Robinson Preps Defense for Oklahoma

The last time Greg Robinson coached in a Red River game, Twitter wasn't around, and Facebook was in its first year after founding. Not only was George W. Bush president of the United States, but he was still in his first term. And the Sooners scored 12 points, which was enough to win 12-0.

"When was that? Oh, '04 yeah," Robinson said. "Yeah, that was a while ago. We are hard at work. We are looking forward to the opportunity of playing them."

While the 2004 Sooners were fantastic offensively with Jason White and Adrian Peterson competing for the Heisman Trophy, the 2013 Oklahoma offense provides some unique challenges that those Sooners could not.

For one thing, because White was fresh off two knee injuries, he stood largely statuesque in the pocket, whereas Blake Bell — the statue-sized quarterback of the present-day Sooners — provides more of a running threat.

"Well, there are a lot of things that jump out at me [about Oklahoma's offense], but Belldozer, he has performed pretty well lately," Robinson said.

Because of Bell's prodigious size and his mobility, Oklahoma can do some interesting things, including using five-wide receiver sets while still forcing teams to respect the Sooners' running game.

But Robinson said that Bell wasn't a one-dimensional player.

"Oh no, he can throw," Robinson said. "His arm is good. He has a strong arm. He is an accurate thrower. I think that he really knows what he is doing. He understands their offense well. I've been impressed, very much so."

The danger Bell represents is multiplied by a backfield that includes versatile threats Trey Millard and Damien Williams. Both had big games against Texas last year, with Williams breaking the 95-yard touchdown run that pushed all the momentum into Oklahoma's corner. So who does Williams remind Robinson of?

"You know, I suspect I could say a lot of people, but what I do know is this: he's got a low center of gravity and he is very athletic," Robinson said. "He jump cuts. There are very few backs that are good at what I call 'jump cuts,' two feet and then cuts back. This guy can do it. And then accelerate. I don't know what they say but I think he is 209 [pounds] or something like that, but I know this; his lower body is strong and he breaks tackles. He's impressive. Plus he can scoot, you know? He's got a great package. He's a good back."

The Sooners also present a challenge with a versatile and speedy receiving corps and a veteran offensive line that includes All-America candidate Gabe Ikard at center. All that talent can really pressure a staff to find solutions, with that pressure magnified when strained through the event that is one of college football's biggest rivalries.

"You know what? It's Oklahoma week," Robinson said. "I would have to think that every year that this is the game that you want to play. This is what it's all about, and the pressure of wanting to win and beat them is exciting. That's what it is. It's an opportunity for all of us. I think that's how you look at it. It's how much can you get out of your guys come Saturday to do the right things and play well. So that's the challenge and I think we are all pretty excited about accepting that."

Is it a bigger challenge knowing that there could be more on the line than a simple win or loss for the coaching staff?

"Oh I don't know that," Robinson said. "You know, there might be something, but I don't know, is there something that you're thinking of? I think it is an opportunity for us. Really, I think doggone it, you know we want to get it back on our side. So I'd like to think that is the mindset of everyone that is involved with it. We all feel like we have a responsibility to our Texas fans."

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