No. 4 Oklahoma opens on the road against UTEP in El Paso Saturday night.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Oklahoma begins its 118th season of football with a game against the UTEP Miners at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso Saturday night. The game is OU's first season opener away from Norman since facing BYU at Cowboys Stadium (9/5/09). The Sooners have not played a road season opener since playing at Tulsa (8/30/02).
Saturday's game will kick shortly after 9:30 p.m. CT in Oklahoma (8:30 p.m. MT at the Sun Bowl in El Paso) and will be televised by FOX Sports Net (FSN). View Sooner Gameday Central
for complete details for fans attending the game and broadcast information for fans following the Sooners around the world.
The game marks the third time OU and UTEP have met, with the Sooners holding a 2-0 advantage following wins in 2000 (55-14) and 2002 (68-0). This is the first time the two teams have played in El Paso, though OU has previously played three bowl games at the Sun Bowl (1981 Sun Bowl, 1993 John Hancock Bowl, 2009 Sun Bowl).
WHAT TO WATCH
Oklahoma opens the season ranked No. 4 in both the USA Today Coaches' Poll and the Associated Press Poll. Senior quarterback Landry Jones comes into the game with a 29-8 (.784) record as a starter. He is four wins away from passing Steve Davis (32, 1973-75) to become the winningest QB in Oklahoma history. Jones currently sits atop the OU career record books in passing yards, completions, attempts, touchdown passes and starts. OU has an 8-4 non-conference road record under Stoops and has won four of its last five. The Sooners have won 10 straight non-conference games and have a 49-12 overall record under Stoops outside the Big 12.
Oklahoma is 29-11 under Bob Stoops on the road vs. unranked teams.
The Sooners are 7-3 under Bob Stoops in September road games.
Under Stoops (1999-11), OU is ranked in the top 10 in 35 different categories among FBS schools.
Oklahoma's all-time record stands at 821-307-53 (.718) in 117 seasons.
The Sooners rank third all-time in winning percentage behind only Michigan (.735) and Notre Dame (.731).
Since World War II, Oklahoma leads the nation with 577 victories.
The Sooners have earned seven national championships (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000).
OU has 45 bowl appearances (No. 7 nationally) with 27 bowl victories (No. 4 nationally) and an all-time record of 27-17-1 (.611).
OU has 43 conference championships, including seven Big 12 titles overall (no other school has more than three).
Oklahoma is the only program in FBS history to have four coaches with 100 or more wins.
OU has 153 All-Americans and 73 consensus All-Americans, including NCAA career receptions leader Ryan Broyles in 2011.
Under Stoops, OU has had 33 All-Americans, including 23 consensus. Of the 33 players, 15 were on offense, 16 on defense and two on special teams representing 14 different positions.
Oklahoma boasts five Heisman winners. Sooners have also won the Bednarik (1), Butkus (4), Camp (4), Lombardi (3), Maxwell (2), Nagurski (2), O'Brien (3), Outland (5), Tatupu (1), Thorpe (3) and Unitas (1).
OU leads the nation with 33 seasons in which the program has won 10 or more games.
Sooner teams have gone undefeated 14 times in program history, the first in 1896 and the latest in 2000.
Oklahoma's 47-game win streak from 1953-57 is still the NCAA D-I record.
Oklahoma has had 102 Academic All-Big 12 honorees under Stoops.
The Sooners have gone 77-3 at home in Stoops' 13 seasons. In all, Oklahoma has won 81 percent of its home games since Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial opened in 1923.
Oklahoma has played in front of 80 consecutive home sellouts - every game of Stoops' tenure.
Including the seven Sooners picked in the 2012 NFL Draft, OU has had 357 players picked all-time in the draft.
Oklahoma has 42 first-round picks, including three No. 1 overall selections.
In 2010, Sooners were chosen with three of the first four picks in the draft, with QB Sam Bradford at No. 1, DT Gerald McCoy at No. 3 and OT Trent Williams at No. 4.
Bob Stoops' career average of 10.7 wins per year is tops among active FBS head coaches with at least 10 years of experience.
