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OU receivers are daunting task for defenses

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: October 19, 2011
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NORMAN — The best wide receiving corps in the nation?

Statistically, Oklahoma tops the list.

“Obviously I'm a little biased towards my guys that they're the best in the country,” said Sooners quarterback Landry Jones. “They're playing like it right now. It makes my job a lot easier.”

Texas Tech's Chad Glasgow is the next defensive coordinator that faces the daunting task of trying to devise a game plan to contain OU's talented trio.

With sophomore Jaz Reynolds' emergence the past month, OU has a pick-your-poison group of wideouts.

*Senior Ryan Broyles became the NCAA's all-time leading receiver last week at Kansas.

*Sophomore Kenny Stills set OU freshman records a year ago and once again has displayed clutch, big-play talent despite missing two games due to a one-game suspension and a concussion.

*Reynolds has averaged five catches for 91 yards since joining the starting lineup.

The trio is averaging 290 receiving yards a game, more than 93 of 120 “teams” are averaging.

“The emergence of Jaz as a threat really helps us,” said offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. “It's tough to roll coverage one direction when you have somebody on both sides that can win (one-on-one coverage) on the perimeter.

“Landry feels good about all those guys. He's playing at a high level because he's gone through his read progressions and goes to where he has a one-on-one matchup. Our guys have been able to take advantage of that.”

Reynolds redshirted last season. He wasn't a starter until Trey Franks was suspended for two games for violation of team rules.

Given an opportunity, Reynolds has taken the opportunity and ran with it. Literally.

One of only six receivers nationally to average more than 19 yards a reception, Reynolds stretches the field.

“When you have a guy that jumps up and makes an eight-yard catch, that's one thing,” OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “But when you have a guy jump up and make a 25- or 30-yard catch, or someone who catches the ball and runs like Jaz, that gets your attention on defense.

“Those are the plays we've been so pleased about. We felt Jaz was capable of doing that. His rookie year, he didn't play a lot. But every time he played he seemed to make something happen.”

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