OKLAHOMA vs. IOWA STATE
Oklahoma plays its first Big 12 Conference home game of the season when it hosts Iowa State on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Fox Sports Net has the national broadcast -- Oklahoma's 49th consecutive TV game.
Both teams are coming off setbacks. The Sooners dropped a 28-10 decision to Texas at Dallas last Saturday, while Iowa State lost at Nebraska, 28-14.
Oklahoma leads its series with Iowa State, 65-5-2, including a 33-3-1 mark in Norman. The Sooners have reeled off nine straight wins over the Cyclones, eight straight at home. The two teams played to a 7-7 tie on Owen Field in 1981. Iowa State’s last win in Norman came in 1990.
Oklahoma: Bob Stoops (Iowa 83) is 78-18 in his eighth season with the Sooners. He is 4-3 in bowls, 3-2 in January Bowls, 2-2 in BCS games, 49-11 vs. the Big 12, 27-8 vs. the Big 12 South, 22-3 vs. the Big 12 North, 3-1 in the Big 12 title game, 29-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 44-2 at home, 21-9 on the road, 13-7 on neutral fields and 22-9 vs. ranked opponents. He is 3-0 vs. Iowa State.
Iowa State: Dan McCarney (Iowa 75) is 55-80 in his 12th season at Iowa State. He is 0-5 vs. OU.
About Iowa State
Oklahoma’s all-time record is 760-291-53.
The Sooners own seven national championships (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000).
OU has 39 bowl appearances (No. 7 nationally) with 24 victories (No. 3 nationally).
Oklahoma has won 39 conference titles.
Since WWII, Oklahoma is the most success college football program with 515 victories.
Some 141 All-Americans and four Heisman Trophy winners have come from the Oklahoma program.
Iowa State will be playing its fourth ranked foe in the last five weeks when it visits Norman.
The Cyclones jumped out to a 2-0 start with home wins over Toledo (45-43, 3OT) and UNLV (16-10), then dropped games at Iowa (27-17) and Texas (37-14). ISU rebounded with a home victory over I-AA Northern Iowa (28-27) before losing at home to Nebraska last Saturday (28-14).
The Iowa State offense is led by quarterback Bret Meyer, who has thrown for 1,448 yards and rushed for 178. He has 24 or more completions to three different receivers, but six of his eight touchdown tosses have gone to WR Todd Blythe. Protecting Meyer has been a bit of an issue as he has been sacked 15 times.
PR Ryan Baum is one of the most potent return specialists in the league. He has 11 returns for an average of 18.0 yards per return. He took one back for a touchdown.
The Cyclones have attempted only four field goals. That ranks No. 10 in the Big 12.
DL Brent Curvey ranks No. 5 in the Big 12 with 4.5 sacks. Ties with This Week's Opponent
Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney was on the Iowa staff when Bob Stoops played for the Hawkeyes. Stoops was on the Iowa team from 1979-82 and then served as a graduate and then volunteer assistant from 1933-87. McCarney was at Iowa from 1977-89.
In the three games leading up to last Saturday’s game against Texas, OU had been a +6 in turnovers. The Sooners were -5 against Texas.
In two games since allowing 501 total yards at Oregon, Oklahoma has surrendered a total of just 327 yards in games against Middle Tennessee and Texas. That’s an average of just 163.5 yards per game.
OU opponents have only one first down by penalty.
After finishing the opener with a deficit of 10:28 in time of possession, the Sooners now have an advantage of 4:17 and have had a TOP advantage in four straight games.
Over the last two games, Oklahoma has converted 12-of-25 third downs (48%). In that same span, the Sooner opponents have converted just 4-of-21.
One-third of the penalties called against Oklahoma were called in last Saturday’s game against Texas. OU was flagged 11 times and has now been whistled 33 times this season. The average per game was just 5.5 per game before that contest in Dallas. Streaking Against the North
Oklahoma has swept its three regular season games against Big 12 North Division teams in four consecutive seasons. The regular season streak against the North stands at 12 games while the overall streak, including the Big 12 title game stands at seven.
Under Bob Stoops, OU is 22-3 against the North.
