NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -No. 3 Oklahoma has a new Big Dog, and it's not coach Bob Stoops' black-and-white Great Dane, Lola.
In a competition started by offensive line coach James Patton, the blocker who records the most knockdowns in a game is recognized as the Big Dog of the week. Tackle Trent Williams' picture was posted on the Sooners' meeting room wall this week after he notched 12 knockdowns in a 52-26 win against Cincinnati to lead all linemen.
``It's just a way to get competition between the O-line to see who gets the most knockdowns in the game,'' Williams said. ``You get your picture up and you get to look at it all week.''
The nickname comes from an acronym - DOG stands for defenders on ground - and Williams has flattened the most heading into this Saturday's game at Washington. He and All-America guard Duke Robinson shared the title the first week after tying with nine apiece against Chattanooga.
en knockdowns were his most since his freshman year.
Williams' crowning as the ``Big Dog'' is a symbol of his rising status on Oklahoma's offensive line. He was thrust into action as a freshman after Branndon Braxton broke his leg, and immediately made an impact with 75 knockdowns on 462 snaps.
``When he played two years ago as a freshman, he's the best freshman lineman that I've ever seen, and I saw Davin Joseph as a freshman as a first-round pick,'' said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, the Sooners' former offensive line coach. ``I thought the kid was awesome.''
With Braxton back, Williams started only six of 14 games last season and Stoops thinks he flew under the radar despite consistently grading out well. Much of the attention instead focused on Robinson and tackle Phil Loadholt, who both are considered NFL prospects.
``We have enough good guys, not everybody gets their hype. He's every bit as good, and in our opinion probably more consistent than, any of the seniors,'' Wilson said. ``And all of those seniors are really good players, so he's an outstanding lineman.''
While Robinson (6-foot-5, 335 pounds) and Loadholt (6-8, 337) are impressive in their sheer size, Williams brings a slightly different package with his 6-5, 308-pound frame
Stoops said. ``That doesn't happen a lot.''
The ``Big Dog'' recognition is just another motivating tool to get a sound offensive line playing at its best. Through two games, the Sooners have allowed only one sack on 76 pass attempts while racking up 379 yards rushing.
All together, Williams said the Sooners' front line racked up more than 50 knockdowns and he narrowly won the ``Big Dog'' competition over other linemen that notched nine and 10 knockdowns.
``The knockdown, that's the whole purpose of the O-line: to block people, maul people, get them on the ground,'' Williams said. ``It's a little token of how you're doing your job.''
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