OU Notebook: Damien Williams to see more action?
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
10/02/12 at 3:30 AM
Oklahoma's Damien Williams averages 9.9 yards per carry, the best figure among the top 100 running backs in college football. He leads the Sooners with 296 yards and five touchdowns.
Perhaps he'll start his first game Saturday at Texas Tech.
Asked Monday if there might be some personnel adjustments to his struggling offense, OU coach Bob Stoops said: "We've talked. We brought up that we wanted to get Damien more carries and more opportunities."
It's not just that Williams has broken off 89- and 65-yard scoring runs to show big-play potential the rest of his offense hasn't. It's that he has also avoided the turnover bug that bit the Sooners in their 24-19 loss to Kansas State Sept. 22.
Tech can run it, too: The headliners in Texas Tech's offense are quarterback Seth Doege and wide receiver Eric Ward. But it's not like the Red Raiders can't or won't run the football - Kenny Williams and Eric Stephens have combined for 574 yards.
The Sooners, meantime, have already given up two 100-yard rushing performances in their first three games.
That isn't a hopeful trend coming into Saturday's game, and considering OU's recent problems in Lubbock.
"The times we have played them the best, we have defended the run the best," Stoops pointed out. "The times we haven't, their run game has hurt us as much as anything."
The Sooners gave up 109 yards to Tech halfback Taurean Henderson in their 23-21 loss in 2005. Three years ago, the last time OU played in Lubbock, Baron Batch rushed for 136 yards and two scores as Tech rolled 41-19.
Metoyer, Brown must get more involved: As consistent as Kenny Stills has been, and as good as Sterling Shepard looked against K-State, OU's outside receivers haven't made nearly the same impact.
Justin Brown has 12 catches for 135 yards. Trey Metoyer has 10 for 90 and the only touchdown between the two starters.
Stoops said the Sooners emphasized involving their two outside receivers more last week.
"They're weapons that kind of haven't been used," quarterback Landry Jones acknowledged. "Both of those guys can make a lot of different plays, and they bring so much detail to this offense ...
"We have so many weapons on this team, but if you don't use all of them, then you're leaving stuff on the field. I think coaches see that and that might be an emphasis for us."
The schedule is a problem: Saturday marked the Sooners' second bye in three weeks. Center Gabe Ikard found a good word for it - "awkward" - and said it made Saturday's game feel a little like another season opener.
"You'd always like to have more games," Stoops acknowledged, "but I thought Joe Castiglione did the best he could with our whole situation. With conference realignment, TCU - one of our non-conference games - was moved to a conference game and all of that. This is the best they could came up with."