OKLAHOMA vs. NEBRASKA
Oklahoma and Nebraska meet with an automatic Bowl Championship Series bid on the line. OU’s 27-21 win at Oklahoma State last Saturday, the seventh straight for the Sooners, coupled with Texas’ loss to Texas A&M one day earlier, pushed the Sooners to the divisional championship.
Oklahoma leads it, 42-37-3, and has won the last two meetings between the two. This marks the third consecutive season that the teams have played. They have not met on a neutral field since Jan. 1, 1979, when the Sooners prevailed in the Orange Bowl, 31-24.
Oklahoma: Bob Stoops (Iowa 83) is 85-18 in his eighth season with the Sooners. He is 4-3 in bowls, 3-2 in January Bowls, 2-2 in BCS games, 56-11 vs. the Big 12, 31-8 vs. the Big 12 South, 25-3 vs. the Big 12 North, 3-1 in the Big 12 title game, 29-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 47-2 at home, 25-9 on the road, 13-7 on neutral fields and 24-9 vs. ranked opponents. He is 3-1 vs. Nebraska. Nebraska: Bill Callahan (Illinois Benedictine 78) is 22-13 in his third season with the Cornhuskers.
Oklahoma’s all-time record is 767-291-53.
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 521 victories.
Some 141 All-Americans and four Heisman Trophy winners have come from the Oklahoma program.
OU AND THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
2000: Oklahoma thwarted Kansas State at Kansas City, 27-24. The Sooners then completed a 13-0 national championship with a 13-2 win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
2002: OU earned its first trip to the Rose Bowl with a 29-7 win over Colorado at Houston.
2003: Oklahoma, ranked No. 1 at the time, was upset by Kansas State, 35-7, at Kansas City.
2004: Playing at Kansas City for a second straight season, Oklahoma whipped Colorado, 42-3.
This is Oklahoma’s fifth trip to the title game, that’s tops in the league ahead of Texas’ four.
Oklahoma also leads with five Big 12 South titles, ahead of Texas’ four and A&M’s two.
Oklahoma has won more Big 12 Championship games than any other team in the league with three. Nebraska and Texas both have two.
Oklahoma has won all three of its Big 12 title games in even years.
For this year’s game, Oklahoma is the home team and will wear its crimson jerseys.
In its history, OU has played four games in Kansas City -- three title games and a regular season tilt vs. Kansas in 2005. All have been played at Arrowhead and the Sooners are 3-1.
SOONERS, HUSKERS RECENTLY
Even though they didn’t meet in the 2006 regular season, this marks the third straight season in which Oklahoma and Nebraska have played. The Sooners won in Norman in 2004, 30-3, then triumphed at Lincoln last season, 31-24. The two are not scheduled to play again until 2008.
Oklahoma and Nebraska have six common opponents this season:
Texas at Dallas (L, 28-10, 4th game)
Iowa State at Norman (W, 34-9, 6th game)
Colorado at Norman (W, 24-3, 7th game)
Missouri at Columbia (W, 26-10, 8th game)
Texas A&M at College Station (W, 17-16, 9th game)
Oklahoma State, at Stillwater (W, 27-21, 12th game)
Texas at Lincoln (L, 22-20, 8th game)
Iowa State at Ames (W, 28-14, 6th game)
Colorado at Lincoln (W, 37-14, 12th game)
Missouri at Lincoln (W, 34-20, 10th game)
Texas A&M at College Station (W, 28-27, 11th game)
Oklahoma State, at Stillwater (L, 41-29, 9th game)
SOONERS SCORE ANOTHER “10”
This is Oklahoma’s 29th 10-win season. That’s tops in the nation, one ahead of Alabama.
STREAKING AGAINST THE NORTH
Oklahoma has swept its three regular season games against the Big 12 North Division in five consecutive seasons. The regular season streak against the North stands at 15 games while the overall streak, including the Big 12 title game, stands at nine.
OKLAHOMA’S MOST RECENT GAME
Oklahoma notched is fourth straight win over Oklahoma State, 27-21, at Stillwater, last Saturday. The win moved OU to a 78-16-7 advantage in the nation’s most lop-sided in-state series ...
