December 31, 2007

English Back to Practice; Venables Unsure of CB Starter

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

English update; back to practice: Defensive end Auston English, on the mend from a broken ankle and a bout with the flu, took part in his first interviews on Sunday morning, then practiced Sunday afternoon for the first time since arriving in Scottsdale. "Other than the sickness, I'm feeling great," he said. "I haven't got out of my room but to go eat." The flu bug may be a blessing in disguise for English, giving him even more time to rest the ankle that knocked him out of three games. He returned in a limited capacity for the Big 12 championship, but figures to be full speed after another three weeks of rest. "I was good to go once we left Norman," he said. "I was looking forward to getting out here and having a full go at it. I would have liked to have gotten those few extra days of practice, but it is what it is." Defensive coordinator Brent Venables said he'd like to be able to start English and play him the entire game. (Tulsa World)

Venables unsure who'll start at CB: Sunday morning, OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said he's still unsure who will start at cornerback opposite Marcus Walker. Sophomore Brian Jackson and redshirt freshman Dominique Franks have been battling for that spot all week. Venables said OU likely would have a starter picked by today. "Experience would help in that position, but we're not in a position to have that,” Venables said. (

Venables interviewed for Arkansas job: If then-Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino hadn't taken the Arkansas head coaching job Dec. 11, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables could have been headed to Fayetteville, Ark. Venables said he interviewed for the Arkansas job and it "went well." "Had they not gotten Coach Petrino," Venables said, "their plan was to go with a proven coordinator, and it was down to me and another guy." (Dallas Morning News)

A Player's Perspective of the Fiesta Bowl:

Defensive Player & Coach Quotes:

Fiesta Bowl to pit close friends: Tulsa World

'Schmitt happens' and OU could lose: Tulsa World

OU Daily Log: Tulsa World

Sooners haven't seen a spread like this: Norman Transcript

English getting better: Norman Transcript

West Virginia's triple-option offnese poses major test for OU: The Oklahoman

Coaches say little will change without Rodriguez on sideline: The Oklahoman

Fiesta might be a preview of next year's title game: The Oklahoman

Clear skies for OU, OSU: The Oklahoman

Sooners vow to show up to Fiesta this time: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

Schmitt paves way for W. Va.: Arizona Republic

Play of Oklahoma linebacker Lofton speaks for itself: Arizona Republic

English uses break as 'jump-start': Arizona Republic

Oklahoma's Bradford dropped puck for pigskin: East Valley Tribune

Sooner DBs plan to be busy: Charleston Gazette

OU offensive line presents big challenge for WVU defenders: Charleston Gazette

December 30, 2007

Malcolm Kelly Plans on "Coming Back" Next Year

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Former OU Coaches Mike Stoops and Fairbanks stop by practice: Former Sooner coach Mike Stoops, now head coach 100 miles south at the University of Arizona in Tucson, visited practice Saturday, his final chance to catch up with a handful of remaining players who played for him at OU in 2003, including defensive back Darien Williams, linebackers Lewis Baker and Demarrio Pleasant, defensive ends Alonzo Dotson and John Williams and fullback (ex-linebacker) Dane Zaslaw. Chuck Fairbanks, OU's head coach from 1967-72, is a Phoenix-area resident and also dropped by. (Tulsa World)

English remains out of practice: OU defensive end Auston English missed his third consecutive practice Saturday because of the flu. English, the Big 12 sack leader, has participated in team meetings at the Sooners' hotel, but hasn't made it to a practice yet in Arizona. Coach Bob Stoops said that English's ankle is fine and that he didn't want English practicing sick. "He's close, he's better,” Stoops said. "He'll be fine.” English missed the final three games of the regular season because of a hairline fracture in his right ankle. (The Oklahoman)

Malcolm Kelly expects to return next season: Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly is one of several players who will have to decide whether to come back for their senior season or enter the NFL draft following the Fiesta Bowl. Kelly, who many project as OU’s highest pick if he goes, said he hasn’t made a decision. “As of right now, I’m still coming back.” he said. “I have not had any paperwork come back in, so I am still coming back next year. We’ll see more on that after the season, but I expect to be back.” (Norman Transcript)

Praise plentiful for Duke: Tulsa World

OU Daily Log: Tulsa World

Venables doesn't mind spotlight's glare: Norman Transcript

Staying strong in tough times: The Oklahoman

Mountaineers hang loose despite recent upheaval: The Oklahoman

OU wants to stop skid: The Oklahoman

OU's English reaches new heights after 104-foot fall: Dallas Morning News

Sooners don't lack motivation: Dallas Morning News

2007 Fiesta no classic for OU: Arizona Republic

Bowl-goers need passes for parking: Arizona Republic

Sooners RB Patrick looks to break out: Arizona Republic

OU's Bradford has gone from toothpick to hero: East Valley Tribune

Stewart shares bond with OU assistant: Charleston Gazette

Bradford put hockey dreams on ice: Charleston Gazette

OU QB quiet, cool, confident: West Virginia Metro News

Oklahoma poses formidable BCS obstacle for WVU: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Oklahoma QB enjoys immediate success: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

