The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 16, 2007

Seriously high praise for Lofton

OU Football Notepad

Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton is coming off an 18-tackle performance with a fumble return for a touchdown against Missouri. The first-year starter is averaging 11.7 tackles per game and also has an interception for a touchdown.

Stoops, who coached 2001 Butkus Award-winning linebacker Rocky Calmus (2001) and Teddy Lehman (2003), said Tuesday Lofton could be the best linebacker he’s had at Oklahoma.

I think, in the end, he has a chance to be better,” Stoops said. “I didn’t say he’s better than all those guys, (but) he has a chance to be if he continues to improve the way he has, mature and really figure it out.”

The guy is a great player. I’ve been saying before the season that we had a chance to be better in those positions, and I feel strongly that that’s happening to this point.”

Lofton has led the Sooners in tackles in five of seven games. In addition to his 18 against Missouri, he made 14 tackles against Tulsa and 16 against Colorado.



Reading materials

Among the handouts OU players received Monday was a list of the ranked teams that have lost through the first seven weeks of the season.

In all, 31 ranked teams have been beaten this season by teams that were ranked lower or unranked.

The Sooners should be familiar with the string of upsets across the country. They fell to unranked Colorado in Week 5.

“You look at all those teams that were ranked that got beat by unranked teams, including ourselves, it is definitely eye-opening,” running back Jacob Gutierrez said. “It is a great lesson to learn, to know going into a game that it is not a ranked team but the way things are going and the way football is these days you can lose to anyone. It is definitely a wake-up call.”

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