Oklahoma rolled up a season-high 238 yards on the ground, including 163 on 23 carries by Allen Patrick. The junior, who had missed the two previous games with an ankle injury, bolted 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half.
Oklahoma State marched for a touchdown on its first drive, then the Sooners did the same. OU added another touchdown with 1:08 remaining in the first half and was not headed again.
The Sooners did not commit a turnover for the first time in six games.
OSU was 15.6 points under its scoring average, 51.3 yards under its total yardage average.
OU is 4-1 when it has more turnovers than its opponent, 3-2 when it has more penalties.
In seven games since committing 11 penalties against Texas, the Sooners have a total of 27.
Six of Oklahoma’s last nine opponents failed to reach 90 yards rushing.
OU is plus 35:56 in time of possession this season -- nearly six minutes more than a half.
Nine times OU had driven the ball for longer than five minutes to get a score.
The Sooners have logged more than 400 total yards in two of the last three games.
Oklahoma has rushed for more than 220 yards in four of its last five games.
FOURTH STRINGERS, KEEP YOUR HELMETS HANDY
Twice over the last two seasons Oklahoma’s fourth-string running back has led the team in rushing. Against Texas Tech this season, fourth-stringer Chris Brown led with 16 rushes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, when Adrian Peterson and two others were unavailable for the Baylor game, Jacob Gutierrez had 30 attempts for 173 yards and two TD. The Sooners won both of those games.
WITH SIX GAMES TIED BEHIND HIS BACK
Adrian Peterson is under the 75% games played rule to be included in NCAA or Big 12 stats. There is still only one Big 12 rusher with more total yards than Peterson’s 935. Kansas’ Jon Cornish has 1,457. Had Peterson maintained his average of just over 155 yards/game, he would be at 1,860.
SOONERS KEEP THEIR BALANCE
Noted for its offensive balance under Bob Stoops, Oklahoma is at it again this season. The Sooners have 2,264 rushing yards and 2,184 passing yards, a difference of only 80 yards.
OU finished within one yard of perfect balance last season -- 2,130 rushing, 2,131 passing.
This Sooner team has just 11 seniors, the lowest number of Bob Stoops’ tenure. The previous low was 12 by the 2001 squad. Only 10 of the 11 are on scholarships.
Last season, OU ranked No. 7 nationally by playing 12 true freshmen. This season, eight true frosh played. Three true freshmen with starts this season are C Chase Beeler, RT Trent Williams and RE Chris Brown.
Thirteen of the 22 position players that started the most recent game have at least two years of eligibility remaining. That also is true of 30 of the 48 players that saw action.
OKLAHOMA TACKLES FULL SLATE OF I-A FOES ... AGAIN
Oklahoma has played exclusive I-A opposition since Bob Stoops’ opener in 1999 (a 49-0 win over I-AA Indiana State). This season, OU is the only program in the Big 12 with a full I-A slate.
This is the fifth ranked foe OU has played in 06. None of those games have been played in Norman.|
STOOPS ERA ATTENDANCE YIELDING RECORDS
With 507,366 in attendance for home games in 2006, Oklahoma has drawn 3,905,029 for Bob Stoops’ 49 home games (started in 1999).
All 49 have been sold out and the Sooners have prevailed 47 times.
This year’s average home attendance of 84,561 was the largest in school history, narrowly edging the 2004 average of 84,532. The top seven seasons for OU home attendance have come on Stoops’ watch.
The crowd of 85,313 for the Texas Tech game was the largest ever to see a sporting event in the state of Oklahoma.
OU has exceeded its listed capacity of 82,112 in 23 consecutive games.
Since Stoops became the head coach, expansion projects at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium have increased the capacity by 9,347 seats.
ABOUT THE OFFENSE
Under Stoops, OU produced its career leader in passing and receiving, while producing the fourth and fifth-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 32, 200-yard rushing games with 26 over the last five years.
Under this coach, OU has 101 TDs of 25+ yards, 218 scoring drives of less than two minutes.