Stoops is the only active head coach on the FBS level to have reached a bowl game in each of his first 13 seasons. Georgia's Mark Richt (11) comes in second.
Of the 13 bowls, eight have been BCS bowl games and four have been for the BCS title.
10 double-digit win seasons in his first 13 as a head coach are unmatched among active FBS coaches. He joins Richt and BYU's Mendenhall as the only active coaches with five such seasons in their first seven years.
Oklahoma Football History & Tradition
| Sooner Superlatives
OKLAHOMA SETS DONATION RECORD
The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department has already received nearly $21 million in Sooner Club annual donations to date in 2012. That record-setting figure represents part of an eight-percent increase in annual donations to OU Athletics over the past two years. At present, the Sooner Club has more than 10,600 members who have contributed to this record amount.
OU football home games against Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are sold out for 2012, and based on returned tickets from opposing teams, less than 200 tickets per game are still available for OU's home opener with Florida A&M, as well as each of the club's conference games against Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State.
More on Donation Record
| The Sooner Club
Live video of Bob Stoops' Monday media conference (Live air at 12:05 p.m., each Monday).
Live/archived audio of Sooner Sports Talk with Bob Stoops (Tuesday nights, starting at 7 p.m., CT).
Live/archived audio of Coaches' Corner radio show (Thursday nights, starting at 7 p.m., CT).
Live game audio from the Sooner Sports Radio Network plus live stats, blog from OU Athletics Digital.
Live/archived video of Bob Stoops' post-game press conference.
Game highlights and Bob Stoops' review TV show (Show is taped on Sunday of each week).
Sooner Gameday Central
| OU Athletics Social Media
| OU Athletics Digital
OKLAHOMA AT A GLANCE
Although OU returns 12 players on offense and 12 players on defense with a combined 339 career starts, it lost serious star power in its small 2011 senior class which combined for 271 starts among 12 players on offense and defense.
The Oklahoma offense returns the most seasoned quarterback in school history in Landry Jones (37 career starts), who had 4,463 yards, 29 TDs and a 343.3 ypg average in 2011. Several receivers, including Kenny Stills (61 recs., 849 yds, 8 TDs) and newcomer Trey Metoyer will step in for the loss of NCAA
receptions leader Ryan Broyles. The backfield will be led by Dominique Whaley (627 yds, 9 TDs), who was OU's leading rusher from a year ago, though he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the team's seventh game. Despite injuries, the offensive line also returns a load of experience in the trenches.
Mike Stoops returns to OU as the defensive coordinator, building a defense on aggression and speed after the Sooners lost four standouts to the 2012 NFL Draft. The senior duo of David King (31 tackles, 4 TFLs) and RJ Washington (16 tackles, 5.0 sacks) will hold the defensive line while Corey Nelson (59 tackles, 8.5 TFLs) will anchor the linebackers. The backfield will return five full or part-time starters led by Demontre Hurst (55 tackles, 11 PBUs), Tony Jefferson (74 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 4 INTs) and last year's leading tackler, Aaron Colvin (84 tackles).
Sophomore Michael Hunnicutt, a Groza Award candidate, returns at kicker after tying the OU record for field goals in 2011 with 21 makes. Senior punter Tress Way, who has 58 career punts of 50+ yards, also returns.
UTEP AT A GLANCE
Coming off a 5-7 record last season after taking fifth in the Conference USA west division, UTEP returns 13 starters, including seven on offense, four on defense and two on special teams.
Of the 16 players who registered a reception in 2011, eight return this year, including the Miners' top two receivers, Michael Edwards and Jordan Leslie. Edwards had 50 catches for 657 yards and three touchdowns in 2012, while Leslie averaged a team-best 14.3 yards per catch and had 30 receptions for 430 yards. Also on offense, UTEP has three tight ends returning, including Kevin Perry, Eric Tomlinson and Craig Wenrick, who combined for 391 receiving yards last season. The Miners will have to replace lost personnel in the running game, returning just 12 percent of last year's rushing yards.
