April 25, 2006

(4/25) OU-Texas rivarly in Dallas in Jeopardy

Oklahoma Sooners Notes/Articles

OU-TEXAS Shootout in Cotton Bowl appears numbered: You can all but hear time running out on the Texas-Oklahoma football game, as we know it. And we knew it for 77 consecutive years as one of the top attractions in all of sports. Maybe, it will remain as such. Probably not in Dallas. "I think it's 80-20 that Texas will leave," said someone with connections to both Texas and the Cotton Bowl. Personally, I take a real-estate agent's tack to this scenario. It's all about location, location, location. And I like it where it is. And barring a change of heart by Texas — or firm, credible promises that the City of Dallas really will renovate the stadium with more than a Band-Aid and maybe even add a dozen luxury boxes — I believe sadly that the location will soon change. Come 2009, I expect we will see the Texas-Oklahoma game for the last time at the broken-down Cotton Bowl. But that might not be the end of a marquee football matchup involving the Longhorns in the Metroplex. It seems Texas is slow-playing the issue long enough so that the bond package may be removed for lack of any assurance from the Longhorns. An Oklahoma official said the Sooners would consider playing another team (not A&M) in Dallas if the Texas series there ends. Texas doesn't want to be the villain in this episode, and it doesn't want to totally snub Dallas, a fertile recruiting area for the Horns. DeLoss Dodds, Texas' athletic director, says, "We've got three more years left on the (Cotton Bowl) contract, and we're looking at all our options." He added that the school expects to take a final stance on the issue by the end of May. "They really want to make it work," Dodds said Monday. "My guess is we're trying to make progress." (In part from Austin Statesman)

Draft Prospects Prepare for Big Weekend: SoonerSports.com

Spring awards: The Oklahoman

Position moves now a luxury for Sooners: The Oklahoman

April 22, 2006

(4/22) Reynolds Injured likely out '06, OU 2006 Preview and more.

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Ryan Reynolds tears knee ligaments:
Oklahoma linebacker Ryan Reynolds, leading a tight battle for a starting job out of spring practice, now faces a likely redshirt season after tearing knee ligaments this week during an off-season workout. Reynolds, a sophomore who played mostly on special teams as a true freshman a year ago, tore an anterior cruciate ligament during a routine 7-on-7 passing drill involving no contact. The injury, like those that sidelined Sooner linebackers Lance Mitchell and Rufus Alexander before him, typically involves a five-month rehabilitation. It's a tough blow for Reynolds, who played well during spring drills in a bid to replace Clint Ingram at the strong side linebacker spot. Reynolds started ahead of junior Demarrio Pleasant throughout spring, although the competition would have carried into August. (NewsOK.com)

2006 Football Preview: CollegeFootballNews.com has released their 2006 University of Oklahoma Football preview, including Offensive, and Defense previews. CFN highlights 2006 schedule, key games, players to watch out for and position analysis.

Sad News: Larry Crutchmer, who played three seasons for Oklahoma from 1965-67 died Sunday. Crutchmer played tackle and linebacker for OU. Funeral services are today in Okmulgee.

April 20, 2006

(4/20) Texas remains silent, Cotton Bowl Future Unclear

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Cotton Bowl Future is unclear: The silence coming out of Austin, Texas, is deafening. It sends a loud and clear message that the long-term future of the Oklahoma-Texas football game remaining in Dallas is in serious trouble. The current contract runs through the 2008 season. There is an escape clause to leave after the 2007 game, which would be the 78th consecutive year at the Cotton Bowl. The issue of the game's future was supposed to be settled in January, when OU officials confirmed they wanted to continue the storied tradition instead of going to a home-and-home series. Dodds said in December that he needed 30 days to get a report from engineers on the condition of the venerable stadium. Dallas officials said they will make massive renovations to the Cotton Bowl if both schools sign a long-term contract. More than four months after Dodds said he needed a month to reach a decision, the Texas AD remains noncommittal. "We made our statement in January," Sooner AD Joe Castiglione said. "It's really now just Texas figuring out what it wants to do." Dodds was unavailable for comment Wednesday. But UT senior AD for communications Nick Voinis, who said he discussed the OU-Texas game at length with Dodds on Tuesday, said, "We're in no hurry." (In part from Tulsa World)

Still time for a detour in Peterson's road: The Oklahoman

April 19, 2006

(4/19) Peterson Cleared of Investigation, Stoops Optimistic and more.

