NORMAN — Looking good for Murray, Nelson
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said it’s “looking positive” that running back DeMarco Murray and safety Jonathan Nelson would both be able to play in the Big 12 championship game Saturday.
Monday was the Sooners’ first practice since beating Oklahoma State 47-41 last Saturday to secure the Big 12 south division’s berth.
Nelson was injured early in the game with what ABC reported to be a concussion. Murray suffered an injury to his left knee early in the fourth quarter and did not return.
“Jonathan practiced and went through everything. He appears to look good,” Stoops said after Monday’s practice. “And DeMarco is much improved from (Sunday). So we have a positive outlook on it.”
OU safety Quinton Carter was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America Team for 2010. He became the 151st All-American in OU’s 116 years of football competition and the 31st of Bob Stoops’ 12-year tenure as head coach. Carter is the first Sooner defensive back to earn All-America honors since Derrick Strait in 2003.
The Las Vegas senior is currently tied for the team lead with four interceptions and is third on the team with 85 tackles. He also has five pass deflections and one fumble recovery.
Carter had two interceptions against OSU.
Broyles left off
What was a surprise was OU wide receiver Ryan Broyles was not named to the AFCA All-American team.
Broyles leads the nation in receptions per game (9.58) and is third in receiving yards per game (115.92).
“I find it hard to believe how Ryan Broyles would not be a first-team All-American,” Stoops said. “He’s had an unbelievable year and has been consistently a huge, big-play guy for us every single game.”
Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery were the receivers named to the AFCA team.
The AFCA team is the first of many All-American teams that will be announced over the next month.
There’s been several years when OU entered the Big 12 championship game trying to protect its spot in the BCS national championship game. That was the case in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2008.
The Sooners are No. 9 in the BCS standings and have no chance to play for a national title. Stoops said playing for the conference crown under such conditions is as good as it gets.
“The fact that we’re not in the national championship picture, though you don’t like it, it’s incredibly exciting and rewarding to be in this game and to finish the season this way, on such a stage with another team with great tradition,” he said. “These years, it’s the best, it’s what you want. You have a chance to earn that trophy.”
— John Shinn