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Sooners have issues inside the 20-yard line

by Michael Baldwin Published: October 16, 2011

After experiencing red zone struggles once again in a 47-17 win over Kansas on Saturday night, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was asked if the Sooners have a problem in that area.

“At times,” Stoops said. “But we got field goals. It's typical. We score 47, and everyone is like, ‘How did you not get 60?' I'm sorry we didn't score every time.”

Yes, expectations are high in the Sooner Nation. Sometimes too high.

But there's no question the Sooners have issues inside opponents' 20-yard line.

Against Kansas, OU scored touchdowns on only three of eight red zone possessions.

The Sooners kicked four field goals. And Ryan Broyles fumbled at the 1-yard line when he reached the ball toward the end zone.

“We're not happy,” said co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “Those are very disappointing drives. We want to score touchdowns.”

Broyles' turnover was an unusual play. It was three possessions inside the 10-yard line that underscores a season-long issue that dates back to 2010.

Late in the first half, the Sooners marched to the 5-yard line. Dominique Whaley ran for 1 yard, was held to no gain, ran for 2 yards, dropped a TD pass and Landry Jones missed Broyles in the end zone.

On the next-to-last red zone opportunity in the fourth quarter, the Sooners drove to the 10-yard line. Whaley picked up 6 yards on first down, 1 yard on second down and was stuffed for no gain on a reception out of the backfield on third down. The drive stalled at the 3-yard line.

“It's a huge concern,” Whaley said. “We're just leaving too many points out there.”

It's unrealistic to score a TD every trip inside an opponents' 20-yard line. But if the Sooners went eight-for-eight, they would have scored 70 points.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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