The top-ranked Sooners open Big 12 play in Waco Saturday against the Bears.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma, which assumed the nation’s No. 1 ranking this week, opens the Big 12 portion of its schedule when it travels to Waco, Texas, Saturday to meet an improved Baylor squad. The Sooners thrashed then-No. 23/24 TCU last week in Norman, 35-10. Baylor was off.
FOX Sports Net
has the telecast with Bill Land calling the game
and Gary Reasons with analysis from the press box.
Jim Knox will provide sideline features.
Gameday Central for complete information
whether you are attending the game in Waco or following the Sooners across the nation.
Don't forget to check out SoonerSports.com's new Gameday Blog on Saturday. The feature will provide instantaneous
reaction as the game unfolds including
periodic observations direct from our staff in Waco.
Oklahoma leads the series by a 17-0 count, including a 7-0 advantage at Waco. The Sooners won the match-up last season in Norman, 52-21. In 2006 at Waco, OU prevailed by a 36-10 count.
Oklahoma: Bob Stoops (Iowa ‘83) is 101-22 in his 10th season with the Sooners. He is 65-13 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, 36-9 vs. non-conference opponents, 57-2 at home, 28-11 on the road, 16-9 on neutral fi elds, 29-11 vs. ranked opponents, 4-5 in bowls, 3-4 in January Bowls and 2-4 in BCS games. He is 9-0 against Baylor. Baylor: Art Briles (Texas Tech ‘79) is 2-2 in his fi rst year at Baylor, 36-30 in six seasons overall.
record stands at 783-295-53.
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 548 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.
Football History & Tradition
This Week's Opponent
Baylor is 2-2, including a 2-1 mark at home. The Bears opened with a 41-13 loss to Wake Forest before reeling off easy victories over FCS Northwestern State, 51-6, and Washington State, 45-17. In its lone road game to date, BU dropped a 31-28 decision at Connecticut.
Freshman quarterback Robert Griffi n leads Baylor in both rushing (55-334) and passing (47-78-0, 756 yards, 7 touchdowns).
This is the second meeting with Oklahoma for Baylor coach Art Briles. He brought his 2004 Houston team to OU. The Sooners prevailed in that one, 63-13. The ‘04 Oklahoma team, which included Nos. 2 and 3 (Adrian Peterson and Jason White, respectivley) in the Heisman voting, finished 12-1 with its only loss coming to USC in the national title game.
• This will mark the fourth time that OU has taken the No. 1 ranking into a game with Baylor. The other years were 2003 (OU 41, BU 3, at Norman), 2000 (OU 56, BU 7, at Waco) and 1974 (OU 28, BU 11, at Norman).
Oklahoma's Most Recent Game | Oklahoma
35, TCU 10
Oklahoma avenged one of only two home losses it has suff ered on Bob Stoops’ watch when the Sooners blasted then-No. 23/24 TCU, 35-10, last Saturday in Norman. The Horned Frogs had prevailed at Norman in 2005, 17-10...
TCU entered the game with the nation’s top-ranked defense, and stacked up to stop the run. The ploy was successful in that the Sooners picked up just 25 yards on 36 rushing attempts. However, QB Sam Bradford shredded the Horned Frogs through the air by hitting 19-of-34 passes for a career-high 411 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Three of the touchdowns went to Manuel Johnson, while the other went to Juaquin Iglesias.
Johnson set a single game receiving yards record at OU with 206 on just five grabs. He eclipsed the previous mark of 190 set by Mark Clayton against Texas in 2003. Johnson scored on throws of 76, 55 and 63 yards to become only the second player in Oklahoma history to log three TDs of 55+ yards in the same game (the other was Antonio Perkins, who did so on three punt returns against UCLA in 2003).
Bradford became the second quarterback in OU history to throw for 400 yards in a game. His position coach, Josh Heupel, did it twice.
Only one of TCU’s fi rst four foes achieved 200 total yards, but OU had 436.
The Sooner defense choked off a TCU off ense that entered the game averaging 43.0 points. The Frogs had committed just one turnover in their fi rst four games, but had four, two interceptions and two fumbles, against Oklahoma. FS Lendy Holmes recovered two fumbles, while CB Brian Jackson and LB Travis Lewis both had INTs.
