NORMAN — Last month during the preseason, Bob Stoops was asked if coaches were adding any new wrinkles to the short-yardage “Belldozer” package.
“Oh, absolutely,” Stoops said. “A bunch of them. ... We'll hold them; there's no sense in revealing anything too soon if you don't have to.”
If current trends continue into next week's Big 12 Conference opener against Kansas State and beyond, those wrinkles may remain secrets.
Through two games, Oklahoma has converted all 10 of its red zone opportunities into touchdowns, and not one of them has been on a Blake Bell run.
The addition of powerful running back Damien Williams, a junior-college transfer who scored three red zone touchdowns last week, raises the question: Are the Sooners less reliant on the Belldozer than they were a year ago?
“I think there's no question,” said co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “I think we're more physical at the running back position. ... I don't think there's any question that having Damien emerge as a powerful back has helped us in that area.”
Sophomore guard Adam Shead said it doesn't matter to him whether OU uses the Belldozer or not.
“As long as we're getting the job done, it doesn't matter,” Shead said. “Whether we're using Damien or Blake, as long as we're getting first downs and scoring touchdowns, that's all that matters.”
But James Patton, the OU assistant coach in charge of centers and guards, still considers the Belldozer an important option for the Sooner offense.
“We're gonna need that package,” Patton said. “We can do it in the middle of the field.
“We've got a lot of variations of it, but it all comes down to what you can execute.”