SOONERS WORKING ON RED ZONE ISSUES
The Sooners have scored points on 24 of 27 red zone opportunities but have scored touchdowns on only 16 trips inside the 20-yard line.
“We're kicking too many field goals sometimes,” said quarterback Landry Jones. “The secondary is tighter. The windows are smaller. The thing for me is to make decisions quicker, being a little more accurate with the ball. We (also) can run the ball a little bit better down there. But we're cleaning that up.”
OFFENSIVE TACKLE ROTATION GETTING STRONGER
Donald Stephenson and Daryl Williams were the starting offensive tackles in the season opener. After Williams suffered a severely sprained ankle against Tulsa, Lane Johnson has started the past four games at right tackle.
Jarvis Jones was one of OU's top offensive linemen last season. Returning from a major knee injury suffered last spring, Jones has played a few series the last few games, working back into shape. Williams is close to 100 percent.
“This is the first week I feel like Daryl is back to full speed,” said offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle. “This week will be a chance to get him back in action. He looks really good.”
Kittle said all four offensive tackles will play a few series every game.
“We've been a little disappointed in the second halves the past few weeks,” Kittle said. “We like to be close to 100 plays and we haven't been near that. We're hoping to rev things up and get back to that tempo. If we do that there will be plenty of room for guys to play.”
KANSAS COMMITTED TO RUN GAME
The Sooners are expected to romp Saturday night in Lawrence, Kan., but one area they'll be tested is run defense.
Kansas is averaging more than 450 yards a game, nearly 220 on the ground.
Ranked 18th nationally in rushing, the Jayhawks average 50 attempts a game, 4.4 yards a carry.
“They have a good group up front,” said OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “They're very patient running the football. They try to get to manageable third down situations and not expose themselves to negative plays. We'll have our work cut out for us.”
STILLS LEARNS ANOTHER LESSON
Sooner fans informed sophomore wide receiver Kenny Stills they liked his rivalry intensity in the second quarter when he rejected Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom offering a hand to help Stills off the ground after Byndom broke up a pass in the end zone.
“Oklahoma fans get kind of fired up about stuff like that,” Stills said. “But I shouldn't have done anything like that. I should have just gotten up without making him look bad.”
ALABAMA SLIGHT EDGE ON OU
According to Bodog, Alabama is a slight favorite to win the BCS national championship.
The Crimson Tide is slightly less than 2-to-1 odds (7/4) followed by OU (3-to-1), LSU (9-2), Wisconsin (7-1), Boise State (10-1), Oklahoma State (12-1), Clemson (12-1), Stanford (12-1) and Michigan (20-1).
NORVELL: KAMEEL JACKSON HAS BRIGHT FUTURE
Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said freshman wide receiver Kameel Jackson's playing time has been limited due to quality veterans in front of him.
“If you take the redshirt off him you would like to play him more,” Norvell said. “But he's learning. He'll be so much better next year for it. We'd certainly like to play him as much as we can. He got to play a little in the Texas game. Next year when he gets his chance it won't be new to him.
“As we go down the stretch we'd like to play him as much as we can. He's a really natural catcher. He's our strongest receiver. He's getting better every day. He's gets a ton of work in practice.”
Cornerback Jamell Fleming has been named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week. Fleming had career-high 13 tackles, 11 solo, and returned a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown against Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
Javon Harris earned the honor after Oklahoma's win at Florida State.