ONLY THE NAMES HAVE CHANGED
Oklahoma has survived injuries in its running game like few other teams. Adrian Peterson missed the last six games and Allen Patrick was out for two. Still, consider the statistics of OU’s leading rushers in each of the 12 games so far. If Peterson, Patrick and Chris Brown were one player, they’d have these statistics ... 12 games, 333 rushing attempts, 1,791 rushing yards and 16 TD. That’s 149.3 yards per game, 5.4 yards per attempt.
Because of injury, Adrian Peterson (No. 2 in the nation in rushing and all purpose yards and No. 4 in scoring at the time of his injury) was out for all of last year’s Baylor game and more than half of three others. He has missed the last five games of this season. When playing without Peterson, OU is 9-1 and out-rushed each opponent. The Sooners had a 100-yard rusher in six of those 10 games.
Peterson is one of the greats to play college football, but OU has held up well in his absence this season averaging 171.7 rushing yards per game with him, 208.8 without him.
Oklahoma ranks No. 14 nationally with 188.67 yards per game.
Paul Thompson, who moved to WR last season, did not return to the QB role until Aug. 3 ...
His completion rate is 61.5% with 18 TD and seven INT.
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.
With 2,169 passing yards, he is No. 8 on the OU season list. He is No. 8 on the career list with 2,605. Thompson’s 18 TD passes this season rank No. 6, while his 22 career scoring tosses rank No. 6.
He has at least one TD pass in 10 of the 12 games and multiple scoring throws in eight.
Since Peterson’s injury, Thompson has rushed 33 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Prior to the injury, he had 26 rushes for 14 yards.
Had a string of 14 consecutive completions against Texas Tech.
SUPER SOPHS CATCHING ON
Malcolm Kelly became the fastest OU receiver to 1,000 yards when he did so at Missouri, the 19th of his career. He has TD receptions in all but four games. Kelly tied the school record for receptions in a game with 11 against Texas Tech. He ranks No. 4 for a season in receiving yards with 851, No. 13 for a career with 1,322. His 52 receptions rank No. 8 in a season.
Juaquin Iglesias has 33 catches with four or more grabs in four games.
Manuel Johnson got his first career start in the game against Colorado. He established career highs with eight catches for 67 yards against Texas Tech. He also had a TD in that game.
By time, OU has had its longest scoring two drives of the season over the last four games. The Sooners had a 14-play march against Texas Tech that ate up 6:57. At Oklahoma State, OU held the ball 6:12 while moving 80 yards in 13 plays.
OU lost four seniors (two were drafted) who gobbled up 41 starts last season in the offensive line. The current starters include three sophomore and one true freshman, none of whom redshirted. Two true frosh have starts -- C Chase Beeler and RT Trent Williams.
ABOUT THE DEFENSE
Oklahoma has forced at least one turnover in 92 of Bob Stoops’ 103 games and has at least one interception in 68 of the last 90. OU has multiple picks in 25 of its last 58 outings.
Opponents completed 50 percent of their passes in less than half of the Stoops-coached games -- 49 times in 103 games.
Oklahoma has nine shutouts under its current head coach. Opponents failed to score more than seven points 27 times and scored less than 14 points 52 times against OU.
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.
RAISING THE RUF
LB Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma’s leading tackler for a second straight season, is climbing the career list for tackles by OU linebackers. With 275, Alexander is No. 17 on a list that includes four Butkus Award winners. OU has produced more Butkus winners than any other program. Alexander needs one more tackle to move ahead of Mike Coats (1990-93) for the No. 16 position.
Alexander is trying to become the first player to lead the Sooners in tackles in consecutive seasons since Rocky Calmus did it three in three straight from 1999-2001.
Oklahoma defenders have touched the ball a total of 74 times in the form of 50 pass deflections, 14 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Of those 74, 40 (54.1%) have occurred over the last five games. In those five games, OU has 29 PBU, eight interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
It has been a quantam leap forward for the Oklahoma defense during this season to the form that has been common under Bob Stoops’ leadership.
After that Oregon game, Oklahoma ranked No. 97 in total defense. Now the Sooners rank No. 14.
After the Oregon game, Oklahoma ranked No. 89 in passing defense. Now the Sooners rank No. 27.