Safety DeShawn Grayson and linebacker Josh Fely will lead the UTEP defense after totaling 67 and 61 tackles, respectively, last season. Defensive lineman Horace Miller, who led the team a year ago with five sacks, also returns to what should be a strong defensive line along with Germard Reed and Greg Watkins.
A 2011 semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, punter Ian Campbell returns after being ranked third nationally with a 46.1 net average, and he has had 18 punts of over 50 yards. A freshman last season, kicker Steven Valadez averaged 65.5 yards per kickoff and had a 46-yard field goal in 2011.
UTEP SCOUTING REPORT
UTEP's last game vs. a Big 12 opponent was a 64-7 loss at Texas (9/26/09).
UTEP's last win vs. a current member of the Big 12 was a 24-17 win vs. TCU (11/15/97). TCU was in the WAC at the time.
Including TCU, UTEP has lost 13 straight games vs. teams currently in the Big 12. Two of those losses came while TCU was in the WAC. In games when the opponent was a member of the Big 12 at the time of the game, UTEP is 0-11 all-time.
The Big 12 has outscored UTEP 499-162 in those 11 games, winning by an average score of 45.4-14.7.
UTEP is 4-48 all-time against the AP Top 25.
UTEP is 1-13 all-time against the AP Top 10. Its lone win was a 23-16 victory over No. 7 BYU (10/26/85).
TIES TO THE TEAMS
Sooners from Texas: 47 players hail from Texas, but none are from the city of El Paso. QB Landry Jones of Artesia, N.M. (200 miles) and DB Jesse Paulsen of Albuquerque (266 miles) own the closest hometowns to El Paso. Miners from Oklahoma: OL Trint Jenkins (Tulsa, Victory Christian HS).
The Sooners were picked to finish first in the Big 12 preseason media poll.
Oklahoma has won seven Big 12 Conference titles (2000, 02, 04, 06, 07, 08, 10), twice as many as the next closest program in the league.
Since 2000, Oklahoma is 79-18 (.814) in Big 12 play, the best mark in the conference. Texas is next with a 74-23 (.763) record.
Among BCS-automatic qualifier conference teams, Oklahoma has the best conference winning percentage, with the next-best records at USC of the Pac-12, which has a 65-20 (.765) conference record since 2000 and Virginia Tech of the ACC (70-22, .761).
OU's Conference History
| 43 Conference Titles
| Big 12 Titles
Oklahoma enters the first week of the season ranked No. 4 (USA Today and AP). In other publications, OU has been ranked No. 4 (ESPN.com, CBSSports.com) and No. 5 (Sports Illustrated
). Since 2000, OU has been ranked in the preseason polls all 13 seasons. Of the Sooners' 12 opponents this season, seven are ranked in the AP preseason poll. West Virginia (No. 11) is the highest-ranked foe, followed by Texas (15), Oklahoma State (19), TCU (20) and Kansas State (22). Notre Dame and Baylor are each receiving votes.
OU All-Time in the AP Poll
| OU All-Time in the BCS
2012 TEAM CAPTAINS
This season's team captains are OL Gabe Ikard (Jr.), QB Landry Jones (Sr.), DE David King (Sr.), FB Trey Millard (Jr.) and P Tress Way (Sr.).
OKLAHOMA COACHING STAFF
In Bob Stoops' 13 seasons at OU, six of his assistant coaches have gone on to become head coaches at other FBS programs.
Four former Stoops' assistants are now head coaches: Mike Leach (Washington State), Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Kevin Wilson (Indiana).
This season, Mike Stoops returns to Oklahoma as the defensive coordinator, while Tim Kish joins the program as assistant defensive coordinator.
Three current assistants played for Oklahoma, including Jackie Shipp (1980-83), Cale Gundy (1990-93) and Josh Heupel (1999-00).
OU's coaches have a cumulative 63 years on the sidelines in Norman and 192 years experience total.
Oklahoma Football Coaching Staff
BACK TO THE FUTURE
OU associate head coach and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is back on the Sooner coaching staff after previously guiding the OU defense from 1999-03.
