Oklahoma football: Sooner still searching for an offensive identity

OU has tried a variety of different attacks, often looking entirely different from one week to the next. When Oklahoma kicks off Saturday afternoon inside Kansas' Memorial Stadium, there's no telling what sort of scheme Josh Heupel will unveil.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 18, 2013

— Through six games of the 2013 season, Oklahoma still doesn't quite have a firm, defined identity on offense.

OU has tried a variety of different attacks, often looking entirely different from one week to the next. Do these Sooners want to be a power running team? A spread-out, air-raid attack like Landry Jones ran throughout his record-breaking career? A zone-read team, running a Nevada-style pistol offense?

When Oklahoma kicks off Saturday afternoon inside Kansas' Memorial Stadium, there's no telling what sort of scheme Josh Heupel will unveil.

“Clearly, we've changed a little bit from the start of the season with Trevor (Knight) and the read option game,” admitted senior center Gabe Ikard.

Indeed, in each of the two games Knight started at quarterback, Oklahoma rushed the ball at least 50 times and for more than 300 yards. The Sooners haven't come within 85 rushing yards of 300 since junior Blake Bell became the starting quarterback.

Despite the obvious shift in play-calling, Ikard said that when Bell and Knight competed throughout the preseason for the quarterback job, they were running exactly the same system.

“We probably expected to have a little more quarterback run game in than we have the last couple of weeks, but that comes from the coaches seeing things and taking advantage of things that they've seen on tape,” Ikard said.

Oklahoma fans also expected to see more quarterback runs from Bell, especially last weekend against a Texas defense that had allowed more than 100 rushing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks before the Red River Rivalry.

But Heupel continued dialing up passing plays into the second half, even when the Sooners were well within striking distance in the third quarter.

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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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