Oklahoma's offensive line had to make another move with the season-ending leg and ankle injury to sophomore Branndon Braxton. And that means Longview, Texas true freshman Trent Williams gets the call.
Offensive line coach James Patton talks about the changes in the offense line, and the challenge of blocking the Missouri Tiger defense on the OUInsider Two Minute Drill.
JH: You have a lot of confidence in the rookie (Trent Williams) don't you?
JP: "Yeah, I do. Trent has a very bright future and a very bright present, as he has been playing well. Shoot, he played 30 plays Saturday, did a great job and he graded out real well. He was real instrumental in those last two drives. We ran a bunch of those plays to the right with him and Brandon Walker zoning them up. We got those guys in the end zone. He has a great challenge in front of him on Saturday and he is excited about it."
JH: You must have had confidence in him early because you played him in the fourth quarter of the OU/Texas game?
JP: "We certainly did. He is a mild-mannered kid, but he has want-to and the size and strength. He has a whole bunch of potential. His window of opportunity to be a full-time player is now and he is looking forward to it."
JH: Most of the time freshmen don't start in the OL, but with Williams his biggest difference than most frosh is because of his size and strength?
JP: "He certainly does have brute size and strength. He has great physical tools and he bends his knees real well, he has quick feet, good balance and he just picks things up. He has a good presence of where he needs to be on the field. He knows where his body position needs to be.
"I go back when we started to work with these kids at the beginning of preseason camp. We found out they were all talented, but it was just a matter of getting them some reps and getting them in the right positions. That is what offensive line play is — getting your body in the right position. Once you get there you have tork strength, or hand strength, and that is what he is learning and what Chase Beeler is learning. They learn that every rep they get."
JH: Since he is at right tackle, is it tough for him to mesh with the rest of the offensive line?
JP: "No not really because we play enough tight end sets and he has help on either side. We have our guard combo and tight end helping him on the back side or the front side. He has a bunch of ability and he is good in the open field and open space out there in pass pro. I have a lot of confidence in him, and so do the rest of the guys."
JH: I don't know how much further you can stretch your depth, but so far your depth has held up hasn't it?
JP: "Yeah, Brian Simmons and Sherrone Moore have done well inside. Chase Beeler, at center, has done real well. The better they practice the more they will get to play. Again, that window of opportunity has opened up for Trent and unfortunately injuries are a part of this game. You have to be ready because everybody is one play away. The rest of the guys see that and they are working hard to get their opportunity."
JH: Allen Patrick says he believes in the O-line. He says once they create a hole he will hit it.
JP: "Yeah, AP is a very assertive guy. He is saying that if we do our job then he will be able to do his. We did some good things on Saturday, but he ran hard and ran through some things. Any great back is going to do that. AP is certainly one of those guys and our guys take pride in blocking for him because he runs so hard. We have that job to do."
JH: Trent came out of Longview and they have a great history with their offensive running game, so you knew that he could run block. But how well does he do in pass blocking?
JP: "He has long arms and he has strong hands. He keeps his body in the right position and that is what pass protection is. It is using good technique to set up, and once you can get your hands on people you control them and he has done a good job of that."
JH: What are your thoughts on Missouri's defense?
JP: "They are very impressive and they have a great front. They lost one of their top defensive linemen (Brian Smith), who has been a great player for them. However, they still have a bunch of good players around him and the linebackers are very assertive and very aggressive. Their defensive front is the same way, as they are aggressive and they attack. It is a great challenge for us and our guys are looking forward to it."
Patton has confidence in Williams
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