Oklahoma hosts Chattanooga at Owen Field Saturday at 6 p.m.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Oklahoma begins its 114th season of football competition
when it hosts Chattanooga. The Sooners are
opening at home for the fifth consecutive season and
for the eighth time in Bob Stoops' 10 seasons.
The game kicks at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Owen Field.
FOX Sports has the pay-per-view telecast.
It's the first gridiron meeting between these
two schools. UTC competes on the NCAA FCS level, formerly
known as I-AA. Oklahoma hasn't played a school
from that division since Bob Stoops' first game
as the Sooners' head coach, the 1999 opener against
Indiana State. OU prevailed in that one, 49-0.
Oklahoma: Bob Stoops (Iowa `83) is 97-22 in his
10th season with the Sooners. He is 64-13 vs. the Big
12, 35-9 vs. the Big 12 South, 28-4 vs. the Big 12
North, 5-1 in the Big 12 title game, 33-9 vs. non-conference
opponents, 54-2 at home, 27-11 on the road, 16-9 on
neutral fields, 28-11 vs. ranked opponents, 4-5 in
bowls, 3-5 in January Bowls and 2-4 in BCS games.
UTC: Rodney Allison (Texas Tech `80) is 16-40
in five years with the Mocs and overall.
record stands at 779-295-53.
The Sooners own seven
national championships (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975,
has 41 bowl appearances (No. 7 nationally) with 24
victories (No. 4 nationally).
Oklahoma has won 41 conference titles.
WWII, Oklahoma is the most successful college football
program with 545 victories.
Some 144 All-Americans
and four Heisman Trophy winners have come from the
OU leads the nation in 10-win seasons with 30 overall.
Oklahoma Football History & Tradition
This Week's Opponent
Tennessee-Chattanooga plays in the Football Championship
Subdivision (FCS), which was known for many years as
I-AA. The Mocs compete in the Southern Conference.
This is OU's first game against a lower division
team since Bob Stoops' opener in 1999 when the
Sooners downed Indiana State, 49-0
UTC was 2-9 last season, 2-5 in league play for a
seventh-place finish. The team returns six starters
on offense, three on defense.
The Mocs are playing their first-ever game against
a Big 12 opponent. Last season they went into the FBS
ranks against Arkansas and lost at Little Rock, 34-15.
This is the eighth straight season in which UTC has
played an FBS opponent, and all resulted in a loss.
Two weeks after playing at Oklahoma, Chattanooga plays
at Florida State.
Among UTC's opponents last year was the 2007
darling of the upset, Appalachian State, the two-time
defending FCS champion, which turned back the Mocs,
37-17, at Boone, NC, in the regular season finale.
Appalachian State competes with UTC in the Southern
Ties With This Week's Opponent
UTC Director of Athletics Rick Hart was on Oklahoma's
administrative staff from 1999-2006. He is in his second
year in his current position.
Oklahoma is 86-21-6 in season openers, including a
53-9-5 record in Norman.
Oklahoma has won last year's opener by
a 79-10 count over North Texas.
Bob Stoops is 8-1 in openers, including a 7-1
mark on Owen Field. Those seven wins at home were won
by an average score of 46-13.
OU is 45-8-5 when playing its opener at Gaylord
Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Great First Game for Sooners
A look at some of the top individual performances in
first games as a Sooner ...
QB Sam Bradford vs. North Texas in 2007, 21-of-23
for 363 yards and 3 touchdown passes.
RB DeMarco Murray vs. North Texas in 2007, 5 rushing
QB Josh Heupel vs. Indiana State in 1999, 353 passing
yards and 5 touchdown passes.
LB Torrance Marshall vs. Indiana State in 1999, 15
DE Darryl Bright vs. Northwestern in 1997, 3 tackles
for loss (19 yards).
RB Joe Washington vs. Utah State in 1972, 157 all
purpose yards and 1 touchdown.
WR Jon Harrison vs. SMU in 1970, 3 receptions for
These players got a touchdown on their first OU touch:
Mike Thomas 90-yard run vs. Oregon, 1972; Dale Crawford
66-yard run vs. Kansas State, 1950; Darrell Shepard
60-yard run vs. Kansas, 1979.
