Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell, who coaches receivers, said his wideouts have to amp up their physicality — particularly when it comes to blocking on the outside — now that the Sooners are entering conference play Saturday against Kansas State.
“There's no question we're striving to play as physical as we can on the perimeter,” Norvell said. “You start conference play, you know it's gonna be a lot more physical, especially on the edge.
“To be able to run this ball in this conference the way you have to against a quality opponent like Kansas State, we've gotta do a good job on the outside as well.”
SNYDER: BROWN WILL PLAY
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder announced Tuesday that senior middle linebacker Arthur Brown will be available to play Saturday, as expected, in the No. 15 Wildcats' game Saturday at No. 6 Oklahoma.
Brown hurt his right ankle in the first quarter of Saturday's 35-21 win over North Texas, but returned in the second quarter and finished with a career-high 13 tackles. Still, Snyder implied after the game that Brown's status for the OU game might be up in the air.
Brown played at Miami for his first two seasons before transferring in 2010.
He sat out the usual one year before exploding last season, when he led the team with 101 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, and added two sacks and an interception.
Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson also has dealt with an injured right ankle, but coach Bob Stoops said Monday that Jefferson was practicing again and would play Saturday.
K-STATE DEFENDERS GOOD WITH FUNDAMENTALS
Much of Snyder's success in turning Kansas State around — twice — has been an intense attention to small details. Junior guard Bronson Irwin said that's something OU will have to match Saturday.
“Their talent level is very good,” Irwin said, “but they're very fundamentally sound. That's the thing about them; they're very good with gap responsibilities. They're very good with being where they're supposed to be and not getting out of position.
“You have to make sure you're on the right paths, so you can be in position to block your man.”
The Kansas State defense has sacked the opposing quarterback eight times through its three games. OU quarterbacks have been taken down six times in the Sooners' two games.
STOOPS: WALKER LOOKS THE SAME
Senior Casey Walker will return to the Oklahoma defensive tackle rotation Saturday, making his first appearance of the season.
He left the team for undisclosed personal reasons days before the season opener at UTEP but returned to practice at the beginning of last week.
“He looked like the same old guy out there working, so we're excited to have him back,” Stoops said. “I expect him to play well.”
Walker, a fifth-year senior who redshirted in 2008 as a freshman, has appeared in 22 games over the past three seasons, earning 12 starts.