OU football notebook: Protection up front
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
11/21/12 at 2:57 AM
Bob Stoops was pleased with his offensive line's performance against West Virginia even after the Sooners lost tackle Daryl Williams on the seventh play.
He was also impressed with Landry Jones' ability to escape the few times he faced pressure.
"Through the game, (the offensive line) did a really good job," Stoops said. "I thought Landry had three or four occasions where he escaped the pocket and bought extra time and made some excellent throws on the run.
"But we're really good with him being able to slide out and make some things happen with his feet and buy a little bit of time."
With Williams out, Stoops was asked if Ty Darlington could see more playing time.
"He could. Ty can go in at center and we can move Gabe (Ikard) to guard, I guess, on occasions," Stoops said. "We'll work through what some of our plans would be. You always, the coaches will be talking through what will be our best ways to go if things like that happen. Hopefully we don't get any more."
More chemistry: Stoops said it's evident that the receivers and Jones have meshed well as the weeks have progressed.
"They're all on the same page and playing pretty consistently together and we've been spreading the ball out to all of them, which is the most important thing and big deal, too," Stoops said. "Even the running backs. Damien Williams has had a couple big catches out there. Landry made some great throws to him."
Williams had six catches for 71 yards against the Mountaineers.
Getting props: Perhaps the unsung hero in last week's win at West Virginia was Brennan Clay, whose career-best 46-yard kickoff return set the stage for OU's final touchdown.
"Brennan is a very versatile back that can do everything. He can run the football. He has great hands. He's always been a good pass protector. He's a great return guy," Stoops said. "He contributes in a lot of ways. He always ready to go in and you can always count on him."
Clay added a personal-best 25-yard reception against West Virginia.
Slowing OSU: Stoops has been impressed with Oklahoma State's run game, which is led by Joseph Randle. The junior is the Big 12's top running back and averages 109 yards per game.
"It starts with the guys up front. They do an excellent job blocking and picking up the right people," Stoops said. "Randle does a great job. He makes good cuts. He has great vision. He can make people miss him. He does all of those things. He's an excellent back."
Calling the action: The OSU-OU game will be televised on ESPN. Calling the 2:30 p.m. contest will be Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Danny Kanell (analyst) and Maria Taylor (sideline).