December 29, 2007

(12/29) OU Football Articles and Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Wilson's and Stewart's longtime coaching ties: OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will be coaching against one of his former mentors in the Fiesta Bowl. West Virginia interim head coach Bill Stewart was the offensive line coach at North Carolina when Wilson was a graduate assistant for two seasons in the mid 1980s. "I'm just grateful that Coach (Dick) Crum didn't run me off and hire Kevin because he was a whole lot smarter than me back then," Stewart joked Friday. "I just hope he is not a lot smarter than me this week. He’s a tremendous football coach and a tremendous friend." (Norman Transcript)

December 28 Practice Quotes:

OU Offensive Player Quotes:

OU backups slug it out for open spot: Tulsa World

OU Notebook -- Stoops likes idea: Tulsa World

OU Daily Log: Tulsa World

Sooners have been trending downward in BCS games: Norman Transcript

Big 12 was nice, but Fiesta's the grand prize: Norman Transcript

Williams has his chance in the secondary: Norman Transcript

Robinson's animal instinct takes charge on the field: The Oklahoman

West Virginia kicker deals with threats: The Oklahoman

Once-mighty Mountaineers read to play disrespect card: The Oklahoman

Sooners punter back home: Arizona Republic

Slowing Oklahoma's Bradford key for West Virginia: Charleston Daily Mail

Dent says WVU is ready for Fiesta Bowl: Charleston Daily Mail

Mountaineers could resort to trickery in Fiesta Bowl: Charleston Daily Mail

West Virginia's Stewart downplays role: East Valley Tribune

Last season's painful Fiesta defeat not on Oklahoma's minds: East Valley Tribune

W.Va., Oklahoma govs wager on Fiesta Bowl: Charleston Gazette

December 28, 2007

(12/28) OU Fiesta Bowl Articles and Notes

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Fiesta Bowl swag: The rundown of gifts received by the OU football players from the Fiesta Bowl and the university: A $300 Best Buy gift card, a 20-inch flat-screen TV, Oakley sunglasses with built-in MP3 player, Fiesta Bowl watches, loads of OU and Fiesta Bowl apparel. And that's not all. "Oh, and the per diem out here, too. Pick up some cash, have a little bit of fun," said kicker Garrett Hartley. "We got $200 the other night. I don't know when we get our next." (Tulsa World)

English sidelined with a cold: Oklahoma defensive end Auston English is recovering from an ankle injury, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said, but wasn't at practice Thursday for another reason. "The ankle is fine, but he's got a little bit of a cold," said Stoops, who expects the 6-foot-3, 257-pound sophomore to play. (Arizona Republic)

DeMarco Murray fine after surgery: OU running back DeMarco Murray, who had knee surgery a few weeks ago to repair a dislocated kneecap, said Thursday he's doing better. "I feel good, just rehabbing right now,” said Murray, who is still walking with a noticeable limp. Murray suffered the injury against Texas Tech while trying to recover an onside kick. (

West Virginia's White impressed with OU: White said third-ranked Oklahoma is playing at a national-championship level right now, even if the Sooners have to wait until next season to fulfill their promise. "I think they're the best team in the country," White said. "Their athleticism is far beyond any other team we've played. "They make plays. That says Oklahoma to me," he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Franks and Jackson competing for starting CB role: Brian Jackson and Dominique Franks are both competing to replace Reggie Smith as starting cornerback. Both, Stoops said, "are doing a nice job, so we'll see. Very confident and pleased with the way the two of them are working, so we'll work it out during the week. More than likely, they'll both play." (Tulsa World)

Heupel's words of wisdom benefit OU stars: Tulsa World

OU Daily Log: Tulsa World

Mountaineers use unusual 3-35 scheme: The Oklahoman

Mountaineers' rise started in Norman: The Oklahoman

Sooners' Cooper is full of Lambkin pride: The Oklahoman

Williams to get first start of year in Fiesta Bowl: The Oklahoman

Sooner star makes no excuses: Arizona Republic

West Virginia interim coach optimistic about Fiesta Bowl, future: Arizona Republic

For some Okla. fans, it's too soon for another Valley trip: Arizona Republic

Slowing Oklahoma's Bradford key for West Virginia: Charleston Daily Mail

Dent says WVU is ready for Fiesta Bowl: Charleston Daily Mail

Coaching changes effect both squads: East Valley Tribune

WVU's White impressed by Oklahoma: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

December 27, 2007

Lendy Holmes Academically Ineligible; Reggie Smith Out Too

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Sooners arrive in Arizona: The Sooners arrived in Phoenix at approximately 6:14 p.m. Wednesday to a ceremony of about 100 boisterous Fiesta Bowl officials and family members along with members of the media. Also there to greet the Sooners was a six-piece mariachi band that also played for the arriving players from West Virginia and Oklahoma State earlier in the day. The OU buses were escorted to their hotel by a motorcade comprised of at least 11 police motorcycles. (The Oklahoman)