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

We Will Never Forget Apr. 19, 1995 168 lives

Peterson Cleared of Car Deal: Oklahoma's compliance department investigated the circumstances by which tailback Adrian Peterson bought a car and then returned it several weeks later but determined the arrangement did not violate NCAA regulations. Peterson, the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2004, secured a financing agreement and drove the car for several weeks last winter but then returned it, said Bonita Jackson, Peterson's mother. We were gonna purchase the car, but the payments were gonna be too high, so we took the car back," Jackson said. Oklahoma officials determined that Peterson did not receive an extra benefit that is not available to the general student body of the university. "We have pursued the matter in exhaustive fashion over a five-month period," Oklahoma associate athletic director Keith Gill said in a statement. "Based on the information we have gathered, we do not believe NCAA rules violations have occurred." The dealership, Big Red Sports and Imports, regularly allowed customers who signed contracts to drive the cars for a period of time before financing had been secured, said Brad McRae, the dealership's part-owner at the time of Peterson's agreement. "We didn't do anything wrong," McRae said. "Is it standard operating business practice? Yes, it's standard operating business practice." Oklahoma also investigated the employment of football players by the dealership but found no violations. (AP/CNNSI.com)

Stoops optimistic about defense: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday that progress made during spring drills by young defensive backs gives the Sooners a chance to be "really good across the board" on defense this season. Typically reserved in player assessments, Stoops praised the spring strides made by Reggie Smith and Nic Harris, sophomores who project to start at cornerback and safety in September. Each made two interceptions in the Sooners' spring game. "Reggie was just exceptional," Stoops said during a Big 12 coaches' conference call to wrap up spring football drills. "He's got great anticipation. He's a big cover guy with great change of direction and great ball skills." (Star-Telegram)

Big 12 Conference football offseason: Kansan

Switzer talks football at chamber dinner: Columbus Telegram

Lofton Impresses with Spring Opportunity: SoonerSports.com

April 18, 2006

April 16, 2006

(4/16) Sooner Football Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Happy Easter Sunday

Dvoracek amongstudent athletes honored: Dusty Dvoracek was one of more than 30 student athletes honored on Friday at Oklahoma's annual scholar-athlete breakfast. The defensive lineman was named the Sooner Schooner Scholastic Award winner, which is given to the football player with the highest grade-point average throughout a career. Dvoracek did not attend the event. "What I will really remember about Dusty is his commitment in the classroom," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "He's a great example for the young guys to look up to. I never saw him on the missed-class list. He did everything he needed to do to achieve in academics." Dvoracek's off-the-field issues have been well-documented. He was dismissed from the team in 2004 after an alcohol-related altercation that landed a childhood friend in intensive care. Dvoracek underwent treatment for alcoholism, received a medical redshirt from the NCAA and was reinstated. (NewsOK.com)

Replacing Runnels at fullback isn't easy: The Oklahoman

Who will punt?: The Oklahoman

April 14, 2006

(4/14) Stoops calls off final spring scrimmage

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Stoops calls off scrimmage: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops elected not to close Thursday's final spring practice with a previously planned scrimmage. The Sooners concluded the practice on Owen Field with scrimmage-like action in team drills, but Stoops said there was no reason for a full-scale scrimmage. "I kind of chickened out on it," Stoops said. "I felt fortunate to make it all the way through the spring with no injuries. I didn't think we needed to risk it." In recent years, defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek, linebacker Rufus Alexander and former quarterback Brent Rawls all suffered injuries that required surgery in spring drills. (NewsOK.com)

Sooner football wraps up spring: Norman Transcript

Spring season wraps up: Oklahoma Daily

No. 84 the right fit for Chaney: The Oklahoman

April 13, 2006

(4/13) Practice wraps up Thurs., Stoops impressed and more.

