NORMAN — Oklahoma did have a special guest at practice on Tuesday. Two-time All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth (1985-86) had a short chat with the team. Although, it doesn’t look like many players know him as “The Boz.”
“Mr. Bosworth was just at practice,” wide receiver Kenny Stills said. “He told us to go out there and take care of business.”
Not opposed to change: One thing Oklahoma and Notre Dame share is generations of football tradition. The teams’ uniforms are so recognizable that you instantly know they’re playing as soon as a television comes on. The reason is neither uniform has changed much.
Notre Dame has been sporting a gold helmet, which represents The Main Building on Notre Dame’s campus since the late 1940’s. OU has been wearing the crimson helmet with the interlocking OU since 1966.
Sooner coach Bob Stoops said he would be open to changing its look every once in a while.
“Something with the helmet here or there might not damage the look too much. Put a little extra sparkle in it whatever,” Stoops said. “I won’t get too many letters in regards to what I’m doing, changing the uniform. Which I wouldn’t read anyway. The secretary would read them, but I don’t get to read them.”
During Stoops’ 14-year tenure OU wore throwback uniforms to honor teams from the 1950’s twice. That’s been it.
Notre Dame caused an uproar when it wore special uniforms when it faced Miami (Fla.) earlier this season. It wore helmets where about a third of it was navy blue.
What changed?: OU has only allowed two sacks in the last four games. Stoops said that has nothing to do with a change in blocking scheme. It’s been better blocking and quarterback Landry Jones getting rid of the ball quicker.
“We really haven’t changed our protections. Some of the run schemes that we’ve worked from week-to-week will change, or vary, depending on what we feel we can do,” Stoops said. “The protections, we have been good, really through the year. Again, you play against quality teams and they’re going to have their times where they get you. But I’ve been pleased with the progress and how they’ve played and protected.”
Extra lesson: OU quarterback Landry Jones is like many of his teammates. He doesn’t know much about the Sooners’ history with Notre Dame. Can’t blame him. The teams haven’t played since 1999 and that was first meeting since 1968.
“I’m not really aware of much of it, but I’m sure there’s a lot of great games that have been played,” Jones said. “I don’t know if that necessarily matters in who wins this game or loses this game, but I should probably read up on my history of the game.”
Jones did receive a quick history when asked if he was aware OU is 1-8 all time against the Fighting Irish.
“Now I am,” he said.
All Hunnicutt: Stoops said place kicker Michael Hunnicutt will also handle the kickoff chores against Notre Dame. Patrick O’Hara, who usually handles kickoffs, has been nursing a groin injury since the Texas game. OU gave walk-on Nick Hodgson a shot against Kansas.
“Nick hits them great in practice and he doesn’t hit them so great in games though,” Stoops said. “I guess that pressure got to him a little bit. We thought we’d give him a taste of it. I mean, he gets them out of the end zone in practice all the time, but I guess it’s kind of like me. I hit them on the driving range perfect and then I get to that first tee box and I get that big cut ball that goes out of bounds. It doesn’t work. It’s a lot easier in practice than in games.”
John ShinnFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org