OU's halftime adjustments pay off in third quarter

By Travis Haney and Mike Baldwin, Staff Writers Modified: November 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm •  Published: November 8, 2011

— Halftime adjustments? It's a coaching staff seeking solutions to areas where they are vulnerable.

“You always cover the bad at halftime,” said Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Whatever the Sooners are doing is working during that 20-minute period the band is marching and fans visit restrooms and concession stands.

OU has outscored opponents 118-10 in the third quarter.

The past two weeks, the third quarter has been a knockout punch.

The Sooners outscored K-State 21-0 in the third quarter, and dominated Texas A&M 28-0.

“You come out and you play well,” said coach Bob Stoops. “The players executed. I give the assistant coaches credit to a degree. Hopefully we're making some decent adjustments. ... But players ultimately are the ones making the plays. For whatever reason, they've executed well in the third quarter.”

Stoops shed some light as to what happens during the break.

Of the 20 minutes, about 12 are donated toward making adjustments. The other eight minutes go toward getting situated inside the meeting rooms, and then returning to the field for brief stretching exercises.

Once inside the locker room, Venables and his staff head straight to the chalkboard to begin working on adjustments. Josh Heupel, Jay Norvell and the offensive staff confer with one another before presenting the second-half game plan.

Each game is different.

Venables had few mistakes to correct last week. The only first-half blemish was a 79-yard Ryan Tannehill-to-Ryan Swopes touchdown pass. A scrambling quarterback bought extra time and a savvy receiver improvised after the original play broke down.

“You're just coaching guys to be disciplined,” Venables said. “Quarterbacks are going to scramble. Guys are going to work to try and get open.”

The turning point

A breakdown of how the Sooners have dominated the third quarter this season:

Game, OU-opponent

Tulsa, 14-0

Florida St., 0-3

Missouri, 7-0

Ball St., 21-0

Texas, 14-0

Kansas, 3-0

Texas Tech, 10-7

Kansas St., 21-0

Texas A&M, 28-0

Totals, 118-10

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