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Sooners wrap-up spring practice Thursday: The next-to-last practice of the spring didn't feel like spring at all Wednesday. With temps soaring to near 90 degrees in Norman, the mid-April afternoon provided summer-like conditioning for the Sooners as they worked at the Bud Wilkinson practice facility. The two and one-half hour workout featured a first look at the two-minute drill. "Not bad for the first day," Stoops said. "The offense really handled it quite well. It was good work. The defense was good too. They got their class and worked in a good way." A short scrimmage on Thursday will conclude the 2006 edition of spring ball for Oklahoma. Stoops said the coaching staff will decide Thursday morning as to the exact length of the scrimmage. (SoonerSports Release)

Offense improves with practice: Bob Stoops said he was impressed with how his offense handled the drives, especially considering it was their first time to run the hurry-up offense this spring. "Not bad really for our first day really doing it," he said. "Our offense really handled it quite well. It was good work." A similar set of circumstances may arise at today's scrimmage, the last action for the team this spring. "We'll talk about it. I don't know that we will scrimmage it," Stoops said. "We just wanted to work on it today for a little bit. We may work it tomorrow in the team session before the scrimmage." Stoops said the squad could get somewhere between 25 and 35 snaps. (Oklahoma Daily)

Capel undaunted by Oklahoma's football reputation: Fort Worth Star Telegram

OU Notebook: The Oklahoman

Sooners want tailbacks involved more: The Oklahoman

Q&A with Brody Eldridge: The Oklahoman

Q&A with Fred Strong: The Oklahoman

April 12, 2006

(4/12) Final Week of Practice, Where's AD? and more..

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Practice again Wednesday: The Sooner football team hit the practice fields Tuesday afternoon for the first time since the weekend's Red-White game. The team worked at the Bud Wilkinson practice fields for an hour and a half before wrapping up inside the stadium on Owen Field. The Red-White game traditionally signals the end of spring ball, but Oklahoma moved the game to avoid conflicts with Easter weekend and to accomodate a national television audience on ESPN. OU is scheduled to practice again on Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. before holding a short scrimmage to conclude the spring session on Thursday. Head coach Bob Stoops, who earlier in the day attended the media conference for new head men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel, said that his review of Saturday's Red/White Game changed little after film review. "It was about what we thought and, again, it's tough for the head coach to be too excited one way or the other. I do like the speed of our defense. They are playing so cleanly and are so sound with their assignments." (SoonerSports Release)

Where's Adrian? The most noticeable absence Tuesday at Oklahoma's practice was running back Adrian Peterson. Head coach Bob Stoops said Peterson was at the dentist because of a tooth problem, but will be fine and ready to go today. (NewsOK.com)

April 11, 2006

(4/11) AD #1 in RB Ranking, and OU Football Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Peterson atop at #1 on CSTV's Top Running Backs: Adrian Peterson will claim his status as the nation's top collegiate running back with Reggie Bush off to the NFL. There are some who feel Peterson would have been the top back in the country in 2006 even if Bush had remained with the Trojans for his senior season. Peterson signed with Oklahoma as an elite prep talent, and it didn't take him long to live up to the hype. As a true freshman, Peterson finished with an OU-record 1,925 rushing yards despite starting just eight games. He finished second in the Heisman voting as a true freshman, the highest any freshman has ever ranked in the Heisman polling. (More at CSTV.com)

Sooners spring back into action: The Oklahoman

Enid's Box happy with quiet phone: The Oklahoman

April 9, 2006

(4/9) Defense highlights Red/White game, and more.

