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OU Insider: Sooners show improved running attack

By Mike Baldwin Published: September 4, 2011

The Sooners inability to score near the goal-line against Texas A&M received a lot of publicity. OU ran 11 plays inside the Aggies' 5-yard line in a loss last year and gained a total of 1 yard.

But it was a season long problem.

Four times the Sooners failed to rush for more than 100 yards, including both games they lost.

In Saturday's win over Tulsa, OU's offensive line at times dominated.

Three of Whaley's four TD runs were examples of improvement in the trenches.

On Whaley's first score, center Ben Habern and right guard Tyler Evans pushed their men into the end zone.

Whaley's second TD spoke volumes about the coaches' commitment to the ground game.

An apparent Whaley touchdown was wiped out when replays showed his elbow hit the ground. Facing fourth-and-goal at the one-foot line, the Sooners steamrolled into the end zone. Habern and backup guard Stephen Good provided a good crease which allowed Whaley to punch it in.

On Whaley's 6-yard TD run the O-line provided a huge hole, making it easy for him to plow into the end zone.

“We've really made a point that we want to be physical,” Norvell said. “There are certain areas that you show that, in the red zone, in short-yardage/goal-line. We set goals that we want to do well rushing per attempt and make the tough yards. I think we are more physical.”