Stoops’ home mark against the North stands at 11-0. Oklahoma scored more than 30 points in 10 of those games and won 10 by double digits. Home Field Honchos
Oklahoma is 44-2 at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium under Bob Stoops and has won its last eight in a row and 27 of its last 28 in the venue. The two longest home field winning streaks under Stoops were 19 and 17 games. True Frosh Seeing Time
Last season, Oklahoma ranked No. 7 nationally by playing 12 true freshmen. Through four games this season, seven true freshman have made it to the field. Those seven are C Chase Beeler (the only one with a start, Middle Tennessee), OT Corey Brandon, WR Brandon Caleb, DB Quinton Carter, TE Jermaine Gresham, WR Adron Tennell and OT Trent Williams.
Twenty-one of the 51 players (41%) who saw action against Texas have at least two years of eligibility remaining. The Sooners Briefly
Oklahoma was tabbed to win the Big 12’s South Division in a preseason polling of league media. Sooner players Adrian Peterson, a running back, and Rufus Alexander, a linebacker, were selected as the league’s preseason offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.
This Sooner team has just 11 seniors, the lowest number of Bob Stoops’ tenure. The previous low was 12 by the 2001 squad.
There are 24 players on this team with previous experience as a starter for OU. That’s up from seven over the same time last season.
Last season, OU was 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big 12 South. The Sooners played the most difficult schedule in NCAA Division I-A as the opponents were a combined 84-38. The 2005 season culminated with OU’s win over then-No. 6 Oregon in the Holiday Bowl, 17-14. OU's Most Recent Game
Oklahoma dropped a 28-10 decision to Texas at Dallas last Saturday ...
Oklahoma turned the ball over five times and committed 11 penalties. Those deficiencies mitigated the fact that the Sooners posted 333 total yards to just 232 for the Longhorns. OU had lost just four fumbles through their first four games, but coughed up three vs. Texas.
OU led 10-7 at halftime.
Against a defense that was surrendering less than 37 rushing yards per game, Adrian Peterson carried 25 times for 109 yards.
Paul Thompson threw two interceptions, but they came on OU’s last two possessions when the Sooners were attempting to rally in a short time frame. Otherwise, the senior hit on 15-of-27 passes for 209 yards.
The Sooner defense played well for the most part. The unit was spearheaded by DE C.J. Ah You, who had six tackles, his cumulative total over the first four games of the season. Crowded House
With 253,458 in attendance for the first three home games of 2006, Oklahoma has now drawn 3,560,266 for Bob Stoops’ 46 home games (started in 1999). All 46 have been sold out. OU has exceeded its listed capacity of 82,112 in 20 consecutive games. Since Stoops became the head coach, Oklahoma has increased the seating capacity of Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium by 9,347 seats. Taking a Different Position
During Bob Stoops’ tenure 14 players have moved from one position to earn a starting job at another. Perhaps most notable of those was OT Jammal Brown who moved from the defensive line. He went on to win the 2004 Outland Trophy and was a first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints. Like Brown, eight of those who have moved went from one side of the ball to the other. This team includes 10 players who have switched positions since arriving at Oklahoma. Stoops' Coaching Tree
There are four head coaches currently on the Division I-A level that were hired from Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma staff -- Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Mark Mangino at Kansas, Mike Stoops at Arizona and Chuck Long at San Diego State. OU Tackles Full Slate of D1 Opponents... Again
For the seventh straight season OU is playing a schedule comprised entirely of NCAA Division I-A opponents. The Sooners have played exclusive I-A since Bob Stoops’ opener in 1999 (49-0 over I-AA Indiana State).
This season, OU is the only program in the Big 12 with a full I-A slate. At present, the Sooners have played the 15th-most difficult schedule in I-A. That rank second in the Big 12 to Texas Tech. About the Offense
Under Stoops, OU has produced its career leader in passing and receiving, while producing the fourth-ranked rusher in school history and the record-holder for single season rushing.
Oklahoma has scored at least one touchdown in every game dating back to Nov. 7, 1998.
On Stoops’ watch, OU has 29, 200-yard rushing games with 24 over the last five years.
Also under their current head coach, the Sooners have 97 touchdowns of 25-plus yards and 213 scoring drives that lasted less than two minutes. Peterson Challenges Mark
RB Adrian Peterson, the No. 2 rusher in Division I-A, is pursuing OU’s career rushing mark. That honor now resides with Billy Sims, who ran for 4,118 yards from 1975-79. Peterson entered 2006 with 3,033 yards, the best two-year total in school history. He is 333 yards shy of Sims’ mark now.
The nation’s No. 4 rusher (150.4/game) and the only one of the top five that has not played against a I-AA opponent. The five opponents on OU’s schedule average No. 43 in rushing defense. That doesn’t sound very impressive but the national leader has faced defenses that average No. 88.