After the Oregon game, Oklahoma ranked No. 82 in pass efficiency defense. Now the Sooners rank No.25.
After the Oregon game, Oklahoma ranked No. 75 in scoring defense. Now the Sooners rank No. 18.
After the Oregon game, Oklahoma ranked No. 94 in rushing defense. Now the Sooners rank No. 19.
RIP AND RUN
Oklahoma has 14 interceptions with a return average of 13.3 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, Oklahoma returned its 13 interceptions for 220 yards, an average of 16.9 yards, and three TD. The return average was third-highest in the Stoops era. The 2003 team set the standard with a 21.5-yard average on 24 picks.
ABOUT THE SPECIAL TEAMS
Oklahoma’s special teams under Bob Stoops ...
There have been 24 special teams TD, including 17 in the last 54 regular season games. Those 17 came via five different kinds of plays -- 10 punt returns, two faked FG, two blocked punts, two kickoff returns and a faked punt. The special teams also own one safety in that span.
In total, OU has returned six kickoffs and 13 punts for TD on Stoops’ watch (since 1999).
The Sooners have blocked 20 kicks, including two punts this season by Jason Carter. His block at Missouri this season resulted in a safety.
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 -- 46 returns of 25 yards or more with six touchdowns.
Punt Returns -- 43 returns of 15 or more yards with 14 touchdowns.
Interceptions Returns -- 58 returns of 10 or more yards with 16 touchdowns.
Fumble Returns -- Three returns of 15 or more yards with three touchdowns.
THE 2006 RETURN GAME
Oklahoma is averaging 24.4 yards on kickoff returns (No. 9 nationally) and 8.5 on punt returns. Last season, the Sooners averaged 18.2 yards on kickoff returns and 7.4 on punt returns.
Reggie Smith has 30 punt returns for an 8.4-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 TD vs. Middle Tennessee.
Juaquin Iglesias has been an effective kickoff returner with 10 for a 29.9-yard average. Five of his returns exceeded 30 yards, including an 88-yarder for a TD off a free kick at Baylor.
Opposing teams have struggled to return kicks against the Sooners. The kickoff return average for the opposition is just 17.0 yards, while the punt return average is a scant 4.6.
Nine times this season an opponent has started a drive inside its own 20 after a kickoff return.
Prior to Stoops’ arrival, OU foes had averaged at least 22 yards per kickoff return in five straight seasons. Since he arrived, the best opponent average came in 2001 at 18.9.
If they can maintain their current punt coverage figure, the Sooners will have held their opponents under 5.0 yards for a third straight season.
LONG & SHORT OF THE PUNT GAME
Michael Cohen is handling the long punts for OU and Mike Knall the short ...
Cohen has 37 of OU’s 48 on the season. He is averaging 42.1 yards with six downed inside the 20 (one at the 1). Cohen kicked a career-long 75-yarder against Texas A&M and had a 72-yarder at Baylor.
Knall has nine punts downed inside the 20 for the season. Used only in short field situations, he has only one touchback in 11 kicks.
MCEACHERN GETS A 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.
SOONERS HAVE HART-LEY
K Garrett Hartley is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award ...
Hartley is 17-of-18 on field goals and 42-of-43 on PATs this season. His lone FG miss was blocked. He has kicked off 66 times with 28 touchbacks.
His field goals made percentage of .944 is No. 2 in the nation among kickers with more than 15 makes.
The junior ranks No. 11 nationally with 1.55 field goals made per game and No. 14 in scoring with 8.18 points per game.
He made a career-high four field goals at Oregon.
Hartley has three career makes of 50 yards or longer. His long for this season is 46, which he has done twice.
Ranks No. 8 in kick scoring points for a season (93), No. 8 for a career (187). He is No. 4 in field goals in a season (17), No. 7 for a career (32).
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 85 games (85-18), 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) during Bill Snyders rein.
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.
INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
DE C.J. Ah You: Season high six tackles vs. Texas ... two sacks and four TFL at Baylor ... one sack at Oklahoma State.
LB Rufus Alexander: Tops Oklahoma with 82 total tackles ... registered five TFL vs. Middle Tennessee ... interception vs. Iowa State.