In his first stint in Norman, four of Stoops' five defenses finished No. 7 or better nationally in scoring defense and in the top 10 for total defense.
From 2000-03, Stoops' defenses also finished in the top 25 in pass defense and rush defense every season and in pass efficiency defense and turnovers forced twice.
In addition, Stoops is the only coach to have an athlete win both the Nagurski and Thorpe awards in the same season, doing so twice with Roy Williams in 2001 and Derrick Strait in 2003.
HOME DOMINANCE UNDER STOOPS
The Sooners are 77-3 on Owen Field under Stoops.
OU is 66-3 when ranked and 11-0 when unranked at home.
Oklahoma is 33-1 in non-conference games at home under Stoops and 44-2 in Big 12 games.
OU is 46-0 under Stoops when scoring 40 points or more at home and 35-0 at home when allowing 10 points or fewer.
OU has not lost to a ranked team at home since Stoops became head coach in 1999.
Oklahoma has wins over top 10 teams including No. 1 Nebraska (2000), No. 2 Texas Tech (2008) and No. 9 Iowa State (2002) during that time.
From 2005-11, Oklahoma won 39 straight home games, a stadium record.
The streak was the fifth-longest home win streak in the modern football era. OU has been sold out at home for every game of the Stoops era, a school-record of 80 consecutive games.
Under Stoops, OU won its first 17 home games stretching almost over his first three seasons from 1999-01.
The Sooners also had a 19-game streak under Stoops from 2002-04.
Margin of Victory
The Sooners have posted 10 shutouts against incoming opponents, including three against Big 12 foes.
Oklahoma's biggest wins are a 77-0 defeat of Texas A&M (11/8/03) and a 68-0 win over UTEP (9/14/02).
OU's average margin of victory at home has been 22 points or higher each of the past six seasons and 11 of 13 seasons under Stoops.
OU's three losses at home in the last 13 seasons have come by a combined 13 points.
Only one game has gone into overtime, a 37-30 OU win vs. Baylor (10/22/05).
In 2011, Oklahoma ranked No. 13 nationally in average attendance at 85,161.
OU's average attendance last season was 103.7% of Memorial Stadium's official capacity.
Only Oregon, TCU, Nebraska and Texas A&M had higher percentages over capacity.
In 2011, OU's win over Texas A&M drew the highest attendance in stadium history at 85,709.
Oklahoma has drawn 6,112,172 fans for Bob Stoops' 80 home games (started in 1999) and all have been sold out.
The current string of sellouts is the longest in school history, eclipsing a mark of 69 from 1971-84.
In 2011, Oklahoma fans set a record for average season attendance at 85,161.
OU has exceeded the seating capacity of 82,112 at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in 48 straight games.
The top nine seasons for home attendance at Oklahoma have been during Stoops' tenure as head coach.
Of the top 10 crowds at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, all have come in the past six years.
Home Winning Percentage
Since the start of the 2006 season, Oklahoma ranks second nationally in home winning percentage at .973, holding a record of 36-1 over that span.
Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Under Bob Stoops, OU has produced career leaders in passing, receiving, total offense and all-purpose yards, four top 10 career rushers and season record holders in rushing, passing, total offense and receiving yards.
Stoops-led Sooner teams have set 66 offensive school records.
OU has scored in 175 consecutive games since 11/7/98.
Since Stoops' arrival, OU has scored 6,396 points - an average of 492 points per season and 37 per game.
Oklahoma is the highest scoring college program in history. In 1,182 games, the Sooners have scored 31,951 points. Michigan is next at 30,799 points in 1,245 games.
Oklahoma has racked up 300 yards or more of total offense in 35 straight regular season contests dating back to early 2009. Against No. 10 Kansas State in 2011, OU totaled 690 yards, the eighth-most in team history and the highest total during that span.
Dating back to last year's win against Missouri, Landry Jones has thrown for 250 or more yards in 10 consecutive regular season games, including a program-record 505-yard outing vs. Kansas State last October. In all, four of the top seven single-game highs in passing yards came in 2011 with Jones at the helm.
