NORMAN — Already the Selmon and Shepard families had been honored with their images on Oklahoma’s “Sooner Gameday” programs this season.
Well, Saturday it was the Owens family’s turn to be honored. Both Steve and Tinker Owens, from Miami, in the northeastern part of the state, appeared on the game program and game tickets.
Steve, who won the Heisman trophy in 1969, remains the more celebrated of the two for that reason, though it was Tinker who experienced more winning at OU, earning All-America honors as a split end on OU’s 1974 and 1975 national championship teams.
Steve won the Heisman during an otherwise down year for the Sooners, who went 6-4 under Chuck Fairbanks in 1969.
He was more iron man than electric, carrying the ball 357 times in 1968 and 358 in 1969, averaging 4.3 yards per carry both seasons. He played five seasons for the Detroit Lions, enjoying a big 1971 season when he rushed for 1,035 yards on 246 carries.
Steve was also athletic director at OU prior to Joe Castiglione’s arrival.
Tinker also had an NFL career that lasted four seasons, all with the Saints, catching passes thrown by Archie Manning. His best season was 1978, when he caught 40 for 446 yards and two touchdowns.
Bell by wide margin: Saturday, it was the offense’s turn to announce itself to the stadium moments before the kick and four different Sooners received outsized applause from the fans, who had already filled the stadium.
Three were Gabe Ikard, Trey Millard and Sterling Shepard. Of those, Ikard and Shepard are both home grown, from Oklahoma City, where Ikard played his high school football at Bishop McGuinness and Shepard at Heritage Hall. As for Millard, many members of the Sooner Nation think he should get the ball more.
But the winner in the appreciation sweepstakes remained quarterback Blake Bell, from Bishop Carroll, in Wichita, Kan.
A day for VIPs: Because the Pittsburgh Steelers are off tomorrow, former Sooner quarterback Landry Jones was able to attend Saturday’s game with wife Whitney Hand Jones … Other former Sooners with today off who made the trip back to Norman included Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay defensive tackle, and Phil Loadholt, Minnesota offensive lineman … Also in attendance was former Sooner golfer Hunter Haas, a veteran of both the PGA and Web.com tours … Also, a current Sooner, preseason All-Big 12 off-guard Aaryn Ellenberg, was shooting photographs for SoonerSports.com.
Nice flyover: They weren’t jets. Instead, as the “Star Spangled Banner” inched toward conclusion, six World War II era fighter planes, propellors and all, passed over the stadium in formation.
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