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Sooner Report: Shutouts & Scouting Reports
September 03, 2013

OU Shutout Follow-Ups
The Sooners registered a 34-0 season over ULM, joining Wisconsin (45-0 vs. UMass) as the only other FBS school to shut out another FBS opponent in week one. Under head coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma is 10-3 in the games following a shutout.

While back-to-back shutouts have only occurred once during the Stoops’ era (2009), stellar defensive performances have frequently repeated themselves during the course of a season. Dating back to 1999, Oklahoma has produced two or more shutouts during four different seasons (1999, 2002, 2004 and 2009). Here’s a look . . . 

14 Shutouts in the Stoops’ Era & Next Game Results

Date             Opponent       Score                 Next Opponent        Result

09/11/99      Indiana State    49-0                 Baylor                         W, 41-10

11/06/99      Missouri             37-0                Iowa State                 W, 31-10  

11/03/01      Tulsa                  58-0                Texas A&M                 W, 31-10

08/30/02      Tulsa                  37-0                Alabama                    W, 37-27

09/14/02      UTEP                  68-0               South Florida            W, 31-14

11/08/03      Texas A&M        77-0                 Baylor                         W, 41-3

10/09/04      Texas                 12-0               Kansas State            W, 31-21

11/20/04      Baylor                 35-0                 Colorado                    W, 42-3

09/23/06      Mid. Tenn. St.    59-0                Texas                           L, 10-28

09/12/09      Idaho State        64-0               Tulsa                          W, 45-0

09/19/09      Tulsa                  45-0                Miami                          L, 20-21

11/28/09      Oklahoma St.    27-0              Stanford                      W, 31-27

10/16/10      Iowa State         52-0                Missouri                      L, 27-36  

08/31/13      ULM                    34-0                 West Virginia              N/A          

West Virginia’s Vantage Point on Oklahoma
The Mountaineers haven’t played in Norman since 1982, but West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen doesn’t relish playing the Sooners no matter when the contest falls on the calendar.

“We’re in week two and looking forward to competing in the Big 12,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve been asked a lot if I’m excited about playing Oklahoma week two or if I’d rather play them week 12. The truth is I’d rather play them never because they’re pretty good. I don’t know if it really matters to be honest with you.

"We’re excited about being able to travel to all the different venues in the Big 12. We got a lot out of that last year. We’re looking forward to hitting all five of the road games this year, so it starts in week two."

Of course, the West Virginia head coach is no stranger to facing the Sooners. Prior to suffering a 50-49 last-second loss at home against the Sooners last season, Holgorsen served as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2010 as OU registered a 47-41 win in Stillwater.   

“Oklahoma is very well coached,” he continued. “Bob Stoops has been there for 15 years. They addressed a lot of things in the offseason. I don’t think they liked how they ended the year last year, just like we didn’t. Defensively, they’re not going to sit on their heels. They’re going to attack. They’re going to apply pressure and play man coverage, which they’re good at.

"Offensively, they’re not the thrilling team that they have been the last several years. They’re going to run the ball. They’ve got capable backs, quality receivers and big fullbacks. The receivers aren’t getting the ball as much because their main focus is to get [quarterback Trevor] Knight the ball and establish the run. Everything they’re doing on special teams is different than last year. We will try to assess what changes have been made there.”

But no matter the year or the schemes, Holgorsen has an appreciation for what it means to take a team to Owen Field.

“It’s still Oklahoma,” he added. “The atmosphere is rowdy and it’s loud. The people are right on top of you. They have a winning tradition.”

More From the Mountaineers’ Main Man & OU’s Muscle Men
Here are some more observations that WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen shared about the Sooners . . .

Give some credit to Director of Sports Enhancement Jerry Schmidt and his staff, along with Director of Sports Nutrition Tiffany Byrd for helping build some bigger, stronger Sooners in the offseason. Opponents are noticing, particularly on the offensive front.

"They’re big and athletic,” Holgorsen said of the OU offensive line. “They’ve got good depth. It looks like the same Oklahoma offensive line that I’ve looked at for 15 years. They put plenty of guys in the NFL. Their guys are 6’5”, 320-pounds. They’re big guys on the inside. Big, athletic and talented - the same it’s been for 15 years.”

