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Sooner linemen respond to Wilson's wrath

By John Helsley Modified: November 25, 2007 at 11:39 am •  Published: November 25, 2007

"We got challenged to come out this game and really make a statement,” said Cooper, the Sooners' center. "We tried to come out and run the ball for four quarters.”

Wilson accepted some blame, suggesting that OU's heavy use of the spread offense may have pushed the line more towards, dare we say it, finesse blocking.

"We are what we are offensively,” Wilson said, "sometimes, due to our direction.”

That direction shifted Saturday.

Abruptly. The Sooners attempted but 17 passes and ran 56 times.

"Coach Wilson, he brings it out of us,” Braxton said. "He has his ways of doing it. And we appreciate him, even though people may not like what he says sometimes.

"He brought us back to life and let us know what we needed to do.”

And the Sooners needed to run.

Partly, Wilson said, to protect quarterback Sam Bradford, who had suffered a concussion a week earlier.

Mostly to re-establish an identity.

"We love to run the ball,” Braxton said. "We were fighting to get to that 300 yards, because we wanted to show that we can do it.”

The Sooners did do it.

"Physically, their offensive line mashed us up front,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy.

The question now is, what did they show?

Has OU altered its attitude, moving ahead to bigger games and higher stakes with a power running game again part of its playbook?

Or was an overmatched and overworked OSU defensive front easily bullied?

Wilson's challenges haven't ended.

"Next week started today,” Braxton said. "He told us, ‘Be ready to get it going Monday because it ain't done. It's just one step of the many we need to take.' ”


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