OU football notebook: Sooners have two weeks remaining

by Michael Baldwin Published: March 31, 2012

Oklahoma went through three practices last week coming off spring break. The Sooners have two more weeks of spring ball — three practices this week and two practices next week, culminating with the April 14 spring game.

PUNT RETURN CANDIDATES

In addition to setting nearly every school receiving record, Ryan Broyles handled punt returns most of his career.

Running backs coach Cale Gundy said the leading candidates to replace Broyles are Kenny Stills, Roy Finch and Brennan Clay.

“That was the unique thing about Ryan was how good he was at it,” Gundy said. “He was so natural. Kenny is pretty good at it. Roy is fairly good at it. But it's not easy. First you have to catch the ball and then learn how to set things up to know where your returns are.”

Catching punts is a unique skill.

“There are not very many guys on the team that can catch a punt,” Gundy said. “You have 100 guys out there, 85 on scholarship and there's probably three guys that can do it. It's not like catching kickoffs. Everybody can catch kickoffs.

“When you catch punts it's spiraling down at you or away from you. Which way is the wind blowing? It's a whole different monster. I can watch somebody catch two or three punts and tell you right away whether they can do it or not.”

BACKUP QUARTERBACK UPDATE

Quarterback Landry Jones returning for his senior season gives coaches another year to evaluate before selecting his eventual replacement next year.

Junior Drew Allen and sophomore Blake Bell are battling for the backup job.

As a redshirt freshman, Bell made an impact in the “Belldozer” short-yardage, goal-line package, scoring a team-high 13 touchdowns.

Allen has owned a slight edge if Jones were unable to play, but Allen has attempted only 30 passes.

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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