Kansas vs. OU: History says no letdown
NORMAN, Okla. -- Coming off such an emotional win over Texas, the Sooners are due for a letdown, right? Especially with Kansas coming to town, a week before an epic clash with Notre Dame that could essentially serve as a national quarterfinal?
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Sooners producing big runs
By Brandon Chatmon
Although the Sooners are just five games into their 2012 season, they have already proven to be a big-play running team. And the Sooners have two newcomers to thank for their game-changing runs this season.
The first name is obvious. Junior college transfer Damien Williams has brought a big-play ability the Sooners offense lacked in 2011. He has 10 runs over 10 yards, including 95-, 89- and 65-yard touchdowns. His 95- and 89-yard gallops already rank among the top 10 longest touchdown runs in OU history.
The second newcomer has gone under the radar with his contributions. Penn State transfer Justin Brown has helped the mindset of OU's receivers, as the group has become better blockers since the arrival of the veteran receiver.
"I told Justin, 'You have to carry the torch on this, you have to work your tail off you have to be the example on this,'" receivers coach Jay Norvell said. "Being our resident Big Ten guy, he's used to blocking a lot. He's been a great influence."
From Kenny Stills' block against Texas to spring Williams on his 95-yard touchdown run to Durron Neal's pancake block against Florida A&M, which freed Roy Finch for a 15-yard touchdown gallop, it's paying off. OU has 40 runs of 10 yards or more in five games this season (eight per game). By comparison, the Sooners had 55 runs of 10 or more yards in 13 games in 2011.
"We stress that a lot around here," freshman receiver Sterling Shepard said. "Because that can lead to 50-yard runs and touchdown. Every day Coach Norvell has drills for us to block. We do it on a daily basis."
And Williams and the Sooners running backs have been the beneficiaries.
KEY STAT: 48.6 percent
By Brandon Chatmon
According to cfbstats.com, the opponent's completion percentage in the second and third quarter against the Sooners is 48.6 percent. It's a sign of the improvement of OU's passing defense under Mike Stoops and its ability to make changes on the fly during games. OU has allowed 210 passing yards in the second quarter and 137 passing yards in the third quarter. OU ranks No. 1 nationally in both categories.
OU PLAYER TO WATCH
By Jake Trotter
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
-- QB Landry Jones
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