Limping forward: If Johnson cannot play against Iowa State, he will be the third starter and fourth offensive lineman to miss a game due to injury. OU lost center Ben Habern and guard Tyler Evans to season-ending injuries in the preseason. Guard Nila Kasitati suffered a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 6 at Texas Tech.
“It’s part of the game. Injuries have always been part of football,” center Gabe Ikard said. “It seems like we’ve had a lot, especially on the offensive line, and it’s hindered us a little bit. You have to replace guys when they go down.”
What about Whaley?: Running back Dominique Whaley has not played in the last two games, but remains the Sooners’ second-leading rusher with 241 yards on 38 carries. Stoops said the lack of playing time was not due to an injury.
“He’s fine. He’s been doing well,” Stoops said of Whaley. “I think some of the reason we’ve gone more with Damien is the success he’s had. How well he’s played has been more the reason Damien has been on more.”
Jefferson a semifinalist: OU safety Tony Jefferson was named Monday one of 15 semifinalists for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football on Monday. The three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 19.
The Chula Vista, Calif., native leads the Sooners with 59 tackles, including a team-high 36 solo stops.
Jefferson has registered double-digit tackles in four games this season, including a team-high 11 against Notre Dame and a career-best 14 against Kansas State.
Jefferson was a member of the 2012 Jim Thorpe Preseason Watch List released this past summer after garnering All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades in 2011. He was also named to the Bednarik, Camp and Nagurski Award watch lists.
Jefferson garnered Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week honors on Oct. 17 after recording a team-high seven tackles and an interception in OU’s 63-21 win over Texas.
John ShinnFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org