Washington Victory No. 100 for Coach Stoops
The 55-14 victory at Washington represented an historic
milestone of 100 victories for Oklahoma's Bob
Stoops became the eighth-fastest coach to 100 victories
in NCAA history by doing so in 122 games, the same
number it took for former OU head coach Barry Switzer
to hit the mark. Another OU great, Bud Wilkinson, picked
up his 100th victory in game 111. He is No. 3 on the
Oklahoma is the only school in NCAA history to produce
four, 100-win coaches. The others are Bennie Owen (122-54-165
from 1905-26), Wilkinson (145-29-4 from 1947-63) and
Switzer (157-29-4 from 1973-88).
Stoops is only the second coach in NCAA history,
and the first in the modern era, to win 100 games in
his first 10 seasons. His victory total, regardless
of what it is at season's end, will rank No.
2 in NCAA history for 10 seasons. Penn's George
Woodruff holds the mark at 124 wins. His 10th season
was 1901. Switzer is third on that list at 98.
Stoops is one of three coaches in with an average
of 10 victories per season with at least 10 seasons
of coaching. The others were Tom Osborne (255 in 25
seasons at Nebraska) and George Woodruff (142 in 12
seasons, mostly at Penn).
Stoops' teams are 101-22 with one national
title and five league crowns in 10 seasons (9+). In
the 10 years before he arrived in Norman, the OU football
fortunes had taken a rare dip. The program was 61-50-3
during that period with no championships.
The Sooners Briefly
OU was No. 4 in both of preseason polls. It marked
the 10th straight season that was ranked in the first
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.
Oklahoma is No. 1 at Being No. 1
By moving to the top spot in this week’s poll, Oklahoma has now been ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press’ Top 25 more weeks, 96, than any other program in college football history. Notre Dame is second on that list at 95. Ohio State is next with 93 followed by USC at 90.
Marquee Matchups Await OU in Future
Non-conference games on future schedules include at
Miami (Fla.) in 2009, at Florida State (2011), Notre
Dame (2012), at Notre Dame (2013), Tennessee (2014),
at Tennessee (2015), Ohio State (2016), at Ohio State
(2017) and LSU in 2018 and 2019. Under Stoops, OU already
played Louisville, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Alabama
(twice), UCLA (twice), Oregon (twice), Washington (twice),
South Florida and Miami (Fla.) in regular season contests.
Stoops Era Yielding Record Attendance
Oklahoma has drawn 4,753,383 fans for Bob Stops' 59
home games (started in 1999)...
All 59 have been sold out and the Sooners have prevailed
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'
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 33 consecutive games.
Oklahoma has played before sellout crowds in 103
of Stoops' 123 games. A total of 9,105,907, or
an average of 74,031, 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. Of the 81 basic offensive
records at OU, 50 have been set on Stoops' watch.
OU scored at least one TD in every game dating to
Nov. 7, 1998.
OU rushed for 200 yards 37 times under Stoops, 31
in the last five years.
Also under Stoops, OU has 127 touchdowns of 25-plus
yards and 254 scoring drives that took less than two
OU has played 18 games since Sam Bradford was named the starting QB. He missed nearly all of the Texas Tech game last season due to injury (out during second series). Here is a look at OU’s off ensive production in those other 17 games, in which the team has a record of 14-2, a Big 12 title and BCS Bowl appearance ...
The Sooners averaged 38.6 points per game and eclipsed 50 points eight times times.
He averaged 3.1 touchdown passes/game, while completing 320-of-456 passes (.702) with 52 TDs and 10 INT.
Oklahoma averaged 406.2 yards total yards per game.
He threw for 300+ yards fi ve times and 400+ once in an off ense that also averaged 189.1 rushing yards.
Threw multiple TDs in 15 games with fi ve each against Miami (Fla.), Texas A&M, Cincinnati and Washington.
Iglesias Piles Up Yards
WR Juaquin Iglesias is one of the top all-around performers
ever to wear a Sooner uniform ...
His career total of 3,394 all purpose yards is 13th on the career list at Oklahoma.
Iglesias has the nation’s fi fth-longest streak for receptions in consecutive games with 36. He trails Rice’s Jarrett Dillard (41), UNLV’s Casey Flair (40) and Ball State’s Dante Ball (37).
