Offensive balance propels football team to victory
Mark Moreland, The Oklahoma Daily
In the Sooners’ opening-week victory over the Utah State Aggies, the offense lacked balance from skill position players. That was not the case against Florida State on Saturday at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
OU got a big game out of junior wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who had 12 receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown, and junior running back DeMarco Murray, who racked up more than 100 yards of total offense.
But that also was the case against Utah State.
The difference against the Seminoles was redshirt sophomore Landry Jones and the offense looked to and relied on other players to make things happen, not just Broyles and Murray.
“A guy is only as good as the guys around him are helping him be,” coach Bob Stoops said about Jones. “And a lot of guys around him made some nice plays too.”
Jones used 12 receivers to amass 380 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Cameron Kenney came up big for Jones, catching four passes for 73 yards and his first touchdown of the season.
Kenney stressed after the game that the group effort was the key to the Sooners’ success on Saturday.
“Everyone is athletic on the field, we have athletes all over the place,” Kenney said. “Any guy at any time can make a play, but it’s not just about one person, it’s about the offense as a team.”
That statement was reflected in the game when junior tight ends James Hanna and Trent Ratterree recorded their first career touchdowns Saturday.
No tight end had scored a touchdown for the Sooners since Jermaine Gresham in the 2008 National Championship game against Florida.
“Other guys, you know, some of our tight ends came up with some nice plays, and that has to happen,” Stoops said. “You have to be able to use multiple players.”
The running game did not have to be as productive against the Seminoles as it was against Utah State, but the return of senior running back Mossis Madu to the rotation allowed Murray to shoulder less of the load.
Murray had 16 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns, while Madu carried the ball 11 times for 40 yards.
“Mossis was doing well, he cramped up there at the end or he would’ve had a chance for a few more carries,” Stoops said. “But we’re pleased with the way he played.”
Even though the Sooners achieved offensive balance, Jones said it isn’t something they tried to force—it’s something that has to happen naturally.
“It’s important, but we’re going to throw to whoever is open,” Jones said. “It’s nice to have guys like Dejuan [Miller] and Cameron and Kenny [Stills] making plays. Those guys are good too, and they showed what they can do tonight.”