OU's offense like a Swiss Army Knife

By Jake Trotter Published: September 6, 2008
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For that reason, OU has the potential to catch opponents off-guard, attacking the weakness of a particular defense on the field. For example, the defense might send out a base package, then unexpectedly find the Sooners lined up in a four-wide receiver formation.

That could lead to various opportunistic mismatches.

"Can you imagine how a linebacker would feel if he walks out there and No. 7 (Murray) is standing out there at receiver?” said defensive backs coach Bobby Jack Wright. "He'd be like, ‘This cat looks a little different. This isn't the normal guy I've been covering.' That's an advantage to an offense if they can get in different formations with the same personnel set. And our guys are capable of that.”

Said Eldridge, "I would think that would make it difficult on the defense not knowing how we're going to line up. The no-huddle makes things quicker, even harder. If we huddle, they might get an idea, but now with the no-huddle we're right up there.”

The trick for Wilson, however, will be maximizing this advantage without confusing his own offense.

"Sometimes when you become so multiple it's hard to get in rhythm and hard to practice it at all, it's like you have too much,” Wilson said. "You have to rep it, see it, have confidence in it, know the blitzes and coverages you're going to get, who has this blitz responsibility.

"But not subbing and changing those looks and not huddling, you would think you could work that to your advantage. It will be interesting to see as the season plays out if we can take advantage and whether our guys will be productive with it.”

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OU's Swiss Army Knife Club
•Ryan Broyles

His emergence in the slot allows Johnson to move to the outside; his versatility to play wide should give Gresham and Murray more opportunities out of the slot.

•Matt Clapp

Built in the mold of Mike Alstott, able to be the lead blocker or rush the ball out of one-back sets between the tackles.

•Brody Eldridge

The only thing worse for a defensive end than lining up against Eldridge at tight end is getting kicked out by him from the fullback spot.

•Jermaine Gresham

A wide receiver in a tight end's body, which explains why he excels at both.

•Manny Johnson

His ability to play wideout or slot makes it more difficult to predict where Gresham or Murray are going to line up.

•Mossis Madu

The latest addition to the club is a halfback by trade, but learning to play in the slot.

•DeMarco Murray

A linebacker's worst nightmare — having to guard Murray out of the slot; not that tackling him out of the backfield is fun, either.

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