Tight Ends Shine in Win Over FSU

OU tight end Trent Ratterree

NORMAN, Okla. – Sooner Nation can argue the most unproductive position during the 2009 season was at tight end, but the position may have started its turnaround Saturday afternoon against Florida State.

Junior James Hanna and junior Trent Ratterree combined for just 53 yards on two catches, one apiece, but it was their effort on those receptions and the plays' results that should cause some excitement. The two catches put 12 points on the scoreboard, but those points could have been left on the field if the simple receptions did not turn into hustle plays.

On the first reception, Hanna had a modest gain, but after bouncing off two Florida State defenders and getting a block he was able to score. On the second, Ratterree fought off three players before diving into the end zone to put the Sooners up 41-7 in the third quarter.

The two plays are nice for the postgame highlight reel, but their significance comes in the confidence and trust that redshirt sophomore quarterback Landry Jones can have now after seeming to have none in either player a year ago.

Maybe that trust can grow over the next few weeks, and maybe it can cause for Jones to have more weapons in the passing game. But, more importantly, defenses will have to account for OU's tight ends and take them seriously on short passing-gain situations.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson should have and probably did take notice of the catches, the touchdowns and the effort, so maybe he will reinsert some of the basic plays that helped make former OU tight end Jermaine Gresham so successful when the Sooners try to start off the season 3-0 with a victory over Air Force.

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