The Norman Transcript

November 7, 2012

Bears are still dangerous

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma had never lost a football game to Baylor until last season. The 45-38 loss turned out to be the performance that solidified former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III as the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner.

OU is obviously glad Griffin is playing in the NFL for many reasons.

“Baylor, we learned a lot about Robert Griffin. He’s a great athlete. I feel like he single-handedly beat us last year,” OU defensive end Chuka Ndulue said. “We focused so much on one person that we forgot about the other keys they had on offense. That pretty much beat us. Trust our keys, do what we’re supposed to do, do our assignments and don’t worry about doing too much. That will help us win this game.”

Griffin may be gone, but Baylor’s offense is still rolling. It leads the nation in total offense and quarterback Nick Florence has thrown for 3,019 yards and 25 touchdowns through eight games.

Highlight play: OU wide receiver Justin Brown was at Penn State last season. Even he remembers how the Sooners lost to the Bears last season.

“The last-second play?” he said. “I think I remember seeing a few clips of it, but other than that, I wasn’t too much aware of it. I wasn’t here or in the Big 12 last year, so I don’t know a lot about the history of a lot of teams.”

Still battling: OU coach Bob Stoops expects left tackle Lane Johnson to play against the Bears on Saturday. Johnson missed the Iowa State game due to an ankle injury and has been limited in practice the last week. Guard Bronson Irwin is also dealing with an ankle injury, but is expected to play.

The injuries along the offensive line have been a huge issue for the Sooners and could continue the rest of the season.

“It’s been a challenge; it’s been hard with the guys banged up as they have been. We’re doing our best in practice to manage it, to not overdo it with what we’re asking them to do, and to still have them ready to play,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “It’s always a fine line there on how much you’re doing, but I’ll say this about them: They’ve been a tough, hard-working bunch and they’ve gotten better. It’s been fun to work with them, the way they are working. They’ve got a lot of pride in what they’re doing right now.”

Food drive set for Saturday: OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel’s The #14 Foundation will hold its annual Holiday Food Drive prior to OU’s game against Baylor on Saturday at Owen Field. Cash donations will be accepted at the stadium gates. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

This marks the 12th year for the drive, which began while Heupel was quarterback at OU in 2000. More than 130,000 meals have been served since the drive’s inception. It is anticipated that 30,000 meals will be served in at least 10 Oklahoma communities this year. Students and families from more than 50 elementary schools in Oklahoma will be impacted this Thanksgiving by the donations given.

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