Openers Under Stoops
1999: Josh Heupel set school records with five touchdown
passes and 31 completions in Bob Stoops' first
game, a 49-0 win over Indiana State.
2000: The highest recorded temperature for an OU football
game hit 106 degrees. Renaldo Works scored the first
three touchdowns of his career in a 55-14 win over
2001: There was an 88-yard kickoff return by Antwone
Savage, a 47-yard interception return by Derrick Strait
and a 12-yard fumble return by Rocky Calmus, all for
touchdowns, as OU whipped North Carolina, 41-27.
2002: Antonio Perkins, in his first game as punt returner,
logged the third-longest return in OU history with
a 91-yarder for a touchdown in a 37-0 win at Tulsa.
Quentin Griffin rushed for 237 yards.
2003: The first-game in the expanded stadium was also
the first for Jason White after his second knee surgery.
Jejuan Rankins became the second player in school history
to score a touchdown on his first career reception.
The Sooners thrashed North Texas, 37-3.
2004: Kejuan Jones (148) and Adrian Peterson (100)
both eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in
a 40-24 win over Bowling Green.
2005: The No. 7-ranked Sooners lost three fumbles and
dropped a 17-10 decision to a TCU team that went on
to post a mark of 11-1.
2006: Adrian Peterson sprinted 69 yards with a swing
pass to score the final touchdown in OU's 24-17
victory over stubborn UAB. It was the only TD reception
of Peterson's career.
2007: In his debut, Sam Bradford hit 21-of-23 passes,
including a school record-tying 18 straight, as OU
smashed North Texas, 79-10. Another frosh, DeMarco
Murray, ran for five touchdowns.
The Sooners Briefly
OU is No. 4 in both of the preseason polls. It's
the 10th straight season that OU has appeared in the
first AP poll.
Oklahoma was tabbed for a first-place finish in the
Big 12's South Division in a preseason polling
of league media. Defensive end Auston English was named
the league's preseason defensive player of the year.
There are 27 players on this team with previous starting
experience. There were 34 in 2007, 10 in 2006.
Last season, OU was 11-3 overall, 6-2 in the
Big 12. The Sooners won their fifth Big 12 crown, second
straight and 41st league title overall before advancing
to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Three players from the `07 team left early
for the NFL: WR Malcolm Kelly, LB Curtis Lofton and
DB Reggie Smith.
New Video Board Debut
Oklahoma will unveil its new south end zone video board
at the season opener ...
The board measures 113.5 feet wide by 32.5 feet
tall (3,689 square feet). The previous video board
space on the south end board was 36X21 (756 square
feet). It is thought that the new board is the fourth-largest
in the nation.
The board is 16mm High Definition.
Cost of the new board was $4.5 million.
The project included a new sound system, the
extension of the ribbon boards on the upper decks and
a new Sooner Vision high definition control room, which
carried a price tag of $2 million.
Home Field Honchos
Bob Stoops' teams are 54-2 at Gaylord Family
- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and have won their last
18 in a row there, and 38 of its last 39. Stoops's
tenure also included home winning streaks of 19 and
Bob Stoops is 33-9 vs. Non-league opponents, 28-4 in
regular season non-league games and 23-1 in non-conference
Notable Rule Changes
The 40-second play clock begins when the ball
is dead from the previous play.
The first two sideline penalties are five yards.
Subsequent penalties for the offense are 15 yards.
The horse-collar tackle now results in a 15-yard
unnecessary roughness penalty.
If a coach's challenge is upheld, the
coach retains the challenge.
Kickoffs that go out of bounds are penalized
30 yards from the spot of the kick.
Grasping or twisting of the facemask is a 15-yard
penalty. Incidental contact is no longer penalized.
Stoops Era Yielding Record Attendance
Oklahoma has drawn 4,499,034 fans for Bob Stoops' 56
home games (started in 1999)
All 56 have been sold out and the Sooners have
prevailed 54 times.
Last year's average home attendance of
84,858 was the largest in school history. The top eight
seasons for OU home attendance have come on Stoops' watch.
