|| Back to School ...and Practice
The Sooners weren't singing Billy Madison's "Back to School" song, but they were in pretty good spirits on Monday afternoon. Fresh off of its first free days since August 2, OU returned to the practice fields - and classrooms - to open the week.
With their season-opener against UTEP looming a week from Saturday, the Sooners have no time to take their preparation for granted.
"I would say we're pretty anxious out there," junior running back Brennan Clay said. "A lot of people have some jitterbugs. We're getting closer and closer to that first game. Honestly, I think this is one of the best practices we've had in the years I've been here. Normally the first day people are dragging, out there hurting. But we went out there, executed our plays and got the job done."
Oklahoma put in work on its opening opponent Monday as the countdown to kickoff gets closer to single digits.
"I think everybody came out here with a positive attitude," senior defensive back Javon Harris said. "I think we're all excited to come up on the season. That's what has everybody amped up."
With a national championship as the ultimate goal, the Sooners will save their songs for another day. And hopefully, they'll be singing a certain Queen ballad - not Adam Sandler.
"Very excited for the start of school," head coach Bob Stoops said. "I feel like we've made a lot of good progress. I feel like the first groups are really where we need them to be and the other group continues to get better which is usually the case. So yeah, we're in good shape."
|| O-Line Rallies Around Ikard
Despite injuries to the offensive line that dominated much of the talk early in preseason camp, the unit has continued to push forward on and off the field, thanks to one of its mainstays.
"Chemistry always plays in the O-Line," sophomore offensive lineman Daryl Williams said. "I feel like our energy and chemistry right now is really good. Gabe (Ikard) is pretty much our leader. He keeps us in line and stuff and helps us out. We're all pretty close."
Ikard, one of five Sooners to be named a team captain on Monday, has started at left guard and center during his OU career, but has solidified himself as the man in the middle.
"Gabe had a lot of experience at center and he does really well," sophomore offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson said. "He's probably one of the smartest guys on the team. I don't see really any fall off. It's unfortunate that we lost Ben, but Gabe is a pretty good center."
With the junior anchoring the offensive line,
the Sooners are looking forward to providing something else to talk about.
"We just have to keep rolling," Williams said. "We're a strong unit together so we know what it takes to be each other's brother's keepers. We'll be good."
Junior WR Kenny Stills
"Everything is great. We're happy with the way things are going, and even more excited to have a game around the corner. We're definitely meshing as a unit right now. Landry Jones is comfortable with every one of us at the moment. There are plenty of guys that could make plays for us right now."
Junior FB Trey Millard
"(Working with younger players) teaches them, but I'm learning a lot. So I say I'm teaching them, but I'm learning. So at the same time they're [coaches] telling me what I need to do and I'm just passing it on."
R-Fr. OL Nila Kasitati
"We're going to be good. I'm fine. The surgery was a success. I'm good right now. There's nothing holding me back from getting better or a chance to play."
So. TE Geneo Grissom
"I felt like that came together - that we're all learning at the same time. I felt like we could all learn together and learn from each other. Mac is a great route-runner and Moose is a big strong guy - we all work together, and we all use our abilities to our advantage. I feel like I'm a pretty athletic guy, so I feel like I can block and catch well. We're all pretty much the same."
Head Coach Bob Stoops
"It's hard to say, `Is (Whaley) truly 100 percent?' He sure looks it. I don't know if even he can tell you. He doesn't notice, he feels the same, I think he looks the same. I think he's pretty much there, ready to go."
CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN
Coach Stoops announced OU's captains elected by the team for the 2012 season on Monday: Gabe Ikard, Landry Jones, David King, Trey Millard and Tress Way.
MONDAY MEDIA SESSIONS
Head coach Bob Stoops and select offensive players met with the media following Monday's practice:
Media w/ Bob Stoops
Media w/ RB Brennan Clay
Media w/ OT Daryl Williams
Media w/ OT Tyrus Thompson
Media w/ TE Geneo Grissom
Media w/ WR Trey Metoyer
Media w/ WR Kenny Stills
12 DAYS TO KICKOFF!
Oklahoma set a single-game school record with 12 touchdowns vs. Colorado in 1980, all on the ground.
Quentin Griffin holds the OU single-season record with 12 100-yard rushing games in 2002.
WHAT ABOUT DEFENSE?
Don't worry, SoonerSports.com has you covered with entertaining interviews Monday from LB Tom Wort and DB Javon Harris:
Senior DB Javon Harris
Junior LB Tom Wort
FOLLOWING THE SOONERS
Want the latest on Oklahoma football as fast as you can get it? SoonerSports.com has you covered 24/7. To catch up on the 2012 preseason, check out the links below and follow us on Twitter.
Preseason Practice Central
Sooner Football Notebook