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October 24, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: Special teams executing better

NORMAN — Oklahoma had a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown by Justin Brown and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Kansas last Saturday. It was the first time in the Sooners' history that they had both a punt return and a kick return for a touchdown in the same game.

But special teams have greatly improved. OU is currently No. 1 or No. 2 in the Big 12 Conference in kickoff coverage (41.1 yards per return), field-goal percentage (7-for-7), punt return average (15.6 yards per return), punt coverage (0.8 yards per return) kickoff return average (31.8 yards per return).

OU coach Bob Stoops joked on Monday that it must have something to do with officially naming assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright special teams coordinator this season.

"Even though we’re doing everything exactly like we have in the past, but anyway," Stoops said. "We’re just executing better. We’re better with our blocking, with some of the returns, we’ve had a lot of discipline and fewer penalties. Our cover units, I think just overall with a lot of work – coach Wright should be credited with a lot of work in the spring and summer, particularly our kickoff covers and just having a better feel. Whether it’s recognizing schemes or beating blocks and tackling well. They’ve, knock on wood, been very strong with it. Anyway, hopefully it will."

 

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