OU Receivers are "Growing"

NORMAN, Okla. -- If people were to pick one spot where the Sooners have been subpar, a popular choice would be the receiving group...

Which lost two of its key wide receivers in Manny Johnson and Juaquin Iglesias to graduation, as well as this year's senior tight end Jermaine Gresham to injury prior to the start of the season.

But quite honestly, the group has been in situations where it could make plays and simply hasn't done so.

Consider the 10 drops against Baylor.

And the inability to come up with a couple huge catches in the Texas game.

And the same kind of inconsistency catching the ball was evident in the first half of the Sooners' 35-13 victory over Kansas, most notably on OU's last possession in that first frame.

The concerning thing, really, is how open receivers have been when dropping these passes.

On third-and-8 from OU's own 22-yard line, redshirt freshman quarterback Landry Jones dropped back and tossed a pass over the middle of the field to an open Cameron Kenney.

The pass tipped off Kenney's hands and into defensive back Ryan Murphy's for an interception that ultimately set KU up to cut the deficit to 14-6 at the time.

That was one example of what has plagued the Sooners and continued to do so in the first half against Kansas.

"Landry threw some great passes in the first half that we dropped," said OU head coach Bob Stoops after the game.

But perhaps—perhaps—things changed in the second half for the better for the rest of the season.

There was more consistency on the perimeter and in the route running as a whole in the final 30 minutes.

"Hey, we're growing," said OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell. "We're growing every week, getting more confident. You know, we've got to build on the second half today."

Senior wide receiver Adron Tennell might finally have emerged as the receiver the team expects him to be to complement sophomore Ryan Broyles.

Tennell, who caught six passes for 47 yards in the contest, shined when he found an opening on a slant over the middle of the field for a 9-yard touchdown pass less than four minutes into the second half.

And Broyles was as good as always, catching 11 passes for 121 yards, nearly half of Jones' 252 passing yards.

"Those two guys really stepped up and played well," Norvell said.

Sophomore Dejuan Miller added three catches for 24 yards, and junior Brandon Caleb had two catches for 26 yards.

So, it was a group effort for improvement in the second half.

"The guys really came out there, and we took initiative," Broyles said. "We knew we had to make plays."

Maybe, just maybe, the Sooners receiving group will be better from this point on.

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