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Red/White Spring game goes live to the nation, Defense shows strength, again: Oklahoma's Red-White game was ESPN's lone spring game telecast. The network beamed OU's student-athletes in action to a live, national TV audience on Saturday. For those fans that attended the game or missed the coverage, ESPN has provided the O-Zone the complete spring game telecast. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops devised a scoring system that would also provide the defense scoring opportunities. And the defense took advantage. The Sooner defense out-pointed its offensive counterpart 41-30 in the annual Red/White Spring Game presented by Diffee Ford at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. A crowd of 25,000 and a national cable audience courtesy of ESPN looked on as OU rambled towards the close of its spring practices. Spring drills will conclude next week with practices scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The defense picked up most of its points by forcing punts and creating turnovers. It also got a conventional score when cornerback Lendy Holmes scooped up a fumble and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown late in the game. "I liked (the scrimmage)," Stoops said. "I was pleased. Up until late, we handled the ball in a good way and the offensive line held together. Spring Game Scorecard: Defense 41, Offense 30 (Sooner Sports Release)

Change in schedule: OU will finish spring practice with workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday's practice will include a 45-play scrimmage. OU had originally planned to work out Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. (NewsOK.com)

Sooners to continue to explore options at punter: (Mike)
Knall moved up to the starting position when Cody Freeby was suspended, then dismissed from the team because of unknown transgressions. How long he keeps the job is uncertain. Kicker Garrett Hartley will practice punting. And mildly concerned coaches will try to find a punter who can enroll for the fall semester. "There's possibilities," Stoops said. "Mike needs to continue to improve. We're going to work with Garrett more. And we'll see when we’re recruiting if there are any possibilities out there." (NewsOK.com)

New holder, keeps job: Walk-on quarterback Hays McEachern was OU's holder for the Holiday Bowl and will remain so in 2006. "He's really good," said Stoops. "Gives you a lot of options for fakes." (NewsOK.com)

Peterson has pretty good day, readies for contact: The Oklahoman

Sooners' success for '06 depends on offensive line: The Oklahoman

ESPN gives OU double coverage: The Oklahoman

Bomar's next step: Norman Transcript

Thompson returns to spotlight: The Oklahoman

Best and worst: The Oklahoman

Tight ends re-emerging in Norman: Tulsa World

OU Coach Search: Not as simple as saying, 'Sign here': Tulsa World

Thin o-line in spring should blossom in fall: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

April 8, 2006

(4/8) Red/White Game set for Today

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Annual Spring Red White Game Today: OU's annual Red/White football game presented by Diffee Ford kicks off at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m. ESPN will televise Oklahoma's spring game live to the nation from Owen Field. The Sooners will be ESPN's lone spring football telecast. The spring game follows OU softball's 11 a.m. game at Texas A&M -- also live on the network. Advance tickets are $5. OU students with a valid OU ID and children age 5 & under will be admitted free of charge. Sooner Kid's Club members will also be admitted free with ID. On the day of the game, tickets are $10. Tickets are available online or from the Athletics Department Ticket Office in the Asp Avenue Parking Facility. Phone orders will be accepted at (405) 325-2424 or at (800) 456-GoOU. (Sooner Sports Release)

Red/White game gets bigger audience: Norman Transcript

OU looks to Bomar to lead: The Oklahoman

Red-White things to watch: The Oklahoman

April 7, 2006

(4/7) Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Sooners Practice in High winds: Oklahoma wrapped up its 11th practice of the spring inside Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Thursday afternoon. High winds swirled inside the stadium making passes and punts fly wildly across Owen Field. Stoops said the high winds actually were a benefit. "We had a couple games last season at Nebraska and (Texas) Tech where the wind blew like this so it helps to practice in it," he said. "I told the kickers to make sure they got in as much work as they could." (SoonerSports Release)

Red/White Game Information: The annual spring game is set for Tomorrow, April 8, and will be televised live to the nation by ESPN. Advance tickets are available now from the OU Athletics Ticket Office.

