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Sooner Report: Veterans Day
November 11, 2013

Sooners to Salute Military, Seniors on Saturday

Military Salute vs. Iowa State

The University of Oklahoma will honor the many contributions and sacrifices made by active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families throughout Saturday’s game vs. Iowa State. In addition to special recognitions throughout the game, SoonerVision will also honor Oklahoma’s military personnel serving around the world.

In addition, the flag of the United States will be proudly displayed on all locations at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where OU school colors are customarily flown.

All military personnel will be recognized on Saturday, but there is always a special place in the hearts of OU football fans for Bob Kalsu. Kalsu earned All-America honors in 1967 as an offensive tackle while helping the Sooners to a Big 8 Championship.

Kalsu was selected in the eighth round of the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills in 1968, but his professional career was cut short. Kalsu was called to join the U.S. Army's highly decorated 101st Airborne Division. On July 21, 1970, he was killed by North Vietnamese mortar fire. He was the only pro football player to be killed during the Vietnam Conflict.

Follow @OU_Football on Twitter and visit SoonerSports.com for more details as they become finalized.

Cyclone Scouting Report

On Saturday, the Sooners face Big 12 foe Iowa State in an 11 a.m. contest that will air on FOX Sports 1. Despite the Cyclones’ 1-8 record, OU head coach Bob Stoops said they have been competitive in their games. In fact, five of those eight losses have been decided by eight points or less.

“They’re a team you watch, and every single week they play hard and they’re in tight games,” Stoops said. “I know their record doesn’t indicate the way they played. When you watch all these games it’s into the fourth quarter, and they’re always tight games.”

While many coaches may shy away from the reality of a 1-8 record, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads shared part of the message that he has imparted to his squad.

“I think adversity is part of life first of all and you learn from that,” Rhoads said. “Secondly, it is a huge part of athletics. A direct message I gave them after the game is that I don’t believe in bad luck, I don’t believe in being snake-bit and I believe for the most part in life you get what you earn and we are not doing enough to earn victory in most cases.

“It’s going back to the weight room in December and January, as well as February, March etcetera," he continued. “It’s getting better at everything you do as an individual position player in spring practice and taking advantage of the next three weeks of not only practice time but also game opportunities, to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. They hear that message and they are very aware of what they need to do to be successful in not only games like that but in all games.”

While Iowa State’s offensive style of play may not resemble Texas Tech or Baylor, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops indicates that the Sooners are ready for whatever the Cyclones may bring at them.

“I think we will certainly anticipate more physical elements to the game, and we’ll certainly face parts of that this week,” Stoops said. “If they want to go in and bang then we have to be able to adapt and play that way. Again, we feel that we can play all styles. We learned a lot through the beginning part of the season. Certainly we need to keep getting better and that’s what we’ll work on this week. If that’s part of their offense, and they’ve shown the propensity to do that then we have to make sure we’re prepared for it.”

Saluting the Sooner Defensive Seniors

For one more time this season, Sooner fans can spend part of their Saturday with 85,000 others clad in Crimson and Cream. The game also marks the final home contest for OU’s senior class.

“It’s a great group of guys; Great character group of guys,” Stoops said of the seniors. “As seniors, they’ve been a fun group to coach. They have won a lot of football games and exhibited really excellent character too as they’ve gone through these years so I’m proud of them.”

Seniors on the defensive side of the ball who will be honored before the game are DB Seth Carter, DB Aaron Colvin, DB Kass Everett, DB Gabe Lynn, DE Chaz Nelson and LB Corey Nelson.

While Saturday may mark the swan song at Owen field for the Sooner seniors, the cupboard certainly isn’t bare for Oklahoma, especially on the defensive side of the ball. According to defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, he’s been especially pleased with a number of his young players.

“I think certainly Dominique Alexander for a guy who hasn’t been in the system at all until this summer,” Stoops said. “I thought he’s really shown great maturity on and off the field, he’s a guy that really we can lean on and will be an awful strong player in this system. Zack [Sanchez] I thought really came back nice last week and really competed hard. All those guys show signs of building for the future and certainly excited about all our young players. I couldn’t be more excited about what we’re doing with all these guys.

“They show a strong desire to want to be good,” he continued. “They show a very competitive element to the game so there’s a lot to build on, I’m really proud. We came in with a relatively young group experience wise and we lost two of our best players. I think we’ve found our stride and the younger guys have come in, Jordan Wade and Torrea [Peterson] have really given us some better play inside with more repetition so again I’m really pleased with just our effort as a whole throughout the course of the year. It shows that we can build and get better. You learn a lot about yourselves and where we need to become more physical and bigger and stronger. Those are parts of our defense that won’t happen until we get to the out season. Those are areas where we need to become you know bigger and stronger.”

Switzer to be Featured on “Icons of Coaching”

Legendary OU football coach Barry Switzer will be featured on “Icons of Coaching” this week, which features coaches from different sports.

The schedule for airings of the show is as follows (all times Central):

Fox Sports Oklahoma

Tuesday – Nov. 12 at 10:30 p.m.

Thursday – Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 18 at 11:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Fox College Sports Atlantic

Sunday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 18 at 9:00 p.m. (plus other airings)

Fox College Sports Central

Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. CT

Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 2:00 p.m. (plus other airings)

Fox College Sports Pacific

Friday, Nov. 15 at 1:30 a.m.

The program also airs on other Fox Sports Networks and Root Sports regionals channels nationally. Check your local listings for more information.

Both Teams Dealing with Injuries

This season, both OU and Iowa State have dealt with significant injuries on their rosters.

OU has lost two team captains to season-ending injuries in 2013 – LB Corey Nelson and FB Trey Millard. Head coach Bob Stoops indicated that the status of CB Aaron Colvin and WR Sterling Shepard wouldn’t likely be determined until later in the week.

“It’s fair to say that when you lose Sterling Shepard and you lose Trey Millard for the whole game, two of your best offensive players, it doesn’t make it any easier,” Stoops said. “Maybe that’s the best way for me to say it. It definitely chips away at you.”

While injuries may have chipped away at Oklahoma, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads utilized a different term to describe starting eight different combinations of offensive line in the nine games this season.

“One position group you can’t get decimated at is offensive line and we’ve been completely decimated there,” Rhoads said.
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