PASS IT AROUND
The Sooners had the No. 5 passing offense last season, giving OU its fourth-straight year in the top 11 in that category. OU has finished No. 3 twice (2008, 2010) and No. 11 (2009) recently.
IKARD FRONT & CENTER
An Outland and Lombardi Trophy candidate, senior lineman Gabe Ikard takes over at center for the Sooners on the offensive line in 2012. Last season, Ikard continued Oklahoma's streak of All-Big 12 offensive lineman by being named a first-team selection. Ikard was also named a third-team All-American by both the Associated Press and Yahoo! Sports. In addition to his play on the field, Ikard was also named an Academic All-American for his work in the classroom, the fourth Sooner in the last four years to earn that honor.
DOING IT ALL
Junior fullback Trey Millard had a breakout year in 2011 while covering the entire field on both offense and special teams. The Columbia, Mo., native is one of two Sooners on the current roster named All-Big 12 and Academic All-District last year after rushing for 169 yards on 24 carries for a 7.0 average and two touchdowns. Coming out of the backfield, Millard also added 13 receptions for 127 yards and a TD through the air. Millard even led the Sooners on special teams by notching a team-high 14 tackles in coverage.
Junior Kenny Stills will anchor the Sooner receiving corps after registering 1,635 yards, 122 receptions and 13 TDs in just two seasons. Second-team All-Big 12 last season, Stills is in the top 11 in three different OU career categories, including receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs. Among active players in the NCAA, Stills ranks No. 6 in receiving yards per game (65.9), tied for No. 13 in TD receptions, No. 19 in receptions and No. 21 in receiving yards.
With three TD runs against Iowa in the season finale, sophomore quarterback Blake Bell was named the Insight Bowl Offensive MVP. Bell broke the Oklahoma record for rushing TDs by a freshman quarterback with 13 in 2011.
Oklahoma has ranked in the top 16 in the nation in total defense eight of the last 11 years.
OU has forced at least one turnover in 151 of 173 games over the last 13 seasons - 87% of games played in that span.
The Sooner defense has at least one interception in 74% of its games (111 of 151) over the last 12 years.
Oklahoma has 13 shutouts under Bob Stoops.
Under Stoops, the Oklahoma defense has surrendered an average of just 18 points per game.
The defense has allowed less than 100 rushing yards per game in five of the last 11 seasons.
STOPPING ON 3RD
The Oklahoma defense posted the No. 5 third down defense in the nation in 2011, allowing just 60 conversions in 196 attempts (30.6%).
In home games, no team was better in the category than OU's 20.2% mark.
The Sooners have consistently been at the top of the rankings in third-down defense, ranking No. 11 two seasons ago and No. 3 in 2009.
DEFENSIVE TDS AT 42 IN STOOPS' ERA
With a school-record three defensive touchdowns against Texas in 2011, Oklahoma now has 42 in Bob Stoops' 13 seasons.
Thirteen of those touchdowns came via a fumble return.
The defense has scored at least one touchdown in all of Stoops' 13 seasons, including four in 2011.
The four defensive scores last season were one shy of the most in Stoops' tenure. OU had five touchdowns on defense in 2007, 2001 and 2000.
NELSON LEADS SACK SQUAD
Big 12 honorable mention Corey Nelson will start his second year at linebacker after finishing No. 9 in the Big 12 with 5.5 sacks, the third-best mark among conference linebackers, in 2011.
The Sooners' 40 total sacks last season ranked No. 9 in the nation and second in the Big 12, resulting in a total loss of 288 yards for OU opponents.
Interestingly, 31 sacks came during road games, the highest total of any program last year.
Of the 13 players who contributed to that total, 10 return.
Oklahoma's eight sacks vs. Texas (10/8/11) matched the school single-game record set against Baylor (10/20/01). Five different Sooners recorded a sack against the Longhorns.
SAFETY IN THE SECONDARY
A Nagurski, Thorpe, Bednarik and Walter Camp watch lister, junior Tony Jefferson looks to add on to a 2011 campaign in which he totaled 74 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks and four INT.