Stoops confirms Holmes ineligible for Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops confirmed Wednesday night that junior defensive back Lendy Holmes of South Oak Cliff didn't make the trip and won’t play in the Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia on Jan. 2. Holmes' father, Lendy Holmes Sr., told The Dallas Morning News on Saturday that his son is academically ineligible and wouldn't play in the Fiesta Bowl. "He won't be here," Stoops said during the Sooners' arrival press conference at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport. “I thought that was talked about a couple days ago." Stoops said redshirt freshman Dominique Franks or sophomore Brian Jackson of DeSoto would start at cornerback in place of Holmes. (Dallas Morning News)

Reggie Smith to miss Fiesta Bowl: Cornerback Reggie Smith will not play because of broken toe suffered in the Big 12 championship game. Holmes, a junior safety this season, was expected to start at Smith's spot. Now, redshirt freshman Dominique Franks, who only has three tackles on the year, or sophomore Brian Jackson is expected to start. (Arizona Republic)

Stopping West Virginia a lofty goal: Tulsa World

OU's Holmes ineligible for Fiesta Bowl: The Oklahoman

Is Phoenix big enough for Sooners and Pokes?: The Oklahoman

Ardmore became the perfect home for Jermaine Gresham: The Oklahoman

Mountaineers face several distractions: The Oklahoman

Fiesta Bowl analyst Haden liked life without the BCS: The Oklahoman

Room to hope?: Norman Transcript

West Virginia eyes return to glory in Fiesta Bowl: Arizona Republic

West Virginia on a mission: Arizona Republic

Interim WVU coach worried about now: Charleston Daily Mail

Stewart -- Oklahoma has no weaknesses: West Virginia Metro News

December 26, 2007

(12/26) OU Football Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Mild-mannered Sooner is a beast on the field: The Oklahoman

Reynolds won't let ailments stop him: The Oklahoman

OU linebacker learns the hard way to take help when it's offered: Tulsa World

Reversing pitiful bowl performance top priority for Big 12: Tulsa World

Football fans will make presence known at resorts: Arizona Republic

December 25, 2007

(12/25) OU Football Articles

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Christmas Memories -- Sam Bradford: Tulsa World

Christmas Memories -- Gerald McCoy: Tulsa World

Christmas Memories -- Quentin Chaney: Tulsa World

Venables backs his defense: Tulsa World

Here's a few Christmas wishes: Norman Transcript

Former teammates not surprised by Bradford's successful season: The Oklahoman

Switzer likes West Virginia's offense: The Oklahoman

December 24, 2007

West Va. Returns 7,500 Fiesta Bowl Tickets

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

West Virginia returns 7,500 tickets: West Virginia University has returned 7,500 tickets to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the likely fallout from a fan base that already had made reservations in New Orleans for the BCS national championship game. Fiesta Bowl President John Junker called it a "Christmas miracle" that West Virginia accounted for 10,000 tickets, considering recent developments within the football program. Just more than two weeks after losing its final regular-season contest to Pittsburgh - a loss that likely kept the Mountaineers out of the title game - West Virginia lost popular coach Rich Rodriguez, who resigned and became coach at Michigan. (Arizona Republic)

Coach Wilson excited about defensive line future: OU's defense suffered late in the season without English, who missed the final three games of the regular season with an ankle fracture. But in some ways, English's injury benefited freshman defensive end Jeremy Beal, who was thrown into the starting lineup in place of English. "We've been calling that a blessing in disguise,” defensive ends coach Chris Wilson said. "That forced us to give Jeremy more opportunities. And he's really grown the latter part of the season.” (

West Virginia defense confident: Tulsa World

Once-deep secondary appears depleted with possible loss of Holmes: The Oklahoman

A blessing for West Virginia: The Oklahoman

Oklahoma best WVU has met: Times West Virginian

December 23, 2007

CB Holmes Likely Out of Fiesta Bowl

Oklahoma Sooner Football Articles and Notes

Stoop fine after surgery: Head coach Bob Stoops had arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Tuesday, but was out of his sling by Wednesday. He said the procedure removed bone spurs. (Tulsa World)

Lendy Holmes likely out of Fiesta Bowl? The father of Oklahoma junior defensive back Lendy Holmes of South Oak Cliff said Saturday that his son is academically ineligible and won't play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 against West Virginia. Lendy Holmes Sr. said his son's eligibility came down to one class and he "was missing one grade point." Holmes' father said the matter isn't totally resolved yet and there was still an outside chance his son could "make it right" and gain his eligibility. (Dallas Morning News)

Suspended Broyles sees action on scout-team: [Ryan] Broyles has drawn the scout-team duty for impersonating West Virginia quarterback Pat White. OU has no quarterbacks who can simulate the speedy and shifty White in practice, so Broyles got the job. "He's doing a good job of it," Stoops said Wednesday. "(Tulsa World)

OU's Reed has dreams of playing in the NFL and being a good father: The Oklahoman

OU Football Notebook: The Oklahoman

Sooners, Pokes to invade the Valley: Tulsa World

5 things to know about Phoenix: Tulsa World

Holmes ineligible for Fiesta, father says: Tulsa World

Sooners are re-match ready: Tulsa World

Stancheck preparing for Sooners: Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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