NORMAN — Oklahoma offensive lineman Adam Shead shifted his weight back to his right leg. His eyes darted from one media member to the next.
He was thinking about when he, or his offensive line brethren, lets a defender through and that guy makes his way to sack the quarterback.
It's a problem the Sooners are aware of, not just how many sacks they've allowed this season (six so far), but how many Kansas State's defense — OU's opponent on Saturday — has earned in 2012.
The Wildcats have tallied eight sacks for 46 yards, and five of those sacks came in their 52-13 victory against Miami in Week 2.
“That's kind of one of those things that it's like ... It's horrible to think about.” Shead said. “It feels bad.
“I never want that to happen.”
Then he bent his knees and lowered his 6-foot-4, 307-pound frame closer to the floor and knocked on the wood.
The Sooners' six allowed sacks are a little more than half of what OU allowed all of last year, but coach Bob Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel made it clear this week that those sacks aren't just on the offensive line.
“For instance, we have the play-action pass down by the goal line,” Stoops said of a play that led to an eventual sack on Landry Jones against Florida A&M. “It's two reads. You've got the tight end and the fullback. You either throw it to them or you throw it in the stands, instead of turning around and going backwards and you run right into somebody — that's not the line's fault.
“And Blake (Bell) has a sack late in the game and he's reading the wrong plays and signal calling. So everyone else is run blocking and he's back there trying to throw, so that doesn't work real well.”
Heupel also took responsibility for one of the sacks on Jones.
“Protection wasn't good against the blitz that we saw,” Heupel said. “Sacks are 11 guys. It's wideouts beating coverage. It's offensive line being sound in their protection fundamentally and scheme wise. It's quarterbacks knowing when to get rid of the football. You're fighting for that every day.”
Do all that and guys don't have to worry about yelling at their QB when a guy slips through. Most of the time, it's too late to shout something anyway.
The next thing for an offensive lineman to do? Pick up the quarterback.
“Ahhh, sorry,” Shead said as he brushed off an imaginary Landry Jones.
After clearing the imaginary grass from the imaginary jersey of the imaginary quarterback, Shead smiled at himself before getting serious again.
“Then you go back to playing,” Shead said. “You've got to forget about it and go on back to the next play.”