Following a loss at Texas A&M, when the Sooners were stuffed play after play at the goal line, Oklahoma's offensive line vowed it was a one-game aberration.
Watching film of OU's 45-7 win Saturday over Texas Tech, the O-line played like a unit that had something to prove.
â€œThere wasn't a lot of grumbling or finger pointing,â€ said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. â€œThey had a look in their eye, a little bounce in their step. They had a good week of practice. That carried over to their play. We'll need that this week and weeks to come if we're to finish strong.â€
The Sooners weren't tested at the goal-line, but the offensive line consistently provided running lanes.
Running backs' stats were the most telling. DeMarco Murray, Mossis Madu and Roy Finch combined for 218 rushing yards, averaging 7.0 yards per carry.
Three long runs â€” Murray 39 yards, Madu 35 and Finch 29 â€” were a factor.
But 19 other carries produced 4-or-more yards, proof the offensive line consistently had a good push off the line of scrimmage.
â€œWhether it was power ball or not, those guys needed to perform a little stronger than they did at A&M,â€ Wilson said. â€œThey needed to play better, and the best way to do that is practice. They started on Monday.â€
The Sooners rotated eight linemen with guards Brian Lepak and Stephen Good and tackle Jarvis Jones rotating in a week after starters played the majority of 104 plays.
â€œWe did probably need to play a few more (linemen) than we did at A&M,â€ Wilson said. â€œWe didn't probably rotate as much with the number of plays we had. It was good to rotate some of those guys.â€
It might have been the offensive line's best game all season.
â€œThey've had a couple other (games) that have been pretty good,â€ Wilson said. â€œI don't know if it was the best, but it was better than last week. It was a good response. It was good to see them come out and play better.â€
Finch's first career touchdown run showed why he's projected to be OU's starting running back next season. Finch burst through a huge hole and shook off two tacklers for a dazzling 29-yard run. ... On two carries from the Wildcat formation, Murray rushed for 10 yards. ... Ryan Broyles once again put on a clinic, his three touchdown catches showing his versatility. ... Punter Tress Way had one of his best games, averaging 47.8 yards. Way had back-to-back 57-yard punts in the second quarter. ... Madu ran well (8.0 average) in his final home game after being benched two games for fumble problems. ... Backup quarterback Drew Allen primarily has handed off in mop-up duty this season. One of the intriguing battles next spring will be Allen and redshirt freshman Blake Bell competing for the backup job.
Safety Quinton Carter (17 tackles) had one the best games of his career and seemed to be around the ball all day. ... On a defense that has sometimes been plagued by missed tackles, freshman nickel back Tony Jefferson consistently wraps up. ... Defensive end Jeremy Beal played well in his final home game but twice was burned on a fake by quarterback Taylor Potts, something he must be wary of against Baylor QB Robert Griffin. ... Ronnell Lewis, sidelined three games by a sprained knee, made an impact on both kickoff coverage and defensive end (three tackles, one pass breakup). ... Defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland (five tackles, one batted down pass) played his best game. ... Pryce Macon is undersized after moving to defensive tackle but was solid (six tackles, 1.5 sacks). ... The Sooners continue to be vulnerable up the middle. Tech running back Baron Batch averaged 8.3 yards per carry (91 yards rushing), much of his production coming between the hash marks.