Red-White spring game kicks off tomorrow on Owen Field: Oklahoma Daily

Freeby reportedly let go by Sooners: Oklahoma Daily

OU football notebook: The Oklahoman

Year off makes Granger better: The Oklahoman

April 6, 2006

(4/6) AD on early draft entry, Player dismissed and more

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Punter Freeby Dismissed from Team: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops dismissed suspended punter Cody Freeby from the Sooners' football team Thursday night. "He has not lived up to his responsibilities or expectations with the team or academically," Stoops said. "He also hasn't followed through on the disciplinary measures that resulted in those areas." Freeby averaged 42.3 yards per punt as a sophomore last season, his first as the Sooners' starter. He was also the team's holder on placekicks. Backup Mike Knall, a junior college transfer, has never punted in a game for the Sooners. (AP/CNNSI)

Adrian speaks about the draft first time publicly: Peteson on entering NFL draft early: "I wouldn't say that," Peterson said Wednesday, addressing the issue for the first time. “Anything can happen. Injuries or whatever - God's will they don’t. "I'm not worried about that. I'm focused on this season and making a run back to the Big 12 championship and hopefully a chance for the national championship." And beyond that? "I could see myself being here," Peterson said. "I ain't even really been think-ing about that. Plus, we're playing Miami. "I'm looking forward to playing Miami, too." And Peterson isn't talking next January's Orange Bowl game. He's talking Sept. 8, 2007, in Norman, when the Hurricanes roll into Norman. "All the guys that have left early, they're all telling me, 'Stay as long as you can, stay as long as you can,'" Peterson said. "Because when you get to the next level, it’s all business." (In part from NewsOK.com)

Sooners continue practice: The Sooner football team practiced in the warmest weather of the spring on Wednesday afternoon as temperatures climbed into the mid-80s in Norman. The team worked in full pads in sunny but windy conditions for two and a half hours at the Bud Wilkinson Practice Facility adjacent to Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. OU is scheduled to practice again on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. before playing the annual spring game on Saturday, April 8, at 1 p.m. ESPN will televise the action live to the nation. (SoonerSports Release)

OU notebook: The Oklahoman

April 5, 2006

(4/5) Oklahoma Sooner Football

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Wilson unsure of Offensive direction: Kevin Wilson continues his first spring as offensive chief of Oklahoma football, offering few clues to the eventual look of his Sooners. Spread? Power? Single-wing? Wishbone-T? "Like I told the tight ends and fullbacks, if you're not going to perform at a high level, we don’t necessarily have to have a tight end or a fullback on the field," Wilson said. Under the departed Chuck Long, the Sooner offense rocked amid several identities over recent years. OU generally played to its strength. Quentin Griffin was a lightning bug in the shotgun spread of 2002; Adrian Peterson was a downhill missile as an I-formation tailback in 2004. Wilson says there is no need to change just to change. "You gotta do what your line can handle and what your quarterback can handle," Wilson said. Then it's up to the guys competing for positions. "How those guys perform will determine the direction we go," Wilson said. “It will be interesting to see how Joe Jon Finley performs ... I'd like to keep a fullback, we don't necessarily want to go to the spread unless that’s the best thing for our personnel. Wilson was known for the spread at Northwestern, where he coached from 1999-01, but says Northwestern never went into a season regimented. Always went into a season adapting to personnel. "I don't know if we'll make any real decisions until summer," Wilson said. (In part from NewsOK.com)

Q&A with OU's DeMarcus Granger: The Oklahoman

Q&A with OU's Eric Huggins: The Oklahoman

April 4, 2006

(4/4) Coach Stoops on Offense and Scrimmage

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

No surprises for Coach Stoops in 2nd scrimmage: Asked if he saw anything new from watching film of Saturday's scrimmage - the second of the spring session - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said it was basically what he expected. "Very much like I thought after the game," Stoops said after Monday's practice. "I very much believe defensively we're just so much further along - it's not even close - than a year ago. And it's a little unfair to the offense because we're constantly going against each other and there's so much recognition in what (the defense) is seeing. It's not like the offense can put in a new play without them knowing. (NewsOK.com)

