The Norman Transcript

October 31, 2012

Stoops defends rushes

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Running the ball has become a hot topic after Oklahoma was held to 15 yards on the ground in last Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame.

Some have suggested the Sooners wasted their time trying to run the ball 24 times.

OU coach Bob Stoops isn’t in that camp.

“You do need to run the football. Probably, in hindsight we should have run it a little more,” he said. “In the end, it sets up play-action passes that we were very successful at and got a lot of yards … We threw for 360 or 370 yards, and that doesn’t happen if there is no running game.”

Running back Brennan Clay said the Sooners’ efforts weren’t futile.

“We know if we would have executed a few plays here and there, we could have busted some big ones, “he said. “One, two or three plays could have really changed the game a bunch.”

OU-Notre Dame drew huge ratings: The Oklahoma-Notre Dame game garnered the largest audience for a college football game this season across any network.

The ABC broadcast drew a 5.2 average rating, 8,627,000 viewers and 5,950,000 households – is also the highest-rated and most-viewed telecast involving Notre Dame among all of broadcast and cable since 2006 (Notre Dame at USC averaged a 9.0 rating, 14,647,000 viewers and 10,048,000 households on ABC).

In addition, the contest was the most-viewed program across all shows and networks on Saturday night among adults 18-49 (2.9 rating), men 18-49 (4.0 rating) and men 18-34 (3.4 rating).

Oklahoma City was the highest rated metered market for the game with a 36.0 rating followed by Tulsa (28.9 rating), Indianapolis (13.3 rating), Austin, Texas (11.6 rating) and Columbus, Ohio (9.4 rating).

McNamara will redshirt: Stoops announced on his radio show Tuesday night that freshman tight end Taylor McNamara will sit out of the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury. Stoops also expects McNamara to receive a medical redshirt.

McNamara was a starter in OU’s season opener against UTEP, but has only played in two games this season. He did not have a catch in either game.

Without him, OU only has two tight ends — juniors Geneo Grissom and Brannon Green.

The position has been used sparingly in the last four games. Fullback Trey Millard has become a bigger part of the offense and has lined up a tight end on some plays.

Rust to remove: Senior defensive tackle Stacy McGee played a handful of snaps against Notre Dame. It was his first game action of the season after missing the first six games due to a suspension.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said it was obvious he wasn’t on par with starting tackles Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker.

“He’s rusty,” the defensive coordinator said of McGee. “Didn’t get as much as we would have liked, and that’s from being off from competitive snaps for two months. That’s hard to get that in the first week. I would anticipate him playing more as we move through these next five games.”

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