Last season, he gained 1,104 yards despite missing all or parts of four games with an ankle injury. During that stretch, he got 16 carries for 57 yards. He still finished second in Big 12 rushing and was ahead of every other RB in the league (Missouri QB Brad Smith was the leader). Thompson Back at QB
Paul Thompson, who moved to WR last season, did not return to the QB role until Aug. 3, but is off to a good start nevertheless.
He has completed 60.8% of his passes with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. His average per completion is 15.0 yards.
Over the last 45 years, most of which were run-dominated, there have been only four in which a Sooner QB completed 60% of his passes -- two by Jason White and two by Josh Heupel. Super Sophs Catching On
Two sophomores are leading a solid receiving corps ...
Malcolm Kelly went over 500 career receiving yards with six catches for a career-high 121 yards against Washington. He has three touchdown grabs over the last two games. Ranks No. 23 nationally with 82.0 yards/game, No. 5 in yards per reception, 21.6.
Juaquin Iglesias has 21 catches for 257 yards and has four or more receptions in four straight games. Return of the Tight End
OU’s tight ends have 12 receptions for 207 yards. Eight of those grabs and 120 of those yards belong to junior Joe Jon Finley. He had 13 catches for 150 yards in 2005.
Last season, the Sooner tight ends had 20 catches for 260 yards, an average 1.6 receptions for 21.7 yards per game. This year’s per game averages are 2.4 for 41.4, respectively. Trench Talk
Oklahoma lost four seniors (two were drafted) who gobbled up a 41 starts last season in the offensive line, but there are returnees who either started or saw extensive action ...
Oklahoma’s offensive line is young my any standard with four sophomore starters, but that fact is magnified by the fact that none of the four redshirted. Of the nine players who have seen action on the line this year, all but one have at least two years of eligibility remaining.
Chase Beeler became the second true freshman in as many seasons to play center when he saw action at Oregon. He started the Middle Tennessee game. About the Defense
Oklahoma has forced at least one turnover in 85 of Bob Stoops’ 96 games and has at least one interception in 62 of the last 83. OU has multiple picks in 22 of its last 52 outings.
Opponents completed 50 percent or more of their passes in less than half of their games against Stoops-coached teams -- 45 times in 96 games.
Oklahoma has nine shutouts under its current head coach. During that time period, the opponents failed to score more than seven points 27 times. Foes have scored less than 14 points 49 times against OU in the Stoops era.
With 11 starters in 12 games last season there were 132 combined starting assignments. Ninety-six of those return among the personnel on hand for the 2006 season. End All, Be All
A look at one of OU’s deepest positions, defensive end ...
C.J. Ah You was the consensus Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2005. He also captured Defensive MVP honors at the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.
Calvin Thibodeaux started every game last season and led the team with 10 sacks.
Larry Birdine missed the first 11 games in ’05 with a biceps injury, but is still on the Hendricks Watch List. In 2004, he did not start a game while working behind Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson, yet finished No. 3 in the Big 12 with seven sacks.
John Williams is thought to have huge upside. After redshirting in 2004, he had four tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery before injuring a knee in the 2005 opener vs. TCU. He missed the rest of the season.
Alonzo Dotson is the nephew of former Baylor and Green Bay Packers great Santana Dotson. He sat out last season but will see playing time in 2006. Rip and Run
Last year, Oklahoma returned its 13 interceptions for 220 yards, an average of 16.9 yards per return. Three of the 13 went for touchdowns. The return average was the third-highest in the Stoops era. The 2003 team set the standard with a 21.5-yard average on 24 picks. This year, the four interceptions have gone for 8.2 yards and one TD. Among the Nation's Best
Oklahoma’s 2005 defense ranked No. 13 in total yards. The Sooners have been among the nation’s top 20 in total defense in each of Bob Stoops’ seven seasons in Norman.
Last year’s team was No. 4 nationally against the rush (90.6). That was the best ranking by a Sooner defense in Stoops’ tenure. The 2005 team had four of the 12 best performances against the rush under Stoops. The best outing came against Kansas when the Jayhawks got just 11 yards. Oklahoma State got 13, Nebraska 16 and Kansas State 22. Point(s) Well Taken
In the five years before Bob Stoops arrived, Oklahoma gave up an average of 27.08 points per game. Over the last five seasons, the Sooners have surrendered on average just 16.06. About the Special Teams
Oklahoma's special teams under Bob Stoops ...