Senior Demontre Hurst was named to the Bednarik and Nagurski Award watch lists after earning second-team All-Big 12 last year, notching a team-high 11 pass breakups and a 55-yard INT for TD vs. Texas.
Junior Aaron Colvin returns in 2012 after registering a team-high 84 tackles (14th most in the Big 12) last season as a first-year starter at strong safety. Fifty-eight of those tackles came unassisted with Colvin posting a career-high 13 total tackles vs. Texas Tech (10/22/11).
After losing both Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis to the NFL Draft, the defensive line currently boasts four seniors, all of whom have seen significant playing time - totaling 44 career starts and 140 career games played altogether.
|| SPECIAL TEAMS|
There have been 29 special teams touchdowns.
Those 29 have come via five different kinds of plays -- punt returns, fake field goals, blocked punts, kickoff returns and a fake punt. Special teams also owns four safeties in that span.
Oklahoma has returned six kickoffs and 14 punts for touchdowns.
Oklahoma has blocked 28 kicks.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Kickoff Returns -- 105 returns of 25 yards or more with eight touchdowns.
Punt Returns -- 66 returns of 15 or more yards with 16 touchdowns.
Interception Returns -- 90 returns of 10 or more yards with 24 touchdowns.
Fumble Returns -- 8 returns of 15 or more yards with 12 touchdowns.
WAY GOOD AT PUNTER
Tress Way ranks No. 2 among active punters in the NCAA with 8,648 total punt yards.
Way also ranks No. 5 among active punters in the NCAA with a 43.9 yards per punt average.
His career average currently ranks No. 1 in OU history with a season left to play, just ahead of Jeff Ferguson (1998-01) at 42.5 ypp.
Way has 58 punts of 50+ yards in his career to set the OU program record. Ferguson previously held the record with 52.
Way's 58.8 average against Oklahoma State on 11/28/09 is the highest in a game in program history.
In 2011, Way has played a central role in field position with 34 of 63 punts downed inside the 20. Only six of Way's punts resulted in a touchback.
In 2010, Way had 19 boots of 50+ yards with 18 inside the 20 and an average of 44.0 yards on 73 kicks. His average ranked No. 20 nationally, but he had more attempts than anyone ahead of him on that list.
HUNNICUTT THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS
Returning kicker Michael Hunnicutt came into the starting role as a freshman last season. Despite not playing in two games...
Hunnicutt made 21 field goals, tying the OU single-season record set by Tim Duncan in 2001.
The total also tied him for the 13th-most
conversions in the nation in 2011.
His 118 total points (21 FG, 55 XP) ranked No. 10 on the OU season scoring list.
Hunnicutt broke the OU freshman field goal record (16, Trey DiCarlo, 2002) and tied the OU freshman scoring record (Jimmy Stevens, 2008).
Hunnicutt became the first kicker in OU history to hit four field goals in two different games (Kansas, 10/15/11; Iowa State, 11/26/11).
Among kickers who made 20 or more field goals last season, Hunnicutt ranked ranked No. 5 with an 87.5 (21-of-24) conversion percentage.
Hunnicutt tied with two other kickers for the most field goals made between 20-29 yards with 11.
He made a 53-yard field goal at Kansas State (10/29/11), which tied for the longest kick under Bob Stoops. Garrett Hartley also hit a 53-yarder vs. Utah State on 9/15/07.
Oklahoma lost one of the the program's all-time best punt returners, Ryan Broyles (2008-11), to the NFL's Detroit Lions. Broyles finished his career No. 3 in OU history with 1,187 punt return yards.
Kenny Stills had 38 yards on eight returns as the only other Sooner with at least one return in 2011.
Senior transfer Justin Brown comes to OU after garnering 8.1 yards per punt return at Penn State in 2011, returning 27 punts for 220 yards. For his career, Brown has 338 yards on 49 returns.
Oklahoma returns its top four returners (Franks, Finch, Whaley, Clay) from last season. Those four players combined to average 22.3 yards per return in 2011.