The crowd of 85,357 for the `07 Miami
game was the largest to see a sporting event in the
state of Oklahoma.
OU has exceeded its listed capacity of 82,112
in 30 consecutive games.
Oklahoma has played before sellout crowds in
100 of Stoops' 119 games. A total of 8,598,842,
or an average of 72,259, has seen those games.
Oklahoma Sets Attendance Records at Memorial Stadium
|| About the Offense |
Under Stoops, Oklahoma has produced its career
leader in passing and receiving, while turning out
the No. 3- and No. 4-ranked rusher in school history
and the school record holder for single-season rushing,
passing and receiving yards.
OU has scored at least one touchdown in every
game dating back to Nov. 7, 1998.
Under Stoops, OU has rushed for 200 yards 36
times, including 30 over the last five seasons.
Also under Stoops, OU has 123 touchdowns of
25-plus yards and 247 scoring drives that took less
than two minutes.
Last Season Revisited
The Sooners scored in 50 of 56 quarters.
Oklahoma averaged 6.4 yards per play, the most since
For the fifth straight season, Oklahoma had multiple
backs log a 100-yard rushing game. Also for the fifth
straight season, OU produced a 1,000-yard rusher (Allen
The team had five, one-play scoring drives. Three
were rushes. The shortest was 17 yards.
There were three, 90-yard scoring drives: 96 vs.
Utah St., 94 vs. Texas, 91 vs. Texas Tech.
Sam Bradford was the nation's leader in passing
efficiency and Oklahoma topped the same team category.
OU had not won an individual statistical title since
1979 when RB Billy Sims led the nation in scoring (138
points). The Sooners had not captured a team stat title
since 1987 when they were tops in rushing offense,
scoring offense, scoring defense, pass defense, scoring
offense, total offense and total defense.
The 2007 team was the second-highest scoring in school
history with 592 points. It was just the fifth Oklahoma
team to eclipse 500 points, but the third for Stoops.
The team went over 50 points five times, over 60 twice
and over 70 once.
Banner Year for Bradford
Sam Bradford had perhaps the best freshman season by
any QB in NCAA history ...
Led the nation in passing efficiency at 176.53, just
ahead of Heisman winner Tim Tebow.
Fired 36 touchdown passes to break the NCAA freshman
record by seven.
Had consecutive completion streaks of 22 and 21 to
break Jason White's OU record of 18 and challenge
the NCAA mark of 24 set by Tennessee's Tee Martin.
Had multiple TD passes in 10 games, including a school
record-tying five vs. Miami and Texas A&M.
Hit at least 65% of his passes in 10 of 14 games,
threw no interceptions in five and had at least one
completion of 30 yards in every contest.
Iglesias Piles Up Yards
WR Juaquin Iglesias is one of the top all-around performers
ever to wear a Sooner uniform ...
He led the Sooners in receptions and receiving yards
last season with 41 for 514, respectively.
With 1,883 all purpose yards last season, he posted
the seventh-best figure in school history.
His career total of 3,015 all purpose yards is 20th
on the career list at Oklahoma.
The senior ranks No. 6 in all-time receiving yards
and No. 8 in receptions at OU.
Iglesias is No. 4 at Oklahoma with four, 100-yard
He is No. 2 in career return yards with 994 after
ranking No. 16 nationally last season with 28.48 yards/return.
Truly a Stable of Backs
Aside from Allen Patrick's 1,009 rushing yards
last season, reserves Chris Brown (611 yards) and DeMarco
Murray (764 yards) combined for another 1,375. Murray
scored 13 touchdowns, while Brown got nine.
The Line on the Line
With an average height of just over 6-5 (77.1 inches)
and 302.8 pounds on the two-deep this is one of the
biggest offensive lines in OU history. During the Stoops
era this is the third-heaviest line, down by an average
of 13.8 pounds from last year despite the fact that
it's mostly the same group. Last year's
was the heaviest line at 316.6. By height, this is
the third-tallest line of the Stoops era. The 2002
and 2003 lines both measured 77.2 inches.
This veteran line has combined for 128 starts and
173 games played.
