The Norman Transcript

December 4, 2013

Sooners will be equipped for the cold

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The frigid forecast for Saturday’s Bedlam means Oklahoma will bring plenty of cold-weather gear to Stillwater.

The heaters will be blowing at full tilt on the sidelines. Some players will use hand-warmers. Most will wear some sort of sleeves. But some won’t.

Running back Brennan Clay said he won’t, but it isn’t so he can look tough.

“I don’t wear sleeves when it’s cold or wet so I can be able to hold on to the ball better,” he said.

Most of OU’s offensive linemen were bare-armed when the Sooners played at Kansas State in frigid conditions.

But center Gabe Ikard summed up the way most players feel about playing on day when temperatures won’t make it out of the 20s.

“Playing in the cold is miserable, no matter how you cut it, for everybody involved. It hurts to block, hurts to catch ... It’s one of those things that nobody likes playing in the snow on a turf field that’s frozen, and falls hurt — it hurts to fall down. So it’s one of those things where it’s not fun to play when the field is frozen,” he said, “but both teams are playing in it. It’s one of those things where you can’t have any excuses because the guys on the other side are going through the exact same thing. Personally, I don’t mind playing in the cold. As a center all you’ve got to do is worry about getting a grip on the ball. It gets a little slick but other than that, it’s just weather.”

Keep it down:The winner of the last three Bedlam games has scored at least 44 points and the Sooners have given up at least 41 points in the last three meetings with the Cowboys. Last year, OU managed to win despite allowing 48 points in the game.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops feels much better about his group going into this year’s meeting.

“I think it’s night and day what we’re doing defensively compared to where we were a year ago,” he said. “I thought we played well at times in that game and got ourselves in position. Going back and watching it the other day, I thought we did some things to get ourselves back in the game and give ourselves an opportunity to win down the stretch.”

Sooners lose commit: Tight end Isaac Ijalana, a potential junior college transfer from Pierce (Calif.) Community College has decommitted from OU after announcing we would sign with the Sooners in November.

“After thinking about things, I feel like the best decision for me is to back away from my commitment to Oklahoma,” he tweeted.

That leaves Tulsa Union’s Carson Meier as the one tight end in the Sooners’ 2014 recruiting class. Tight ends on the current roster are senior Brannon Green and redshirt freshmen Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant. OU has used fullback Aaron Ripkowski in the spot since Trey Millard suffered a season-ending knee injury in October.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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