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Dean's Blog: How Does OU Move On After Ryan Broyles?

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Ryan Broyles During The Win Over Texas A&M (AP Photo) Ryan Broyles During The Win Over Texas A&M (AP Photo)
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The loss of Ryan Broyles could be the nail in the coffin of OU's season, at least if you are a pessimist. But that's not Bob Stoops and not what he has in Norman.

I expect first-year play-caller Josh Heupel to find ways to minimize the gaping hole the injury has left with creative ideas that give his best playmakers chance to make plays. Co-OC Jay Norvelle is outstanding in playing the mental toughness card and it will be dealt now. I expect Stoops' guys to regroup and win the next two games before heading to Stillwater with the Big 12 Championship on the line--and possibly more.

Make no mistake, losing the school's most prolific receiver will hurt, a lot.

Broyles has been Landry Jones' security blanket and best big-play threat. They are on the same page, something that is imperative if a QB and receiver are going to achieve the greatness they've produced.

I believe Broyles and Heritage Hall's Wes Welker are two of the greatest natural slot players God ever created. Small, crafty and, while not speed-demons, extremely deft and competitive. They catch the bubble screens, find soft spots in zone coverage, run precise routes and don't drop balls.

OU will hope the long striding 6-foot-3 Jazz Reynolds can adapt to some slot time. Hopefully, they'll put in a request that he use two mitts. Trey Franks will get a few chances, so will RB Roy Finch, who has told me in the past he'd like to play slot someday. But with leading rusher Dom Whaley out for the season, the time Finch plays in the slot will have to be limited.

So in summation CAN they recover? Yes. Will they? I say they get to Bedlam before we really find out. It'll take big plays to win that one and no one has produced more big plays in Norman like the classy Ryan Broyles.

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