Nearing 30,000 Points
By points, Oklahoma is the highest scoring program
in the history of college football. In 1,127 games,
the Sooners have scored 29,777 points, an average of
26.4 per game. Chasing the Sooners are Michigan with
29,347 points in 1,195 games and Nebraska with 29,128
in 1,191. OU's opponents have scored 13,919 tallies
for an average of 12.4 per game.
|| About the Defense |
OU forced at least one turnover in 106 of Bob Stoops' 119
games and has at least one interception in 78 of the
last 104; multiple picks in 32 of the last 74 outings.
Oklahoma has nine shutouts under its current head
coach. Opponents failed to score more than seven points
29 times and scored less than 14 in 56 games.
DE Auston English emerged last season as one of the
nation's top pass rushers ...
With 9.5 sacks, English tied with Torrance Marshall
(1999) for the 14th-best single season total in school
history. It was the second-best total in the Stoops
era behind the 10 by Calvin Thibodeaux (2005) and Dan
Cody (2004, 2003).
English broke a non-weight-bearing bone in his right
leg in the Texas A&M game. A rod was inserted and
he missed the next three contests. He returned for
the Big 12 Championship game and the Fiesta Bowl with
the rod still in place.
He's New, Sorta
Mike Balogun will get the start at WLB making him the
first Sooner LB to start his first OU game since Lance
Mitchell, also a junior college transfer, in 2002.
Before that, it was Torrance Marshall in 1999.
Born Sept. 28, 1983, Balogun will be 24 on the date
of the season opener. Both C.J. Ah You (2006) and Billy
Sims (1979) were 24 during their senior seasons. Players
of that age were typical after WWII. Since that time,
the oldest Sooner football player was DL Dick Passo,
who was 26 when he played in 1968.
Rip and Run
Bob Stoops' teams have been notorious for their
interception return yardage. The 2007 team was among
OU's best in that department ....
had 19 interceptions for 346 interception return yards
and three touchdowns. That yardage total ranked No.
3 since Stoops became the head coach. The 2002 team
put up a ridiculous 516 return yards on 24 interceptions.
The 2000 National Champions notched 369 return yards,
also on 24 picks.
The 2007 OU defenders touched the ball 70 times (5.4
times per game) with 42 PBUs, 19 interceptions and
nine fumble recoveries. To put that in perspective,
opposing teams have just 46 touches in 27 break-ups,
11 fumble recoveries and eight interceptions.
OU averaged 18.0 yards on INT/FUM returns with five
TDs to tie the school record set in 1956, 2000 and
More Than Run Stoppers
Defensive ends and blitzers tend to be associated with
the sack, but the Sooner interior has played a role
in that statistic too. OU's four-man defensive
tackle rotation enters 2008 with a combined total of
9.5 career sacks.
Slackers? Not These Opponents
The 2007 Sooners played some of the nation's most potent
North Texas: No. 18 nationally in passing offense.
Tulsa: No. 1 in total offense, No. 3 in passing offense,
No. 4 in passing efficiency, No. 6 in scoring offense.
Texas: No. 13 in total offense, No. 14 in scoring
offense, No. 17 in rushing offense.
Texas A&M: No. 13 in rushing offense, No. 22
in sacks allowed.
Texas Tech: No. 1 in passing offense, No. 2 in total
offense, No. 5 in passing efficiency, No. 7 in scoring
offense, No. 17 in sacks allowed.
Oklahoma State: No. 3 in sacks allowed, No. 8 in
rushing offense, No. 7 in total offense, No. 15 in
Missouri: No. 5 in total offense, No. 9 in passing,
No. 8 in scoring offense, No. 13 in passing efficiency.
West Virginia: No. 2 in sacks allowed, No. 3 in rushing
offense, No. 9 in scoring offense.
|| About the Special Teams |
Oklahoma's special teams under Bob Stoops...
There have been 25 special teams TDs, including 19
in the last 64 regular season games. Those 19 came
via five different kinds of plays -- 10 punt returns,
two faked field goals, two blocked punts, four kickoff
returns and a faked punt. Special teams also own one
safety in that span.