Sooner back to practice: Oklahoma marked its ninth session of the spring at the Bud Wilkinson practice facility on Monday afternoon in Norman. The Sooners practice again on Wednesday and Friday before the annual spring game in the stadium at 1 p.m., Saturday. ESPN will carry the game live to the nation. On Monday, OU head coach Bob Stoops reiterated his appraisel of Saturday's scrimmage. "It was like I thought," he said. "I believe that defensively we're just so much farther along than we were a year ago. But it's a little unfair for the offense. We go against each other every day and there is so much recognition for the defense. (Sooner Sports Release)

Stoops on the Offense:
"They're coming along and getting better. The offensive line is getting a lot of reps and we can see the improvement."Stoops cited QB Rhett Bomar for his execution of long throws during Monday's workout and also pointed to continued improvement by WR Quentin Chaney. "Quentin has been more consistent," Stoops said. "He's finishing plays stronger. He should be a big, physical presence for us."

Sooners Defense works in Dime formation: OU's secondary worked with five defensive backs in its dime package Monday for the first time this spring. Starting cornerback Reggie Smith moved to safety in the dime package, while converted-receiver Lendy Holmes played a corner spot with the first-team. "It looks good," Stoops said of the use of Smith and Holmes. "Lendy right now has probably been the most consistent out there making plays. It was our first day working it, but it looked good." (NewsOK.com)

OU offensive line hard at work: Norman Transcript

James says he'll remain committed to Sooners: The Oklahoman

Patrick takes majority of the hits: The Oklahoman

Donovan co-exists at football school, could do same at OU: The Oklahoman

April 2, 2006

(4/2) OU Defense Strong in 2nd Scrimmage

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles/Notes

Defense shows strength at scrimmage: Scrimmage No. 2 of Oklahoma's spring belonged to the defense. With five interceptions and five sacks, there was little question that the Sooners' stop troops were the story of the day. The 65-play scrimmage was held Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. "As the head coach," I'm always a little divided," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "I can't cheer for the offense or the defense, but it is pretty clear that the defense is just some much farther along from where it was at this time last year. "The secondary made some big plays and Reggie (Smith) was just awesome." (SoonerSports Release)

Scrimmage Stats:
Passing: R. Bomar - 8-14-86 yards, 1 INT, 0 TDs
J. Halzle - 6-17-58 yards, 4 INT, 1 TD

Leading Rusher: A. Patrick 10-54 yards
A. Peterson 8-16 yards

Leading Receiver: M. Kelly 3-17 yards

INTs recorded by: Rufus Alexander, Reggie Smith (1TD), Lendy Holmes, Keenan Clayton, and C.J. Ah You

Defense rules the day in second scrimmage: Norman Transcript

Sooners pick off five passes, register five sacks: The Oklahoman

OU Notebook: The Oklahoman

April 1, 2006

(4/1) Sooner Practice and Scrimmage

Oklahoma Sooners Football Articles/Notes

HS Coaches on Hand, Scrimmage is next: The OU football team wrapped up practice at Owen Field on Friday afternoon under the gaze of hundreds of high school coaches. The extra eyes were in Norman for the OU coaching staff's annual clinic. Some 450 coaches are on hand this weekend for the event. The Sooners spent two and one-half hours in shells inside the stadium and will return to the field on Saturday for the second scrimmage of the spring. After Friday's workout, OU head coach Bob Stoops announced that Cody Freeby had been suspended for "academic and team reasons." The coach did not place the suspension in a time frame. Saturday's practice will begin at 11 a.m., in the stadium with the scrimmage scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. Stoops said the scrimmage will last approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Last week, the Sooners scrimmaged for 60 plays. (SoonerSports Release)

Robinson dreams of domination: The Oklahoman

OU Notebook: The Oklahoman

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