The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 22, 2012

Okies take rivalry seriously

NORMAN — Oklahoma only has six players in its two-deep depth chart from Oklahoma. The overwhelming majority are from Texas and elsewhere.

For the players from the state, like guard Bronson Irwin, Saturday’s meeting with Oklahoma State has added meeting.

“It means a lot. I grew up going to Bedlam games and it really does mean a lot being from the state,” the Mustang native said. “I know a lot of OSU fans and I have a lot of friends that play there and high school teammates that play there, so it really does mean a lot and I’m looking forward to it.”

Irwin joins center Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma City), slot receiver Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City), cornerback Aaron Colvin (Owasso), safety Javon Harris (Lawton) and nickelback Gabe Lynn (Jenks) as the only home-grown players on OU’s depth chart.

Don’t forget Clay: Running back Brennan Clay only rushed for seven yards last Saturday against West Virginia. However, the junior still had a huge impact on the game.

It was his 46-yard kickoff return that set up the Sooners’ game-winning touchdown drive.

“Brennan is a very versatile back that can do everything. He can run the football. He has great hands. He’s always been a good pass protector. He’s a great return guy,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “He contributes in a lot of ways. He’s always ready to go in and you can always count on him.”

Third-down improvement: The Sooners are now No. 3 in the country in third-down conversion rate at 52.99 percent (71 or 134). That average has risen with OU converting 27 or 42 in the last three games against Iowa State, Baylor and West Virginia.

“We’ve been really big on third down the last three weeks and it’s been the difference in the game really,” receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “Being able to stay on the field and move the ball and score points in the red zone, so that’s going to continue to be important and something we talk about with the guys all the time.”

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