue to improve, have a good open week and get ready for conference play.

On if the Blue Raiders' strength is their front seven

Wilson: Their strength is they just come. They lost a lot of their front from last year, but with the new coaching staff that they got they've just got in an attack made. "We're not just going to sit here and play vanilla."

They may play us differently, but their M.O. in their first three games against Maryland, Florida International and Tennessee Tech was: we're coming, we're coming early, we're coming often we're on, we're coming every down, we're coming against every formation. We're going to bring it. We're not just going to sit here and read, we're going to try and attack and create some havoc, and they cause a lot of negative plays because of what they bring.

So you've got to be careful that you put your guys in sound situations, because they're coming so much. You can get exposed if you aren't sound and you're quarterbacks get hit or you're running into unblocked defenders and have negative runs

On if Chase Beeler will start in place of the injured Jon Cooper

Wilson: We'll see. Our plan is hopefully to have 'Coop'. The medical staff thought Saturday that he could be ready for the game. We need to see how he feels. It's very similar to the situation he had in preseason. We'll probably not practice him here until the end of the week and hopefully have him ready by the game.

If he's a little questionable we'll go with Chase. We'll just see how it plays out. Unless something changes medically, we think he'll be ready. We'll just kinda see how he feels, where we're at and how it goes. Maybe it involves where he's in a whole lot, or maybe it involves where maybe he doesn't even play.

On how Beeler played on Saturday

Wilson: OK, it was just a few (plays) there at the end. I fel, back in recruiting through the summer and in two-a-days, that he would play as a freshman and that we would need him to play. To get him going this week, prior to conference play, will be a good situation.

In all honesty, one thing we talked to our team yesterday is that we were concerned with a lot of our young players at the end of last week with the way they practiced. We had a lot talented freshmen that didn't play as much as they could or should, and that hurt us.

Joe Jon Finley played 71 snaps, Adrian Peterson played 71 snaps, Malcolm Kelly's playing too much. They're playing so much that we're actually losing a little speed. We're getting a little sloppy. We'd like to get Joe Jon down to 50 plays. We need to get Brody (Eldridge)in more, we need to get Jermaine (Greshman) more.

But we need to practice better. We're playing on the road, loud, big game, close game, and those guys didn't practice well. We asked them Monday — you might be disappointed and you might be upset, but if you pick up your practice habits you're going to play and we need you to play.

Hopefully, we'll get four or five or six of those guys to keep growing up and build on that because it will help our football team. It's not just Chase, we need Jermaine to get out there going, we need the receivers in there more. We need the backup running backs in there more for AD. It would nice to get Trent Williams in there in the offensive line. Brian Simmons has been practicing the last week or two. We need to get some of those guys going.

Not that anyone's playing bad, I think the offense is coming along and they're doing OK. We can do better, but I think they'll do better if we can play some more guys. Because, No. 1, we've got some good players. No. 2, it will keep them fresher. And in the long haul, as you go through 12, 13, 14 weeks, it will help us immensely.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories