Jon Cooper heard the whispers, the most cutting of insults ever directed an offensive lineman's way. The Oklahoma line had gone finesse.
"Yeah, I heard it,” said Cooper, smirking after Bedlam 2007, when OU's offensive line re-established the running game to send the Sooners surging into the Big 12 title game. Against Oklahoma State, OU ran for 307 yards — its second-best total of the season and its most, by 121 yards, in Big 12 play. Maybe the Sooners rediscovered their ruggedness. Or maybe OSU's defense is Swiss cheese, or unappealingly fragrant limburger. But for a night, there was nothing finesse about OU's front line. Finesse is a word best used with artists or hair dressers, not so much ruffians who revel in references to hogs. But the dreaded media can cut to the quick. Only, Kevin Wilson can be worse. And Wilson, OU's offensive coordinator, had a few choice words of his own for his men up front, none of which Sooner tackle Branndon Braxton considered fit for print. "Coach Wilson, he's an emotional coach,” Braxton said smiling. And the Sooners felt his wrath early in the week. "2:45 Monday. First time I saw them,” Wilson said. And Wilson said he wasn't at all accepting of his line's attitude, effort or physical nature. "I addressed that in a very aggressive way this week,” Wilson said, "with a lot of energy. "We have a lot of talented players. And they're proven. But you have to bring it every week. "There were guys last week on the field taking plays off. That was addressed. That's just a choice. And playing tough and physical is a choice.” Wilson demanded it be the only choice. "We got challenged to come out this game and really make a statement,” said Cooper, the Sooners' center.
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