In 2011, the Sooners were so abysmal in short-yardage situations, they installed the Belldozer package midseason. But so far this season, OU has been much better in short yardage in its base offense. Twice in the first quarter against Florida A&M, the Sooners punched the ball in from inside the 5-yard line without turning to the Belldozer.
“I think there’s no question,” said co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “We’re a little more physical up front.
“We have many good players on offense and we’re trying to find out their strengths. A lot of times you can’t find out strengths until you play games. You can try to simulate in practice with the limited scrimmage opportunities we have in training camp, you just can’t find out what all your guys can do with live bullets and keep everyone healthy. I think we’ve found out a lot about our players in the last two weeks. I think we’re able to make the right adjustments now and I think it will help us put guys in the right positions.”
One major reason why the Sooners have shown improvement in short yardage is because of junior college transfer Damien Williams at running back. Williams scored both of OU’s touchdowns in the first quarter with strong runs between the tackles. Williams finished with four touchdowns in the game.
“We’re more physical at the running back position,” Norvell said. “I don’t think there’s any question that having Damien emerge as a powerful back has helped us in that area and we’ll continue to utilize him.”