The Norman Transcript

November 16, 2013

Stoops matches, then praises Switzer

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — With Saturday’s victory Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops tied Barry Switzer as the winningest coach in the program’s history with 157 career victories.

Stoops’ career record is now 157-39-0. Switzer piled up a 157-29-4 mark during his run from 1973-88.

The opportunity for Stoops to set the mark has been a topic all season. He has been loathe to even acknowledge it.

“All I’ll do is compliment Coach Switzer. He was a special coach at his time. Not many coaches have a Super Bowl with three national championships. His unique ability to relate to his players. And then I appreciate his friendship. He’s been a great friend to me, a great friend to everybody in this program,” Stoops said. “We’re fortunate he still comes around and sees us. He’ll always be one of the most special and one of the greatest coaches in all of college football.”

Switzer was at Saturday’s game and was honored during a timeout.

 

Best for last: Jalen Saunders’ punt return for a touchdown was the second of his career the first was in last season’s home finale against Oklahoma State. It also tied the game and gave OU a much-needed shot of momentum in a come-from-behind victory.

“Last year, of course, we were down and that brought a lot of momentum. This year, today, we were looking bad from the first couple of series on offense,” he said. “That punt return helped our offense.”

 

Injury update: OU played without cornerback Aaron Colvin. He was in uniform for senior day festivities, but did not play due to the shoulder injury he suffered against Baylor.

The Sooners were also without wide receiver Sterling Shepard (head), Jordan Evans (ankle) and Keith Ford (ankle) due to injuries they suffered the previous week.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops did say he expects Colvin to be available when OU plays at Kansas State next week.

Outside of Bell’s injury, OU did not appear to pick up any serious ones against the Cyclones.

 

Millard and Ikard receive Key Award: Injured fullback Trey Millard and center Gabe Ikard were the recipients of the Don Key Award. It is presented every season prior to the final home game to a senior (or seniors) who exemplify all-around excellence in the classroom and on the field.

Key was a three-year starter for the Sooners, an All-Big 8 guard and potential All-American until a battle with cancer ended his football career in 1981. Switzer established the Don Key Award in 1982.

“Very honored to receive that award from coach Stoops and the rest of the staff. Obviously it’s a big deal. But to be able to share it with Trey is very special. Close friend of mine, was very deserving of it as well,” Ikard said. “I feel bad for (Austin) Woods, feel like he got snubbed. But he’s one of those guys who’s very deserving as well. I’m very honored that I’ve been able to represent this program the way it should be represented, the way it deserves to be represented and just happy for Trey as well.”

 

Hit of the day: The most spectacular tackle Saturday didn’t involve a player. It went to Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer Brian Orr. The patrolman, who serves as OU coach Bob Stoops’ body guard for home and away games, tackled a spectator who ran onto the field between the third and fourth quarters.

The tackle got one of the loudest ovations all day and fired up the OU sideline.

Orr had to run from OU’s sideline (on the stadium’s west side) to the northeast corner of the field to get to the fan.

“His speed, his takeoff was real slow I didn’t think he was going to get there fast enough. When he got there, it was a good form tackle and put him into the ground,” OU middle linebacker Frank Shannon said.

Orr detained the spectator and he was taken away by stadium security.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

 

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