And yes, deep from the bowels of the Switzer Center, senior all-everything center Gabe Ikard appreciates folks noticing that he’s filling out his jersey even more than usual.

“Coach (Tiffany) has done a great job with food, shakes, all kind of supplements and snacks we haven’t had here in the past,” Ikard said. “I think it will really help us this year as we get deeper into the season being able to recover from long games, long days at practice and from the lifting we still do during the season. She has done a great job already making a big impact for us and I really appreciate having her on the staff.”

And speaking of the OU offensive line, Holgorsen realizes that Sooners’ o-line coach Bill Bedenbaugh possesses plenty of insight into the West Virginia squad, having served the past two seasons in that capacity in Morgantown. Bedenbaugh also knows plenty about Holgorsen dating back to their days as college teammates at Iowa Wesleyan.

“I’ve known a lot of these guys for 15 years,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve been to clinics together, and we hang out together. They know our offense better than anyone else out there. I don’t know what that’s going to do for them. You have to be careful with that. You have to be careful with your signals, your tendencies and your combinations because they understand it. They know us better than anyone in the country.”

In terms of defensing a multi-threat quarterback like Trevor Knight, Holgorsen knows one position group will be put under the most stress making snap judgments on how to react to OU’s zone read scheme.

“Linebackers are the most important with this OU quarterback,” Holgorsen indicated. “You have to be disciplined when there are 85,000 people yelling at you and you just got knocked down. You have to have the ability to understand what we’re trying to do defensively and execute your assignment.”

Notable and Quotable From the OU Locker Room
Here are some of the best quotes and observations from today’s media session with the Oklahoma offense:

“They’re playing hard. It pops out on tape at you from a year ago. They are playing harder and are more physical. They’re tackling better and staying in their gaps better. It’s a big test for us. Obviously you want to start out on the right foot in Big 12 play and we want to play better than we did a week ago. Sometimes (they blitz), depending on the situation. Three and four-man fronts, bringing guys off the edges, a lot of rotation in their coverages, so, your quarterback has got to do a good job seeing the back end.”

·         Co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel on West Virginia’s defense

“It was okay. We had some big plays that we could have had down the field. We have got to do a better job. The thing that happens in this style of offense is that plays get extended way longer than you are used to so we have been doing it in practice. The quarterback breaks the pocket and you’re still playing 10-15 yards down the field. That’s a little different for our team and I think we’re learning quickly and we have got to improve quickly.”

·         Co-Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell on OU’s blocking vs. ULM

“I think he was locked in last week. He probably just had a few jitters. It was his first game out there. We fully expect him to perform even better than he did last week and use his arm, throw all the throws we have seen him make in practice and continue to use his legs as a weapon.”

·         C Gabe Ikard on QB Trevor Knight’s performance vs. ULM

“It was a shootout; when we scored they came right back at us. It was a whole four-quarter game … It was a fun game but scary at the same time. We only won by a point last time. It was fun experience though and it’s nice to say I was a part of that game; where it is a shootout and there are great players on either side of the ball.”

·         RB Damien Williams on last season’s 50-49 win at West Virginia

Stripe The Stadium, Returned Tickets, Mountaineer Injury Report
Fans who have tickets in even numbered seating sections should wear Crimson and fans in odd numbered seating sections should wear White on Saturday. The general admission student section should all wear Crimson to this contest. Interested fans can purchase this season’s There’s Only One Oklahoma shirt and hat that come in both crimson and white at the OU Bookstore or online at shop.soonersports.com.

West Virginia has returned a limited number of seats from their allotment for Saturday’s game. Those tickets are priced at $92 and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability. Fans are encouraged to purchase online. Tickets may also be purchased via phone at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free (800) 456-GoOU or in person at the OU Athletics Ticket Office during regular business hours.

LB Dozie Ezemma, CB Nana Kyeremeh and LB Shaq Petteway are out for the season for the Mountaineers. WR Kevin White is listed as day-to-day.
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