OU football notebook: Sets up well for Stills
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 2:35 AM
Numbers that wide receivers have put up against West Virginia's defense this year are staggering.
Baylor's Terrance Williams caught 17 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns Sept. 29. Texas Tech's Jace Amaro caught five for 156 and a score Oct. 13. Tyler Lockett caught nine for 194 and two TDs Oct. 20.
Two weeks ago, TCU's Josh Boyce made six catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Last Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart caught 13 for 172 and two scores, while adding a 46-yard touchdown run on a reverse.
Seems fair to ask Oklahoma wideout Kenny Stills if his eyes are platter-wide heading to Morgantown this weekend.
"I wouldn't say that," he said diplomatically. "Every time we play a defense, you guys kind of build them up or the stats show that we should have a huge game, and they play their tails off, or they play their best game. I wouldn't say that we're expecting anything."
Toughening it out: The Sooners' offensive line is supposedly healthier than it was during last week's victory over Baylor. Still, the bruises are getting deeper for a thin group that has logged a lot of snaps.
Do coaches give them some relief during the week?
"They don't get time off," O-line coach James Patton fired back. "They've got to go out and practice like everybody else. They get select reps. But they're tough guys. They want to be out there. They don't want to miss practice."
The Sooners tweak practices more than make exceptions for certain players.
"With everybody this point in the year practice gets a little shorter," coach Bob Stoops said. "We don't hit nearly as much. We don't go against each other quite as much."
Backloaded again?: OU used seven defensive backs against some of Baylor's spread formations last week. The thinking?
"Well, when people put five wide receivers out there, you're going to need at least six," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "We played seven just because of the quality of receivers that Baylor's able to put out there. Certainly West Virginia has the capabilities to do the same thing."
Stoops moves cornerback Aaron Colvin to a nickel safety position in the 7-DB alignment. He puts Lamar Harris on the field to play corner opposite Demontre Hurst, with Colvin, Tony Jefferson, Javon Harris, Gabe Lynn and Julian Wilson all positioned toward the middle of the field at safety.
Tackling the problem: Colvin, mindful of the open-field speed and craftiness of the West Virginia receivers said: "Tackling is going to be very, very important."
For the Sooners' sake, it needs to be very, very improved over the last two weeks.
"I think it's a mental aspect more than anything else," defensive end R.J. Washington said. "Tacking is want-to. If you want to, you'll be able to make a lot of tackles."
"It's something that we've talked about, especially me personally," Javon Harris said. "I think I've missed too many tackles. I work on it every day. It's an attitude thing."