OU football notebook: Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell says Sooners need to get upfield

Plays on first down figure to be important against Notre Dame on Saturday, and Norvell wants his receivers to keep that in mind rather than trying to break the big play.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: September 25, 2013

In last year's meeting with Notre Dame, the Sooners weren't bad overall on first down, averaging more than 4.6 yards on first down. But several times, the Sooners struggled on first down and often got caught in third-and-long situations.

Plays on first down figure to be important against the Fighting Irish on Saturday, and OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell wants his receivers to keep that in mind rather than trying to break the big play.

“We've got to do a good job of making efficient plays on first down, whether it's running or throwing,” Norvell said. “And in this game, it's important that you catch and you get upfield north and south and it's not fancy. It's just get upfield, get the yards you need, bang off pads and move on to the next play.”

The Sooners were just 4 of 14 on third down in last year's loss.

WILLIAMS EXPECTED BACK

Running back Damien Williams is expected to play Saturday against Notre Dame after serving a one-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Williams missed the game against Tulsa after rushing for 161 yards in the season's first two games.

Williams was OU's leading rusher against Notre Dame last season, running for 29 yards.

“He's great with the ball in his hands as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “He's been great in protections as well. Hopefully, if he can play at a high level, that will help us.”

In Williams' absence last week, freshman Keith Ford saw increased action.

KNIGHT STAYS UPBEAT

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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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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