Oklahoma junior guard Bronson Irwin said he thinks the Sooners' offensive line, which was ravaged by injuries in the preseason, made big improvements from the first game at UTEP to last week's home win over Florida A&M.
“Obviously there are things we have to improve on,” Irwin said. “The first game, there were a few ID issues, and the last game was a lot better.
“Some technique things we have to clean up this week. Lucky for us, we have an extra week to work on it this time around.”
The Sooners are off this week, but looming on Saturday, Sept. 22, is the Big 12 opener against No. 15 Kansas State. The Wildcats were impressive in their 52-13 rout of Miami last weekend.
The OU offensive line lost senior center Ben Habern and senior guard Tyler Evans to injuries before the season started; Habern decided to end his football career because of lingering neck and back issues, and Evans tore an ACL early in fall camp. They had 59 career starts between them.
OU's rushing attack has gained 554 yards this season, averaging nearly 8 yards per carry, but quarterbacks Landry Jones and Blake Bell have been sacked six times in OU's two games.
Asked if he was satisfied with the offensive line's performance so far, sophomore guard Adam Shead said he isn't.
“Satisfied? No, you can never be satisfied,” Shead said. “There are still a lot of things we can fix. That's really what we're working on is the little small things. It's nothing big, it's just small details. That's what we've got to work on.”
ONUOHA WORKING TO GAIN WEIGHT
True freshman defensive end Michael Onuoha, who has put on about 30 pounds since the beginning of his last high school season, said he still hasn't reached his target weight, but is getting close.
Onuoha saw his first game action in the second half of Saturday's rout of Florida A&M, along with his fellow true freshman end, Charles Tapper.
“It was pretty exciting,” Onuoha said. “I've been working hard in practice, so the fact that I'm out there Saturday was pretty great.”
He said the biggest adjustment is the speed of the college game, although Onuoha is still pretty new to the game of football, period. He didn't play much until his senior year of high school at Edmond Santa Fe — he first was noticed by college coaches because of his impressive showing at OU's 2011 summer camp — and he entered the 2011 season weighing 215 pounds.
Onuoha said he's up to about 245 now, but still wants to add another 10 pounds or so to his 6-foot-5 frame.
Asked about the performances of Onuoha and Tapper, senior defensive end R.J. Washington said, “I think they did good. They still kinda played like freshmen, but they're coming along. You get more and more experience, you get more and more confidence. The sky's the limit for those guys.”
MIKE STOOPS ‘HAPPY' FOR ARIZONA
Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said he was “happy for Arizona, happy for coach (Rich) Rodriguez and all the players,” Monday when asked about his former team's 59-38 win over Oklahoma State last weekend.
Stoops was head coach at Arizona from 2004 until he was fired midway through last season.
“They must have played an awfully great game,” Stoops said. “That's a tough place to play there at night. Really proud of what (quarterback) Matt Scott has done. We all knew he was a great player.”
Stoops was 41-50 during his tenure at Arizona.