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Lincoln Log: Rotations to settle and NIL No problem to enter the Big 12 Play

By on September 21, 2021 0

NORMAN – The Oklahoma Sooners enter conference 3-0, but Lincoln Riley has recognized that everything needs to be a little better to move forward this season.

In two of three games so far, the No.4-seeded Sooners have needed a late defensive save to secure the victory, but overall the effort across the four quarters appears to be improving.

A lot of guys stepped into the game in the first three games, but Riley said coaches always stress the importance of raising the level of play in training to define each guy’s role in the rotation. as well as continuing to limit outside distractions. at his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Take the decision out of the hands of the coaches

Defensive lineman Isaiah Coe has acclimated to life in OU, playing an important role so far for the Sooners

As the defensive rotation has tightened since the season opener against Tulane, Riley had a simple fix for players who want to make sure they get plenty of shots on Saturday – dominate in practice.

“What we told our guys is not to do 50-50. Don’t let us do it, ”Riley said Tuesday. “Get everyone Joe Schmo in the stands to figure out who’s going to be the starter. If you do this, you will probably be in the field.

There are a lot of tight position battles, Riley said, but the best thing is to show up to practice every day and keep improving. Riley also pointed out that while a player doesn’t have a tough run at the start of the season, that can change and that player can still become a major contributor over time.

“An example that we’ve used over the years, the first year of (Marquise Brown),” Riley said. “Go see the first semester of Marquise’s year, go see the second semester. Our second game at Ohio State, he didn’t even play a single snap. At the end of the season, one of the best receivers in the country.

“Opportunities may arise. They will fluctuate when you have a talented team like us. We need guys who keep competing and we’ll keep evaluating. I think these representatives will continue to fluctuate over time and different circumstances will arise. “

The offensive line will keep turning

Andrew Raym, Nebraska Cornhuskers

Andrew Raym took over at center in third practice against Nebraska and never looked back, playing the rest of the game

One group of positions that seem ready for continued rotation is the offensive line.

Center Andrew Raym came in in the third practice against the Cornhuskers and seemed to trigger the running game, but Riley said he was happy with how a lot of the guys played with this unit, and they all won in the minus a few shots in the future.

“I’m sure a group will move in here as they go, but I imagine the quality of the bodies we have there, I imagine we will play six or seven the majority of games,” said Riley. “I think you have to have a few more that can play. And we tried to be a little more aware of that at the start of the season because we have had several pretty hot games already and we are trying to be aware of that there.

Robert Congel could still play center despite Raym’s emergence on Saturday, and all eyes will continue to be on Tennessee transfer Wanya Morris to see if he can work his way into the rotation at one. tackle points.

But overall, Riley said he was happy with the way the attacking front played against the Cornhuskers.

“I thought we did a lot of good things the other day,” said Riley. “Honestly, this group was probably the strongest group offensively on the pitch. I thought we played well. We were pretty strong in the running game, pretty strong in the pro passes. Really, the majority of the pushes have come – the rears need to do a better job of professional finishing. We are getting there. We are making progress there.

NIL Not a distraction … yet

Spencer rattler

Quarterback Spencer Rattler gets off the bus ahead of Nebraska game

As coaching teams across the country sail for the first time in a season with the new name, image and likeness legislation, Riley said he’s genuinely pleased with the way his players have performed. balanced new opportunities while continuing to do business in the field.

“I think our guys did a great job,” Riley said. “They did a good job communicating with our processes when these things happened. “

Riley said he stressed to the team the importance of doing the NIL distractions early so the team could continue to focus as the year wore on, and that was not the time. most important problem every day in the locker room.

“I have to be honest, within our walls we always check in with our guys about it, let’s talk about it all, but it might not have been as big a topic as people on the outside might think. “said Riley. . “Our guys for the most part handled the situation well. I am not aware of any distractions that have occurred or anything that I have had to resolve so far. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I don’t think NIL has had an impact on our season so far, that’s where we want it.

The coaching staff will be hopeful the team will continue to stay sharp as the Sooners open up the beefy part of their schedule this weekend against the Mountaineers.

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