Oklahoma football notebook: Offensive line outlook improves

Sooners coach Bob Stoops expects center Gabe Ikard in lineup for game vs. West Virginia
by Jason Kersey and Stephanie Kuzydym Published: November 12, 2012

JAVON HARRIS A “FIRM BELIEVER IN GOING HARD.”

For the second straight week, an Oklahoma defender was called for a personal foul on the opposing offense's opening drive.

On Nov. 3 at Iowa State, linebacker Corey Nelson grabbed Cyclones quarterback Steele Jantz's facemask on the first play from scrimmage.

Saturday against Baylor — on a third-down play — a pass intended for Antwan Goodley was tipped in the air, and senior safety Javon Harris hit him high, drawing a 15-yard penalty.

“I know I've been susceptible to that rule and trying to find that medium to where I should hit someone,” Harris said Monday. “I've always been a firm believer in going hard. Sometimes they count it as that type of play and sometimes they let it go as a big hit.

“A lot of times, when you are going hard, you don't think too much about what's going on as far as if I should hit this guy in the legs … to me, I'm never going to aim at a guy's face mask. I honestly didn't think that I did on Saturday.”

Harris admitted that it's a tough call for everyone involved, including the officials.

“They have to make a call, but I also have to make a play,” Harris said. “When it comes down to it, you have to look at it and play hard. As long as I continue to play hard, sometimes it will get called, sometimes it won't. You have to find a happy medium.”

QUOTABLE

Bob Stoops on a video clip he showed his players on targeting “(The play in the video) wasn't excessive to the point of being a suspension or anything, but should have been called but wasn't. It was plain as day and explained and very similar (to Harris' play). He needs to hit him lower.

“Protecting these kids matters. You can still be tough, physical. You can hit him down here where the ball is. ... I thought on that play, the ball was bouncing around up here ... I would have liked to have seen him grab the ball off the top of his head and run in for a score instead of hitting him. You just have to keep educating them.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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