The Oklahoma coaches are hitting the recruiting trail this weekend with the objective to evaluate as many prospects as possible. The Sooners only worked out three days this week, but those three days were very physical, full of fundamental reinforcement and the University of Texas.
The offense is playing well, but hoping that the best is yet to come because you don't figure OU has shown everything in their arsenal before the Texas game. OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will not be taking any time off this week and he will continue to study the sturdy Longhorn defense, but he did take a few minutes out of his busy day recently for the OUInsider.com Two Minute Drill.
JH: You had a huge offensive day against Middle Tennessee State, but now that you have looked at that game backwards and forwards what did you think of the offensive performance in that game?
KW: "We had a couple of turnovers in field position where in closer games you need seven. We either settled for a field goal or turned it back over to them. They were going to make it difficult to run the ball and in some of our schemes and some of our assignments, we weren't sound in the running game. We had some negative plays in the run game, and after the lead got up we tried to force the issue. We tried to do some things to get Adrian his yards from the stats side of things.
"Cosmetically, things look hunky-dory. We were running into some blitzes, where maybe it wasn't sound all the time. They had some nice little wrinkles or adjustments where we had to change some things at halftime. We were a little bit better in the second half than we were in the second quarter. We had some negative run plays that you would like take out. We would like to score a couple of touchdowns when we get a turnover, because you are going to be in close games where you don't want those three points and you want seven. Other than that, we were pretty good."
JH: What did you focus on this past week? Have you been working on Texas much?
KW: "No, well, a little bit towars the end of the week. The bulk of our study has been on what fronts we are going to see or coverages. I think defense is a little bit different, as they need to recognize formations and tendencies. I think, offensively, you are always worried about how well your group is playing like a group.
"We are getting ready to play an excellent defense, but the key thing offensively is how are you doing first. We are kind of worrying a little more about us right now and a little bit on them. Next week will be a total focus and gameplan for those guys."
JH: Are you still adding to the offense?
KW: "We have a lot in, but in some weeks you just go down avenues where certain things get in and some don't. Scheme-wise, it just looks like these are match-ups that you want to take advantage of or these are formations where certain runs or passes look good. We have enough offense. We have a lot. You are always subtly adding a new formation or variation, but it is a subtle thing."
JH: Do you look at a specific opponent like Texas and determine that this will work against that specific team?
KW: "Yeah, we do that every week. We have done things each game that has been subtle for that opponent. You look for match-ups and we have a base offense that is in and certain formations varied more when the runs come you compliment them with the passing game. So you tweak a route or something.
"Again, I don't expect us to be radically different from the first four games. But I know it won't look exactly the same. We won't use the exact same formations, exact same plays or exact same routes. Bottom line, we have to get our running game going.
"Looking at them quickly, they are a great in run defense. They are a great run defense not only because they are good up front, but they are really good in the secondary. They are good tackling in the secondary and they support the run great. They play great team defense stopping the run. People have hit them with some passes, because they couldn't run and sometimes those stats get skewed.
"Their total defense is great, because they play great run defense. They don't give up points and they make you work to go the distance. They have great athletes that you don't get easy plays on and they are really an excellent defensive football team. It will be a big challenge for us. They are more talented than the teams we have played. They can play traditional coverages and still get to the box because of the speed of their perimeter players.
"That is a sign of a great defense. I think they have all the qualities across the front. They are solid at backer and they have three pro prospects in the secondary. I am not slighting the fourth, but they are really good in the back end."
JH: How high of a level is Paul Thompson playing at right now?
KW: "To me, that is all team-oriented. Our protection has been reasonably solid. We are complimenting things where there has not been a lot of stress on him. There have not been a lot of complicated reads. Now he has had to deliver the ball and play very well, but I think the total group has played well. I think the running game has been good enough that the passing game has worked with it.
"We kind of are in sync a little bit and because of that he is able to look good. To me, the quarterback always looks good when everybody else does their job. When you have a run game going that takes pressure off of him a little bit, and when the pass protection is solid and when your receivers are running routes on time and getting proper depth and spacing, then it is easy for him. Now he does have to deliver and he does have to make the read. He is the final part of a lot of other pieces that are moving. Fortunately, the last few games some of those pieces have moved pretty well and hopefully we will keep that going.
"Again, this next challenge will be a tremendous challenge for us. They are very solid and they stop the run. As good as our running back is they are going to stop the run, and they are fast enough that they are going to make it difficult to pass. They have been getting after the quarterback so we are going to have our hands full putting together a good plan and having good preparation getting ready for next weeks game."
JH: What did you think of backup QB Joey Halzle the other day?
KW: "He did well. First of all, he didn't glitch anything. Usually in his first game, the guy will screw up the snap count or blotch a snap, call something backwards. But everything was clean as far as getting us in the right plays and doing things.
"We only asked him to throw two balls and he was solid with them. He looked OK, but he didn't have an opportunity with the way that game got. We had a couple of friends that I played college ball with in the DB coach and Coach Stoops used to coach with the O-line coach. I visited with coach Stockstill when he was at Clemson and stole all of his no-huddle stuff, so it wasn't like we were trying to get that game out of hand.
"It would have been nice to get Joey a few more throws, but the game got going fast and we wanted to be respectful of a lot of guys that we think a lot of over there."
Wilson on Texas
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