In total, OU has returned eight kickoffs and 14 punts
for touchdowns on Stoops' watch (since 1999).
The Sooners have blocked 21 kicks.
Many Happy Returns
Information on returns during the Stoops era ...
Kickoff Returns --76 returns of 25 yards or more
with eight TD.
Punt Returns -- 48 returns of 15 or more yards with
Interception Returns -- 69 returns of 10 or more
yards with 20 TD.
Fumble Returns -- four returns of 15 or more yards
with five TD.
Oklahoma Led Nation in Kickoff Returns
Oklahoma's kickoff returns led the nation for
2007 with an average of 28.27 yards per return ...
The Sooners had 19 kickoff returns that covered at
least 30 yards.
Four different players had a return of more than
All five players who returned kicks last season averaged
at least 24 yards.
DeMarco Murray ran 81 yards for a touchdown against
Tulsa on the second kickoff return of his college career.
His first came earlier in that same game. He then went
for 91 yards and a touchdown against Baylor.
Knall Emerges at Punter
Mike Knall started last season as the backup punter,
but won the starting job in the 10th game (vs. Baylor)
and held it for the remainder of the season. Prior
to that time he had been used mostly in short-yardage
situations as the pooch punter ...
Finished the season with 24 punts for an average
of 43.7. He unleashed a 66-yarder, the longest of the
season for OU, against Missouri in the Big 12 Championship
In his five starting assignments, he averaged 42.2
yards per punt and was under 40 yards in just one game
(39.5 vs. Baylor).
His best game was the Missouri tilt with four punts
for a 49.5-yard average.
Redshirt freshman Jimmy Stevens takes over as the team's
placekicker. He'll be the first freshman to tackle
that chore since Garrett Hartley did so in the Baylor
game of 2004 (Nov. 20).
WR Carter Whitson, a walk-on, takes over as the team's
holder. The sophomore played most of his high school
career at Shawnee, Okla., before spending his senior
season at Broken Arrow HS. He was a quarterback during
his prep days. Whitson was the holder at Shawnee during
his sophomore season.
With redshirt freshman Jimmy Stevens at kicker, Whitson
at holder and Ben Hampton as the long snapper, all
three ball-handlers on placements are new this season.
Hampton held at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M junior
college for two seasons before transferring to Oklahoma.
Derek Shaw, the holder the last two seasons, is recovering
from an off-season injury.
Back-up snapper James Winchester, a freshman, is
the son of former Sooner Mike Winchester, who lettered
as a punter from 1984-86. Carolyn Winchester, a senior
member of the OU women's basketball team, is
|| Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops |
History is one tough customer at Oklahoma. The tradition,
so rich and so long-standing, is as daunting as it
is impressive. To be among the best at Oklahoma is
to be among the best in college football.
are lost on Bob Stoops. The Sooner head coach befriended
the would-be albatross of OU's
successful past from his first day on campus and remains
steadfastly focused on tomorrow and the championship
It falls then to the observers and experts
of the game to define Stoops' impact. Rarely
have the pundits had it so easy.
Under Stoops, Oklahoma
has won 87 games (86-19), spent 69 consecutive weeks
in the national rankings, played in seven bowl games,
four of the BCS variety, and captured three Big 12
crowns. His 2000 team won the national championship.
On a playing field leveled by scholarship limits and
parity, this era stares down the Oklahoma standard
and does not blink.
The achievement dulls the memory
of what Stoops inherited. When he arrived in Norman,
the proud Sooner program was five years removed from
a winning record, four from bowl play. Those atypical
days of angst are so forgotten now that they might
as well be mentioned with the land rush and dust bowl.
has been characterized as a grounded family man, brilliant
big-game coach, relentless recruiter, disciplined leader
and a person with uncommon perspective. His success
emanates from a disciplined style true to his roots
in the Steel Valley of Ohio, but he is far from inflexible.
The principles to which he holds are the tried and
true axioms of the sport ... mixed
with cutting edge strategy and an appreciation for
the calculated risk.
