Goal line problems haunt No. 19 Sooners

After a series of goal line failures, No. 19 Oklahoma has a

deeper understanding of ”The Longest Yard.”

The 19th-ranked Sooners (7-2, 3-2 Big 12) were stuffed inside

the 2-yard line on three separate drives in a 33-19 loss to Texas

A&M on Saturday night, leaving them a game behind rival

Oklahoma State in the Big 12 South standings and out of the

national championship race. Twice, Oklahoma had multiple chances to

score from the 1-yard line and couldn’t come up with any

points.

”It got down there close enough, you thought we could’ve

punched it in, should have punched it in and just got beat in our

schemes as far as the execution of the blocking,” offensive

coordinator Kevin Wilson said. ”We’ll look at what we’re doing, if

we want to make any adjustments in the weeks to come and as we

attack the opponents.”

Wilson said Oklahoma ran just about every running play it could

down close – from going off-tackle to handing it to fullback Trey

Millard. Nothing worked.

That left him questioning afterward whether he should have tried

having Landry Jones pass it more, but at the time he said coaches

”decided not to because it’s so close.”

”It’s only a foot, a half a yard. We ought to be able to punch

it in,” Wilson said. ”To me, the game always starts up front, and

we got beat up front (Saturday night) and especially in those

situations.”

The Sooners fell behind 9-0 in the opening 3 minutes after

snapping the ball out of the end zone on their first play and then

allowing Texas A&M to drive for a quick touchdown. Their first

chance at a response came up empty after a second-and-goal at the

2. Millard picked up 1 yard on second down, and DeMarco Murray was

stuffed for no gain on the next two plays.

The Aggies’ defense also held after Oklahoma got third-and-goal

chances from the 1- and 2-yard lines in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma was down by 14 points and went for it on fourth down both

times.

”It’s not rocket science and a difficult deal. We’ll keep

looking at what we do, we’ll keep trying to have some mix but also

as a team we’ve got to execute,” Wilson said. ”That was just a

total offensive lack of execution from my part all the way down to

the players. Whatever we did, it definitely didn’t work.”

Murray did have a 1-yard touchdown run, but even that came on a

second chance after being stopped on first-and-goal from the 1 in

the third quarter.

”We’ve got to do a lot better whether running, passing, inside,

outside. When you get down there close – as close as you are –

coach (Bob Stoops) is not about kicking field goals and

particularly not on the road,” Wilson said. ”You need to get

seven points.”

Wilson said the goal line struggles are only a microcosm of a

larger problem for the Sooners, who lead the nation with 791

offensive plays run this year but rank 24th in scoring at 33.9

points per game. Oklahoma is next-to-last in the Big 12 in red zone

offense, scoring in 75.5 percent of their trips inside the 20.

”We have been a team that we have moved the ball and we’ve got

way too many plays not to have points for what we’re getting done.

That’s always a concern,” Wilson said. ”That’s something you’re

trying to eliminate or flip that the other way. You want more

points than you want plays or yards and all that stuff.”