There have been 23 special teams TD, including 16 in the last 49 regular season games. Those 16 came via five different kinds of plays -- 10 punt returns, two faked FG, two blocked punts, a kickoff return and a faked punt. The special teams also own one safety in that span.
In total, OU has returned five kickoffs and 13 punts for TD on Stoops’s watch (since 1999).
The Sooners have blocked 19 kicks.
Last season OU ran a trick play, blocked a kick or tackled a punter in five of the 12 games. Many Happy Returns
Information on returns during the Stoops era ...
Kickoff Returns -- 43 returns of 25 yards or more with five touchdowns.
Punt Returns -- 43 returns of 15 or more yards with 14 touchdowns.
Interceptions Returns -- 54 returns of 10 or more yards with 15 touchdowns.
Fumble Returns -- Three returns of 15 or more yards with three touchdowns. The 2006 Return Game
Oklahoma is averaging 24.3 yards on kickoff returns and 13.6 on punt returns. Last season, the Sooners averaged 18.2 yards on kickoff returns and 7.4 on punt returns.
Reggie Smith has 15 punt returns for a 13.6-yard average. In the Washington game, he picked up an 82-yard punt and returned it 62 yards. He has two of 25 yards or longer. At Oregon, he had a 55-yard kickoff return. He had a 61-yard return for a touchdown against Middle Tennessee. Smith ranks No. 18 nationally in punt returns.
Juaquin Iglesias has been an effective kickoff returner with four for a 31.8-yard average. All four of his returns totaled between 31 and 33 yards.
Oklahoma’s coverage teams have been good, allowing just 6.2 yards on punt returns and 20.0 on kickoff returns. The Long & Short of Punt Game
Michael Cohen is handling the long punts for OU and Mike Knall the short ...
Cohen got all of the punts against Washington and has six of OU’s seven on the season. He is averaging 41.2 yards with two downed inside the 20 (one at the 1).
Knall had two punts inside the 30 vs. Middle Tennessee (one at three, one at the 15). He added another against Texas. McEachern Gets Grip
Back-up QB Hays McEachern, whose father played at Texas and whose mother was a cheerleader for the Longhorns, is the holder. He is the first QB to hold since Patrick Fletcher in 2000. Crimson Snapper
OU lost Jacob Rice to graduation. He was the long snapper for all 52 games of his career. Derek Shaw has taken over the duties. The true freshman is perfect in 49 snaps this season. Sooners Have Hart-ley
K Garrett Hartley is in his third season in the starter’s role. He won the job in the regular season finale of his true freshman season (2004) ...
Hartley is 10-of-11 on field goal attempts and 19-of-19 on PATs this season. He has kicked off 34 times (one sky kick) with 15 touchbacks.
He made a career-high four field goals at Oregon.
Last season, Hartley had 67 kickoffs (including squibs) with 33 touchbacks for an average of 58.5 yards per kick. He had five touchbacks vs. Kansas State, three against Texas (on four kicks) and Texas A&M.
His 52-yard FG at Texas last year was the longest ever by a Sooner against the Longhorns. It also was his career best. He made 50-yarders against Nebraska and TCU.
Last season, Hartley made 14-of-22 field goals and 37-of-38 PATs. 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.
Such dramatics 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 holds.
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 78 games (78-18), 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.
Stoops 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 recordsetting 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.
His players have snagged 16 national awards, including the 2003 Heisman Trophy won by Jason White. There have been 54 academic honorees, 47 All-Big 12 players, 21 All-Americans and 29 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 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).
With the Wildcats, he played a key role in their 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. Individual Player Notes
DE C.J. Ah You: Season high six tackles vs. Texas ... consensus Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and Defensive MVP of the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl last season ... his family prepared a Hawaiian BBQ following the spring game.
LB Rufus Alexander: Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year ... tops Oklahoma with 41 total tackles and was in double digits in the first two games ... forced fumbles in each of the last two games ... tied school record for TFL with five vs. Middle Tennessee.
LB Lewis Baker: Recovered a fumble at Oregon.
C Chase Beeler: Started for an injured Jon Cooper vs. Middle Tennessee
DT Cory Bennett: Started the UAB game and logged a career-high six tackles.
DE Larry Birdine: Missed the first 11 games last season with a torn left biceps muscle, but came back to play in the Holiday Bowl ... got the first sack Oregon allowed this season.
