New receivers catch on quickly for No. 14 Sooners

Associated Press Modified: November 22, 2012 at 11:31 am •  Published: November 22, 2012
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"Whenever you can get that many passing yards in a game, that's big. That just shows that when you go out and you do things well, you stay disciplined and you execute, that's what can happen," Brown said.

Jones' passing numbers have risen over the course of the season as he has grown more familiar with his new receiving options, with a big boost coming after the addition of Saunders led to heavier usage of a four-receiver set.

Oklahoma is averaging 374.5 yards passing over the past six games — 100 more than during the first four.

"I just think that comes from playing games. You have to be in critical situations and have success before guys really trust each other," co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jay Norvell said.

"Shep's made a bunch of big plays. Justin has now and Jalen certainly has made some in recent weeks, so there's no reason for him not to feel good about throwing the ball to those guys. I just think that there's a level of confidence that we didn't have earlier in the year just because of familiarity."

The shootout with West Virginia was Jones' 11th game with at least 400 yards passing. There have been just four others in Oklahoma history. He ranks fourth — behind only Houston's Case Keenum, Hawaii's Timmy Chang and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell — in Division I history with 15,624 yards passing in his career.

Norvell said he believes Jones developed an understanding of how each receiver runs his routes during practice, but the real trust comes when they make plays in crunch time of a game.

"I think those guys have grown a lot in the way they've played as the way they've prepared and how hard they've worked," Jones said. "I can't say enough about how much we've progressed as an offense with those guys and how explosive and how many plays we've made because of who they are."

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AP freelance writer Murray Evans contributed to this report.