The Norman Transcript

October 23, 2012

Making a statement

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — After Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State, former Sooner coach Barry Switzer told the Tulsa World he believed OU’s talent level was down.

Of course, the Sooners have rolled off three straight convincing victories since. OU coach Bob Stoops clearly has an issue with anyone who believes his team lacks talent.

“I don’t buy that. You know what I mean?” he said. “Just because Adrian Peterson isn’t here or you don’t have a first-round draft pick. We’ve got talented guys. We don’t have Sam Bradford, we’ve got Landry Jones. Is he going to be the first guy taken in the draft? Maybe not. But he’ll be a first-round guy.

“Gerald McCoy. OK, we’re not going to have the guy that’s taken third in the draft, but we’ve got good guys, all across the board. And good players.

“I don’t believe that. Every year, from year to year, we’re not always going to have the first three guys taken in the draft or three of the first four or five. That isn’t going to happen every year. We’re as talented as about anybody we’ll play.”

Similar feeling: OU has talked about taking games one at a time all season and even more since the Sept. 22 loss to Kansas State. However, players can’t help but feel the buzz around campus and Norman with No. 5 Notre Dame coming to Owen Field on Saturday night.

“Absolutely, it’s similar to a Texas. It’s similar to that kind of atmosphere,” Sooner quarterback Landry Jones said. “When a team like Notre Dame comes into town. You’re going to have more emotions. You’re going to be more excited for teams like this than any of the other ones on your schedule. Although, with that excitement comes a responsibility to realize that it’s a football game and you play (your) best. Or, for me, I play the best when I’m not thinking, when I’m just going out there and cutting it loose.”

Hard to believe: Notre Dame has not allowed a rushing touchdown in its first six games and only allowed five through the air in wins over Navy, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami (Fla.), Stanford and last Saturday against BYU

“That’s just unbelievable,” OU center Gabe Ikard said. “But give them all the credit. They’re really tough inside with [Louis] Nix and [Kapron] Lewis-Moore. They’re just really big bodies, so it makes a lot of sense with the guys they have on the D-line and that front seven they have. It’s just another challenge we’ll have to face.”

Jones makes O’Brien cut: Landry Jones is one of 16 quarterbacks selected as semifinalists for the 2012 Davey O’Brien Award, presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback.

Fans may now help determine which three quarterbacks will advance as finalists by voting as often as once daily at www.VoteOBrien.org.

Jones is already OU’s all-time career leader in passing yards (14,023), passing yards per game (311.6), pass attempts (1,840), pass completions (1,154), 300-yard games (22), 400-yard games (9), touchdown passes (105), total offense (13,682) and total offense per game (304.0). His 14,023 career passing yards also ranks second in Big 12 Conference history and is the highest total by an active FBS quarterback.

Two OU quarterbacks have won the Davey O’Brien Award on three previous occasions, including Jason White (2003, 2004) and Sam Bradford (2008), the most by any program in the last 10 years and the second most overall.

Going for big bucks: As of Monday night, the cheapest OU-Notre Dame single game ticket available at stubhub.com was $250 it was in section 102 (west side upper deck) in row 40. A pair of tickets in the south corner of the east upper deck started at $315. Oddly enough, the Web site listed tickets in the OU student section, starting at $500.

John ShinnFollow me @john_shinnjshinn@normantranscript.com

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