Offensive line played like it had something to prove

Oklahoma's offensive line played what might have been its best game of the season in the Sooners' 45-7 win over Texas Tech.
by Michael Baldwin Modified: November 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm •  Published: November 14, 2010

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.

“There wasn't a lot of grumbling or finger pointing,” said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. “They 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.”

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 — Murray 39 yards, Madu 35 and Finch 29 — 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.

“Whether it was power ball or not, those guys needed to perform a little stronger than they did at A&M,” Wilson said. “They needed to play better, and the best way to do that is practice. They started on Monday.”

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.

“We did probably need to play a few more (linemen) than we did at A&M,” Wilson said. “We didn't probably rotate as much with the number of plays we had. It was good to rotate some of those guys.”

It might have been the offensive line's best game all season.

“They've had a couple other (games) that have been pretty good,” Wilson said. “I 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.”

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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