During his time, OU has produced
passers and receivers, three 1,000-yard rushers, suffocating
defense and special teams units that rank among the
most dynamic in the land. Every facet has been impacted.
players have snagged 16 national awards, including
the 2003 Heisman Trophy won by Jason White. There have
been 58 academic honorees, 53 All-Big 12 players, 22
All-Americans and 32 NFL draft choices.
won a total of 10 national coach of the year awards
and has been Big 12 Coach of the year in three of his
six campaigns in Norman.
This is one of the finest coaches in the history of
one of college football's most storied traditions.
The son of a coach, Stoops was a four-year starter
at Iowa. He began his coaching career in 1983 as a
volunteer in the Hawkeye program under Hayden Fry.
He worked through the ranks until he became co-defensive
coordinator at Kansas State (1991-95) during Bill Snyder's
With the Wildcats, he played a key role in an impressive
turnaround. During his final four seasons there, K-State
was 35-12 with three bowl appearances. Eventually,
he left for Florida and a three-year stint as Steve
Spurrier's defensive coordinator. In 1996, he
was part of a national championship team. It was with
the Gators that the spotlight found Stoops and made
him one of the hottest names in the profession.
Stoops, who was born Sept. 9, 1960, in Youngstown,
Ohio, graduated from Iowa in 1983 with a degree in
marketing. He and his wife, Carol, have three children:
daughter, Mackenzie, and twin sons, Drake and Isaac.
Head Coach Bob Stoops
|| Notes on the Sooners |
DT Cory Bennett: Leads the defensive tackles in
games played with 38.
LB Austin Box: Underwent arthroscopic surgery on
his left knee during preseason drills and is expected
to miss the opener.
QB Sam Bradford: See notes on offense's page.
OT Branndon Braxton: Probable starter at right tackle,
but also spent part of the preseason working at guard
... from the same hometown as Bob Stoops -- Youngstown,
RB Chris Brown: Outstanding in short yardage situations
-- had 17 rushes last season on third-and-short which
resulted in 14 first downs and two touchdowns.
WR Quentin Chaney: Over Oklahoma's last two
bowl games, he has a combined eight receptions for
166 yards and two touchdowns.
FB Matt Clapp: A player to watch after a very good
redshirt season ... in the best condition of his playing
LB Keenan Clayton: Has converted from strong safety
to strong side linebacker.
C Jon Cooper: His 29 career starts lead the team.
TE Brody Eldridge: All-Big 12 fullback last season
despite the fact that he had no carries.
DE Auston English: Had 13 tackles for loss and 9.5
sacks last season despite missing three games.
CB Dominique Franks: Made his lone career start
in last season's Fiesta Bowl.
DT DeMarcus Granger: Led OU's defensive tackles
with 3.5 sacks last season..
TE Jermaine Gresham: His 11 TD receptions last season
were the most ever by a Sooner tight end.
QB Joey Halzle: Hit 21-of-41 for 291 yards in a
back-up role at Texas Tech last season.
DB Nic Harris: Six career interceptions and 15 deflections.
DB Lendy Holmes: Worked at both safety and corner
during the August drills before settling on the former.
WR Juaquin Iglesias: Has 3,015 career all purpose
yards on 185 plays for an average of 16.3 yards per
WR Manuel Johnson: Only current Sooner receiver
who has a career reception, rush and pass completion.
P Mike Knall: Was one punt shy of the 25 punts
necessary to count officially, but had it counted,
his 43.7-yard average would have rated as the second-best
in school history.
OT Phil Loadholt: Thirteen pounds lighter than last
season -- 350 to 337.
RB Mossis Madu: Will play more this season, but
impressed in 2007 with 5.8-yard rushing average.
DT Gerald McCoy: Quick tackle looking to parlay
Freshman All-America status into more national honors.
RB DeMarco Murray: Scored 15 touchdowns last season
to tie Adrian Peterson's OU freshman record.
LB Ryan Reynolds: Only one of the three Sooner linebackers
who has a previous start at the position at OU.
OG Duke Robinson: Consensus All-American last season.
OG Brandon Walker: Had the highest overall grade
of all OU offensive lineman last season (80%).
OT Trent Williams: Has shared the right tackle spot
with Branndon Braxton over the last two years.