Touchdowns Germane to Jermaine
Junior tight end Jermaine Gresham needs just one touchdown reception to set a new mark for OU tight ends. He has 16 to date, including four this season.
Gresham is strking from longer distance in 2008. Last season, he averaged 13.8 yards per touchdown catch, but that figure has ballooned to 29.5 this season.
Three-Headed Running Game
Aside from Allen Patrick’s 1,009 rushing yards last season, reserves Chris Brown (611 yards) and DeMarco Murray (764 yards) combined for 1,375. Murray scored 13 TDs, Brown nine. In ‘08, Murray, the starter, has 59 carries for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Brown and Mossis Madu have a combined 92 tries for 397 yards and seven TDs.
In the opener, Brown became the 66th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a career. Murray became the 67th during the game at Washington.
The Line on the Line
At 6-5 (77.1 inches) and 302.8 pounds averaged on the two-deep, this is one of the biggest off ensive lines in OU history. During the Stoops era this is the third-heaviest line. Last year’s was the heaviest line at 316.6. By height, this is the third-tallest line under Stoops. The 2002 and 2003 lines both measured 77.2 inches.
This line (two-deep) has combined for 154 starts, 218 games played.
The Sooners are No. 1 in the nation in Red Zone Scoring (19-19) with 18 touchdowns and one field goal.
OU ranks No. 5 nationally with 49.75 points per game, but the highest Sooner in individual scoring ranks No. 76th.
Oklahoma’s 17 touchdown passes have gone to six diff erent receivers.
OU has completed passes to 16 diff erent receivers, which is second nationally to Troy’s 17.
• Over the last two games Sam Bradford has nine4 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Nearing 30,000 Points
By points, Oklahoma is the highest scoring program in the history of college football. In 1,130 games, the Sooners have scored 29,941 points, an average of 26.5 per game. Chasing the Sooners are Michigan with 29,407 points in 1,197 games and Nebraska with 29,231 in 1,193.
|| About the Defense |
OU forced at least one turnover in 109 of Bob Stoops’ 123 games and has at least one interception in 80 of the last 107; multiple picks in 34 of the last 78 outings.
Oklahoma has nine shutouts under its current head coach. Opponents scored less than seven points 30 times and less than 14 in 57 games.
Sack Exchange Rate Good
Over the last two seasons, Oklahoma’s defense has 42 (2.3/game) sacks while allowing only 18 (1.O/game). This season, that ratio is 3:1.
DE Auston English is 18th in the nation with 1.5 tackles for loss/game is picking up where he left off in 2007 ...
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.
A lot of attention was focused on the weakside linebacker spot during the preseason, but Travis Lewis has answered some of those questions in the early going. The redshirt freshman leads the team with 33 tackles, 12 of which came against Cincinnati. He had 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks in that game. The 12 tackles vs. UC rank No. 7 for a freshman at OU. The record of 19 was set by Brian Bosworth against Nebraska in 1984.
Third Down Thwarting
Oklahoma ranks No. 11 nationally for third-down defense. Opponents have converted just 17-of-62 fpor 27.4%.
Takeaways a Group Project
In 2008, several Oklahoma players have gotten in on taking the ball away from the opponents ...
• Five different players have forced a fumble.
• Three players have fumble recoveries, although FS Lendy Holmes and CB Brian Jackson each have two.
• The four interceptions thus far by the Sooners have been made by four diff erent people.
He's New, Sorta
First-year Sooner Mike Balogun was born Sept. 28, 1983,
and is 24 years old. Former OU players 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.
Push 'Em Back
Oklahoma has 36 tackles for 150 yards in losses compared to just 23 for 82 by the Sooner opponents.
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 has a combined total of 16.0 career sacks, and a tackle has been credited with a full or have sack in three of three of the first four games.
|| About the Special Teams |
Oklahoma's special teams under Bob Stoops ...
There have been 25 special teams TDs, including 19 in the last 67 regular season games. Those 19 came via fi ve diff erent 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 kickoff s 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 --79- returns of 25 yards or more with eight TD.
Punt Returns -- 49 returns of 15 or more yards with 14 TD.
Interception Returns -- 69 returns of 10 or more yards with 20 TD.
Fumble Returns -- four returns of 15 or more yards with fi ve TD.