LB Lewis Baker: Recovered a fumble at Oregon ... career-high nine stops at Missouri.
C Chase Beeler: Started for an injured Jon Cooper vs. Middle Tennessee
DT Cory Bennett: Logged a career-high six tackles against UAB.
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 before suffering a season-ending broken leg against Colorado ... from the same hometown as Bob Stoops -- Youngstown, Ohio.
DB Jason Carter: Got his third career blocked punt (and second this season) against Missouri ... started at Oregon and recorded a career-best 10 tackles.
SS Keenan Clayton: Started the first two games at strong safety.
DT Steven Coleman: Got first career sack (15 yards) and career-high four tackles vs. Texas ... his two sacks, including one a Baylor for -15, have resulted in 30 yards in losses.
P Michael Cohen: The long-range punter, he had no attempts vs. Middle Tennessee ... has at least one 50-yard boot in six games.
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 ... No. 4 on the team and first among the tight ends with 17 catches.
DT DeMarcus Granger: Two stops in each of the first three games.
TE Jermaine Gresham: A 22-yard TD reception vs. 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 ... started against Tech.
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 ... hit the QB on a pass that was intercepted by OU vs. Colorado.
K Garrett Hartley: See notes elsewhere in this release.
DB Lendy Holmes: Switched from WR to CB last spring ... first start at Oregon ... three PBU, an interception and forced fumble at Missouri ... season-high eight tackles at A&M.
WR Juaquin Iglesias: Five grabs against Washington for 44 yards ... five catches for 78 yards at Oregon ... four catches for 56 yards and one TD vs. Middle Tennessee ... five for 69 vs. Texas ... 88-yard kick return (free kick) for a touchdown vs. Baylor ... 13-yard TD catch at OSU.
WR Manuel Johnson: Missed opener with an ankle injury, then had one grab for six yards vs. Washington ... two catches vs. Middle Tennessee ... five catches (69 yards) and first career rush against Texas (9 yards) ... TD grab against Colorado ... career highs with six receptions for 87 yards vs. Tech ... had a 32-yard TD grab vs. the Red Raiders ... missed Baylor game with injury.
WR Malcolm Kelly: Six grabs for 121 yards vs. Washington ... three for 66 at Oregon with a 31-yard TD ... five receptions for 164 yards and one TD vs. Middle Tennessee -- set OU quarter record with 134 yards (on three catches) in the first ... two TD catches vs. Iowa State ... tied OU record with 11 catches (153 yards, one TD) vs. Texas Tech ... five receptions for 115 yards and one TD at Baylor.
LB Zach Latimer: Second on team with 46 tackles ... forced fumble vs. Washington ... had a 22-yard interception return for a TD vs. Middle Tenn., (also had picks against Colorado and Missouri) ... also had two sacks vs. the Blue Raiders ... forced a fumble at OSU on a goal line stand.
LB Curtis Lofton: First career start vs. Colorado ... career-best seven tackles at A&M.
OL Chris Messner: Starter at left tackle ... played some center vs. Middle Tennessee ... has the highest line grade for the season.
RB Allen Patrick: Became the starter when Peterson was injured ... 35 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown ... another 35 carries for 157 yards at Missouri ... 32 rushes for 173 yards and one TD at A&M ... missed Tech and Baylor games with an ankle injury ... 23 rushes for 163 yards and a 65-yard TD at Oklahoma State.
DT Carl Pendleton: Career-high two TFL vs. Iowa State ... recipient of the NFF Post-Graduate Scholarship ... has become the legal guardian of his 10-year-old brother, Kierstan.
RB Adrian Peterson: See information listed earlier in the release.
LB Demarrio Pleasant: The starter at strong side linebacker ... recovered a fumble against Washington ... missed Colorado game with injury ... fumble recovery at OSU.
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 ... 62-yard punt return vs. 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 ... two interceptions for 94 yards, including one for a 42-yard TD at Baylor.
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 ... first career interception came vs. Texas Tech.
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 ... interceptions at Missouri and A&M (19-yard return vs. the Aggies).
FS Darien Williams: Career-high 13 tackles vs. Washington ... two sacks vs.