Blake Bell's ability to run the ball made a difference as well, keeping the Irish's front seven on their heels when he ran both on the option and on designed runs.
“That changes the numbers a little bit,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We tweaked some things in the run game, just how we were targeting some of their guys, both in the front and in the second level — their linebackers — and we did a good job executing it.”
Bedenbaugh, who wasn't around last season, said last year wasn't as bad as it appears from the raw stats — a 19-yard loss on a bad snap and a pair of sacks killed Oklahoma's rushing totals — but Saturday, the Sooners were able to create space for their running backs to work.
“Getting up to those backers creates lanes for those running backs and we love that, especially the cutbacks,” Brennan Clay said. “Trey does a great job coming down and he was beating up his (Nix's) legs all day too. That wore him down. Nix is a hell of a football player and he's going to be great at the next level. It was a great game plan against them.”
Clay ran for 77 yards in the win and Oklahoma had just three rushing plays for negative yardage, outside of two victory-formation kneel downs to end the game.
“It's just the mentality of — we're run emphasis now — that we're going to run first,” Clay said. “We're going to make that line of scrimmage move.”
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