Oklahoma Led Nation in Kickoff Returns
Oklahoma is No. 14 in KOR average (29.86). OU 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 35 yards.
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 won the starting job in the 10th game (vs. Baylor) of the 2007 season 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 is the team’s placekicker. He is the fi rst freshman to tackle that chore since Garrett Hartley did so in the Baylor game of 2004 (Nov. 20). Steven has been called upon for only one field goal this season, a 36-yarder that he converted against Cincinnati.
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 James Winchester as the long snapper, all three ball-handlers on placements are new this season.
Freshman long snapper James Winchester 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 James’ sister.
|| 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 100 games (100-22),
nine bowl games, six of the BCS variety, had one string
of 88 consecutive appearances in the AP poll and captured
five Big 12 crowns (the next highest total in the league
is two). 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.
Stoops, born Sept. 9, 1960, 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 record-setting
passers and receivers, five 1,000-yard rushers, suffocating
defense and special teams units that rank among the
most dynamic in the land. Every facet has been impacted.
His players have snagged 16 national awards, including
the 2003 Heisman Trophy won by Jason White. There have
been more than 60 academic honorees, 62 All-Big 12
players, 24 All-Americans and 36 NFL draft choices.
Stoops has won a total of 10 national coach of the
year awards and has been Big 12 Coach of the year three
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 is widely known for countless hours
of charitable work, most of which is directed towards
children, 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.
Coach Bob Stoops | OU
|| Notes on the Sooners |
LB Jeremy Beal: Ten tackles against Cincinnati.
DT Cory Bennett: Leads DTs in games played with 41 ... sacks vs. Washington and TCU.
OT Branndon Braxton: Used primarily at right tackle, but also spent part of the preseason working at guard.
RB Chris Brown: Three touchdowns in opener ... nearly one-third (30%) of his career rushes have resulted in a touchdown or fi rst down -- 271 carries with 64 first downs, 17 touchdowns.
WR Ryan Broyles: Seven grabs for 141 yards and one TD in his debut against Cincy ... two TDs at Washington.
WR Quentin Chaney: Over the last two bowl games, he combined for eight receptions for 166 yards and two TDs.
FB Matt Clapp: A player to watch after a very good redshirt season ... in the best condition of his playing career.
LB Keenan Clayton: Converted from SS safety to SLB ... 17 tackles over the last two games (9 vs. Washington).
C Jon Cooper: His 33 career starts lead the team ... anchors a veteran off ensive line.
TE Brody Eldridge: All-Big 12 fullback last season despite the fact that he had no carries.
DE Auston English: Had 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in the opener.
CB Dominique Franks: Leads Sooners with fi ve passes broken up ... INT vs. Cincy.
DT DeMarcus Granger: Injured left foot at Washington and is yet to return.
TE Jermaine Gresham: Leads the team with four touchdown receptions, three of which covered at least 22 yards.
QB Joey Halzle: Hit 21-of-41 for 291 yards in a back-up role at Texas Tech last season, 14-of-16 in ‘08 opener.
DB Nic Harris: Six career interceptions and 17 defl ections.
DB Lendy Holmes: Worked at CB and S before settling at the latter ... INT vs. Cincy ... two FR vs. TCU.
CB Brian Jackson: Forced on fumble and recovered two at Washington.
WR Manuel Johnson: Only current Sooner receiver who has a career reception, rush and pass completion.
P Mike Knall: Six punts inside the 20 so far.
OT Phil Loadholt: Thirteen pounds lighter than last season -- 350 to 337.
LB Travis Lewis: The redshirt freshman is the team’s leading tackler with 33.
RB Mossis Madu: Scored two touchdowns at Washington.
DT Gerald McCoy: Quick tackle looking to parlay Freshman All-America status into more national honors.
RB DeMarco Murray: OU’s leading rusher has been over century mark twice this season.
LB Ryan Reynolds: Only Sooner who had started an OU game at linebacker prior to 2008 ... 10 tackles vs. TCU.
OG Duke Robinson: Consensus All-American last season.
DT Adrian Taylor: Career-high fi ve tackles and two sacks against TCU.
OG Brandon Walker: Had the highest overall grade of all OU off ensive lineman last season (80%).
OT Trent Williams: Starter at right tackle since starting the opener at left tackle.