“When it's going well, that's usually how it goes,” Heupel said. “They've done a good job. They've played with better technique. They've been better in their recognition. I think up front we've just gotten better the entire year, not just in the pass game but in the run game as well.”
The offensive line's performance is made more impressive simply because of how thin the unit is. Two seniors and returning starters — Ben Habern and Tyler Evans — were lost before the season even began, and reserve guard Nila Kasitati tore his ACL in the Sooners' Oct. 6 win at Texas Tech.
Junior Bronson Irwin stepped into a starting role when Evans tore his ACL at the beginning of fall camp, but he's had a few minor injury scares; he had to be helped off the field both Oct. 13 against Texas and last week at Iowa State with ankle problems, although he returned to finish both games.
In a home loss two weeks ago to Notre Dame, senior starting tackle Lane Johnson hurt his ankle, making him limited at Iowa State.
“We've had limited depth here for the past month, and guys have been working hard, competing hard and have been ready on Saturdays,” Heupel said. “We expect everybody to be ready to go.”
Junior cornerback Aaron Colvin, on last year's performance against Baylor: “Anytime you get embarrassed, it brings a hunger in you. It makes you want to go out there harder. No one's perfect, but you've gotta go out and play to the best of your ability or things like what happened last year can happen again.”