OT Branndon Braxton: The starter at right tackle, he started three games at that position last year ... from the same hometown as Bob Stoops -- Youngstown, Ohio.
DB Jason Carter: Got his second career blocked punt when he got one against Washington ... started at Oregon and recorded a career-best 10 tackles.
FB Matt Clapp: OU opened in double TEs for the opener, but Clapp got most of the reps at FB ... missed three games with an injury then was back for the Texas game.
SS Keenan Clayton: Started the first two games at strong safety.
DT Steven Coleman: Stellar off-season vaulted him well into the four-man rotation ... got first career sack (15 yards) and career-high four tackles against Texas.
P Michael Cohen: The long-range punter, he had no attempts vs. Middle Tennessee ... has at least one 50-yard boot in three games played.
C Jon Cooper: Started first three games then missed the Middle Tennessee game due to injury ... regained starting role for Texas game.
TE Joe Jon Finley: Has added 41 pounds since coming to OU ... career-high four receptions and one touchdown against UAB.
DT DeMarcus Granger: Two stops in each of the first three games.
TE Jermaine Gresham: Had a 22-yard TD reception against Middle Tennessee ... a 41-yard reception against Texas.
RB Jacob Gutierrez: Knee injury suffered in the Holiday Bowl kept him out of spring practice ... rushed for 173 yards against Baylor last season.
QB Joey Halzle: Mid-year transfer who has displayed an accurate throwing touch.
DB Nic Harris: Two interceptions at Oregon, the first of the season for the Ducks ... also got a pick against Middle Tennessee.
K Garrett Hartley: See notes elsewhere in this release.
DB Lendy Holmes: Switched from WR to CB in the spring ... got first CB start at Oregon.
WR Juaquin Iglesias: Five grabs against Washington for 44 yards ... averaged 33 yards on kickoff returns against UAB and caught two passes for 10 yards ... five catches for 78 yards at Oregon ... four catches for 56 yards and one TD vs. Middle Tennessee ... five for 69 vs. Texas.
WR Manuel Johnson: Missed opener with an ankle injury, then had one grab for six yards vs. Washington ... two catches vs. Middle Tennessee ... career high five catches (69 yards) and first career rush against Texas (9 yards).
WR Malcolm Kelly: Had six grabs for 121 yards vs. Washington ... three for 66 at Oregon with a 31-yard TD ... career-high five receptions for 164 yards and one TD vs. Middle Tennessee -- set an OU quarter record with 134 receiving yards (on three catches) in the first.
LB Zach Latimer: Second on the team with 33 tackles ... forced a fumble vs. Washington ... returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown vs. Middle Tennessee ... also had two sacks vs. the Blue Raiders.
LB Curtis Lofton: Challenging on the strong side.
OL Chris Messner: Starter at left tackle ... he started at right tackle most of last season when he pulled down the line’s highest grade ... played some center vs. Middle Tennessee.
RB Allen Patrick: Back-up at running back, who is a good receiver and elusive runner ... will likely see action in a kickoff return role ... has two tackles and one punt downed at the one yardline in special teams play ... career-high 52 rushing yards vs. Middle Tennessee.
DT Carl Pendleton: Part of a four-game rotation at defensive tackle.
RB Adrian Peterson: See information listed earlier in the release.
LB Demarrio Pleasant: The starter at strong side linebacker ... made one start last season in which he registered 10 tackles at UCLA ... recovered a fumble against Washington.
FB Ian Pleasant: Not related to Demarrio Pleasant ... first career reception at Oregon when he had two for 13 yards.
OL George Robinson: Soph who could play guard or tackle ... made first start in opener.
CB Reggie Smith: Has started for OU at CB, SS, PR and KR ... started 10 games at SS last season as a true freshman ... had a 62-yard punt return against Washington on a punt that traveled 82 yards ... 55-yard KO return and two PBU at Oregon ... 61-yard punt return for TD vs. Middle Tennessee ... has one reception for 12 yards.
WR Fred Strong: First three catches of career in the opener ... four in first start (Washington).
DE Calvin Thibodeaux: Season-high five tackles vs. Washington and Texas.
QB Paul Thompson: See notes earlier in the release.
CB Marcus Walker: Has battled back from two shoulder surgeries and will be a factor at CB ... he has four career starts there ... career-high four PBU at Oregon.
FS Darien Williams: Career-high 13 tackles vs. Washington.
CB D.J. Wolfe: Recovered a fumble vs. UAB ... started the first two games, then lost his job only to regain it against Texas.