Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

July 24, 2013

Sooners could put brakes on up-tempo offense

(Continued)

DALLAS — There are two issues that point toward OU slowing the pace this season. One centers on having an experienced offensive line and a quartet of senior running backs — Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch — a very talented fullback (Trey Millard) and fleet-footed quarterbacks for the first time in years.

Nonetheless, the up-tempo offense has been OU’s calling card for the last five seasons.

“The way we’ve utilized tempo has been successful for us. It’s not frantic, because we’re calculating in everything we do,” OU center Gabe Ikard said. “As long as we keep using the tempo to our advantage and using the mobility we have now and all the players we have at skill positions, it will help us score more points on offense. We can catch defenses on their heels when they don’t have plays called and they’re looking at their sidelines. That’s when we utilize our tempo and it’s been effective for us.”

Year 2: This will be OU’s second season since Mike Stoops returned for his second stint as defensive coordinator.

“I feel like we’re more comfortable. I feel like guys are out there and we’re flying around because we know what coach Mike expects,” OU cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “He just expects you to go out there and play hard and make plays. As a defensive back, that’s what you’re taught to do. You’re taught to go out there and lock up your dude and make plays. Coach Mike, he allows you just to go out there and play and I love that about him.”

Defensive priority: The top priority for OU’s defense this season will be stopping the run. It allowed 5.2 yards per carry last season, the highest average of the Stoops era.

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