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OU needs better opening drives, and especially at hostile places like Texas Tech

by Jason Kersey Published: October 3, 2012

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s offensive players and coaches agree: The Sooner offense has got to score points faster in games than it has.

Through three games, the only points OU has scored on its opening drives came in the Sept. 22 loss to Kansas State, when the Sooners drove down the field and settled for a Michael Hunnicutt field goal.

Against UTEP and Florida A&M, the offense didn’t earn any points on its first series.

“I think just being more precise in what we’re doing  —  receivers, quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, offensive line  —  it seems like we’re just a little off,” said quarterback Landry Jones. “I think just precision in what we’re doing and just really focusing on little things and correcting them from there.”

Against Kansas State, Jones’ errant throw — intended for tight end Brannon Green — cost the Sooners what almost surely would’ve been an opening-drive touchdown.

“Just overall execution,” Bob Stoops said of the slow starts. “That’s what it always is. It’s blocking; it’s hitting the guy that’s open. Precision in routes. Just a little bit of everything.

“I think there’s a sense of urgency, but there’s a big difference between a sense of urgency and consistency or execution. It’s not for not wanting to.”

A quick Sooners score on their first drive could be a big boost in a hostile environment like Jones AT&T Stadium, where the crowd will play a big factor if the Red Raiders have early success.

“We’ve got to score quick,” junior center Gabe Ikard said. “Especially going into a hostile environment like this, the quicker you get on them, the better it is in regards to keeping the crowd out of it and keeping their energy on the sideline down.”

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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