The Norman Transcript

September 16, 2010

History favors Sooners


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma will face Air Force for the first time since 2001 Saturday. If history is an indication, it should be an easy win for the Sooners. They held the Falcons to 137 yards rushing (2.5 per carry) in a 44-3 rout at Colorado Springs.

OU coach Bob Stoops was asked if that was because of the Sooners’ scheme or players like Rocky Calmus, Teddy Lehman and Roy Williams executing it.

“You want to go back and start pulling out the numbers of the guys and who they were?” Stoops said. “Two Butkus Award winners (Calmus and Lehman), a Thorpe Award winner (Williams).”

That defense also included Derrick Strait (2003 Thorpe and Nagurski Award winner) and Tommie Harris (2003 Lombardi Award winner).

Air Force’s offense scheme has changed a little since Troy Calhoun took over for Fisher DeBerry in 2007. But stopping the triple option hasn’t changed.

“You have to play smart, you have to be disciplined in how you play your blocks, where your eyes are, who you’re reading to bring you to the play where you need to be,” Stoops said. “So it’s definitely as much mental as it was those guys being good physical players, too.”

Still mending

OU defensive end Frank Alexander said his injured right ankle is improving every day. It showed against Florida State. He had two sacks, which topped his 2009 total of 1.5.

Defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright said Alexander still isn’t close to being fully healed.

“He’s still not well,” Wright said. “I’d say just coming off the practice field right now, he’s only about 70 percent. Those high ankle sprains take a long time to heal.”

Mob mentality

With OU completing passes to 12 different receivers against Florida State, the Sooner offense started to show the versatiity it’s looking for.

Receivers coach Jay Norvell said if that continues, the main beneficiary should be Ryan Broyles.

“Ryan even said it is a lot more fun to play out there. You get the attention of the defense from different people and when (Cameron) Kenney can make a play, or DeJuan (Miller) can make a play or James Hanna, it is like lightning in a bottle,” Norvell said.

“Then it’s, all of a sudden, where did that come from, so I think it’s something that I think all of those guys are capable of, and we are just starting to see more of it,” he said.

The Sooners spread the ball around to nearly every receiver against the Seminoles, but Broyles still had 12 catches for 124 yards. Through two games, the junior is averaging 133 receiving yards a game.

Buying grass

OU will remove chunks of sod from Owen Field’s end zones Monday to commemorate the Sooners’ 800th victory and 70 straight home sellouts.

Portions of the turf will be sold as “Game-Used Sooner Sod.”

Each portion comes with a display case and a display featuring the stadium and Sooner football highlights.

The cost of the display is $84.99 and can be purchased at www.stadiumassociates.com or will be available at OU bookstores, The Apothem, Big Red Shot and Balfour.

John Shinn 366-3536 jshinn@normantranscript.com