The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 8, 2012

Climbing to relevance

NORMAN — Oklahoma jumped up in the polls to No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25. Texas, however, sank four spots to No. 15 after its 48-45 loss to West Virginia on Saturday.

The means the Red River Rivalry won’t include a team ranked in the top 10 of the AP’s ranking for the first time since 1999. The Sooners are ranked No. 10 in the USA Today coaches poll.

Both teams are ranked for the seventh straight year and 12th time in the previous 13 years. OU’s 2005 squad was the last unranked team in the game.

He missed it: Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops will get to walk down the Cotton Bowl ramp for the first time in nine years on Saturday. He hasn’t been on the Sooner sidelines for a Texas game since 2003.

“It’s a special game,” he said after OU’s 41-20 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday. “This is what you come to Oklahoma for.”

OU went 4-1 from 1999-2003 during Stoops’ initial run as defensive coordinator. The Sooners won the last four during that run by a combined score of 177-54.

The blitzes arrived: For the first time this season, the Sooners used an extensive blitz package against Texas Tech. Both of its sacks came from blitzes by linebackers Corey Nelson and Frank Shannon. Cornerback Aaron Franklin intercepted a pass and tipped another that safety Javon Harris returned for a touchdown on blitzes.

“To be honest our first two games we didn’t want to show our blitzes. Kansas State, that isn’t a team where it benefits you much. We’ve only played three games coming into this week. We haven’t had a chance to show a lot of what we want to do,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Those guys are all capable up there, and when you start bringing other personnel with them, it turns them free to give them more opportunities to get to the quarterback.”

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