NORMAN — One impressive aspect of Bob Stoops’ remarkable 15-year run at Oklahoma has been the ability to adapt offensively depending on personnel.
Stoops hasn’t been a slave to any one offensive system. During the Adrian Peterson years, the Sooners became a more run-heavy team, especially after Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jason White’s career ended.
OU reached the 2008 BCS national championship game after installing a no-huddle offensive system before the season.
When OU lost all of its tight-end contributors after the 2011 season, the Sooners made four wide receivers their standard.
Oklahoma had success last season with both Blake Bell and Trevor Knight at quarterback. With the more-athletic Knight, OU ran lots more zone-read plays, and with Bell, went back to their more traditional, pass-first attack.
OU’s ability under Stoops to be unpredictable offensively also makes a difference. Nobody knew who was going to start at quarterback in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama last January.
When Knight earned the nod, the Crimson Tide clearly underestimated his arm. Knight earned Sugar Bowl MVP honors after torching an Alabama defense that expected to see much more quarterback running.
In 2013, Knight will be a threat with both his arms and legs, and that might be enough to keep defenses guessing most of the year.
“I don’t know that people in Oklahoma really realize how unique what has happened here over the past seven or eight years is,” said co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “Most people lined up in one formation or one personnel group.
“We’ve taken a very complicated set of formations and personnel groupings and put it in a no-huddle system, and we haven’t slowed down over the past seven, eight years.”