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Three questions with SoonerNation's Jake Trotter

10/2/2011

What is OU's greatest strength?

Oklahoma does a lot of things better than most. But almost nobody passes the ball like the Sooners do. Quarterback Landry Jones and receiver Ryan Broyles form perhaps the top passing duo in the country. Jones holds the OU school record for career passing yards. Broyles holds the Big 12 record with 304 career receptions.

Jones has plenty of other weapons, too. Sophomore Kenny Stills, who made the game-winning touchdown grab at Florida State, would be a No. 1 receiver at a number of other schools. Dejuan Miller, Jaz Reynolds and tight end James Hanna are capable wideouts, too.

The Sooners also have four running backs in Dominique Whaley, Brennan Clay, Roy Finch Trey Millard who excel at catching the ball out of the backfield. And the strength of OU’s veteran offensive line is protecting Jones, who has been sacked only once all season.

What is OU's greatest weakness?

Three years ago and Texas trailing OU 14-3, Jordan Shipley returned a kickoff for a touchdown, igniting the Longhorns’ come-from-behind 45-35 victory. OU’s special teams continue to be exploitable. This past weekend against Ball State, the Sooners missed a 30-yard field goal, fumbled away a punt return and allowed Ball State to recover an onside on the opening kickoff.

Field goal kicking remains an adventure. Michael Hunnicutt has taken the job from Jimmy Stevens, who missed a critical field goal in the 16-13 loss to Texas in 2009. But Hunnicutt hasn’t been stellar, either. Besides misfiring on the 30-yarder, he needed a lucky bounce off the left upright to convert a 44-yard try against Ball State.

Despite possessing several offensive playmakers, the Sooners also struggle manufacturing big returns off kickoffs and punts.

Which player should Texas be most worried about?

The Big 12 has produced several big-time wide receivers through the years, but Broyles has been as productive as any of them. He’s only 13 receptions away from breaking the NCAA career record, and could end up setting the NCAA record for career receiving yards, too.

At 5-foot-10, Broyles isn’t big. But he possesses automatic hands, has a special knack for finding openings in the defense and can make big plays with the ball.

One knock on Broyles’ career is that he has yet to post a big performance in the Cotton Bowl. But in '09 he was coming off a fractured shoulder blade, and in '10 he was dealing with sprains to both ankles. This time around, Broyles, already with six touchdowns through four games, is operating at 100 percent.