Nebraska fans aren’t terribly happy after learning that the school tried to back out of a scheduled rivalry game with Oklahoma in 2021.
Under the terms of a deal agreed in 2012, the Cornhuskers are slated to travel to Norman to reignite their football rivalry against Oklahoma. The two schools have not played since the 2010 Big 12 Championship, the final game Nebraska played in the conference before moving to the Big Ten. However, reports surfaced that Nebraska was looking at ways to get out of playing the game in order to schedule another home game instead.
In a statement, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos confirmed the reports, and tried to defend the efforts by citing pandemic-related revenue losses. Moos ultimately committed to playing the game in the statement.
“Ultimately, the decision was made to move forward with our game at Oklahoma in 2021,” Moos said in the statement. “We have the utmost respect for the University of Oklahoma, and this storied rivalry, and I know our fans have been excited about this series for a long time.”
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione had previously weighed in on the reports by noting that the Sooners were very enthusiastic about playing the game, essentially making clear that any reservations were solely on Nebraska’s end.
It doesn’t really matter how legitimate or understandable Nebraska’s reasoning is. Their fans have been looking forward to this game for a decade. This is a rivalry that dates back a century and was once one of the most heated in the sport. The fans want to see it happen.
Nebraska’s coach talked about silencing the doubters in 2021. Maybe the team still will, but this isn’t really a great start from a PR perspective.
Oklahoma wide receiver Spencer Jones was involved in a physical altercation at a bar earlier this month, and the redshirt senior was left with a serious injury that required surgery.
A video surfaced on social media on Feb. 19 that claimed to show Jones getting into a fight in the bathroom of Norman’s Logies in an area near the Oklahoma campus known as Campus Corner. The video, which contains inappropriate language, showed a man punching Jones repeatedly following a verbal altercation.
According to a report from OU Daily, the fight took place on Saturday, Feb. 13. Woodrow “Woody” Glass, an attorney hired by Jones’ family, confirmed to OU Daily that Jones was the man in the video. He said the receiver underwent a four-hour operation on Feb. 16 that was performed by Dr. Perry Brooks in Norman, Okla.
“Dr. Brooks came out of that surgery saying he’s extraordinarily lucky at this point, that he’s lucky he didn’t lose the eye altogether,” Glass said. “And so he was able to do some things surgically to rebuild that orbital socket and thinks everything is eventually going to come back to normal, but it’s going to take a while for him to fully recover.”
Police are investigating the incident. OU Daily reached out to Norman Public Information about the investigation but was told there would not be any comment until Monday at the earliest. Glass insists Jones was “trying to deescalate that situation” before he “became the victim of this vicious assault you’ve seen.”
Jones was a walk-on at Liberty before transferring to Oklahoma in 2018. He played in all 11 games for the Sooners last year and won the Peter Mortell Holder of the Year Award, which is given to the best place holder in college football.
The Oklahoma athletic department said it is aware of the situation but offered no comment.
Oklahoma has added a nice transfer to their backfield.
Running back Eric Gray announced on Twitter Wednesday that he has chosen to transfer to the Sooners. He did so with a one-word announcement that says it all: “Boomer!!!”
Gray rushed for 1,311 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons at Tennessee. He also had 43 catches for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
Gray was among several players who decided to transfer from the Volunteers after Jeremy Pruitt was fired.
Oklahoma is losing Rhamondre Stevenson to the draft, while TJ Pledger transferred to Utah. That created an opening at running back that Gray is filling for Oklahoma.
Bob Stoops issued a great statement on Tuesday after being asked by current Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley to provide an assist to the beaten-up Sooners program.
Stoops helped out at Oklahoma’s practice on Tuesday because the Sooners do not have a full coaching staff available due to COVID-19 issues. He is eligible to help as a coach due to his current role as a special assistant to the school’s athletic director.
In his statement, Stoops made it clear that he is not trying to step on Riley’s toes.
“When Lincoln (Riley) asked me if I’d be willing to help in a coaching role while he was a little short-handed, I didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Stoops said in a statement. “Certainly I’m happy to do anything I can to assist the team for however long I’m asked to. But obviously with me being away from the day-to-day activities of the program for a while now, my input will be minimal. If I can add some enthusiasm or positive energy for these players — and I do know most of them — that’s a good thing.
“But let’s not get carried away. The people that will influence this game and the rest of our games this season will be Coach Riley, his staff and the players. I’m just going to do my best to help out however I can while keeping a low profile.”
Stoops did not help with a single specific position group but rather helped the program as a whole. The 60-year-old coached Oklahoma from 1999-2016. He won one national championship and 10 Big 12 titles. Bob’s son, Drake, plays wide receiver for the school.
Oklahoma is 6-2 this season. Their game last week against West Virginia was postponed due to COVID-19 issues.
Photo: John Silks/GNU Free License
The Texas Longhorns have suffered yet again in recruiting, and the player they lost chose their rival.
Billy Bowman Jr., a two-way player from Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, announced last month he was decommitting from Texas. Bowman instead announced on Sunday that he has committed to Oklahoma.
Bowman talked with the Denton Record-Chronicle about his decision to pick Oklahoma. He seemed to slight Texas while praising the Sooners.
“I feel like Oklahoma checked every single one of my bullet points,” Bowman told the Record-Chronicle. “One of them was being able to play on one of the biggest stages in college football. I also wanted to be closer to home, be around coaches who know what they are doing, and be around a championship program.”
Saying that he wanted to be around coaches who know what they are doing and around a championship program is praise of Oklahoma. Those are compliments to what Lincoln Riley’s staff is doing and the way the Sooners have played. But it also can be interpreted as slights towards Texas, as if maybe Bowman did not feel those coaches were good enough or that the program was championship-caliber.
After Bowman’s decommitment, the Longhorns have also lost a top 5-star quarterback and a wide receiver recruit.
It has been nearly three years since Baker Mayfield last played a game at Oklahoma, but the star quarterback wants to make it clear that he still has no love for the Sooners’ most hated rival.
With Oklahoma and Texas set to meet on Saturday in the annual “Red River Showdown,” Mayfield took to Instagram to share a photo of himself in his Cleveland Browns uniform flashing the “Horns Down” hand gesture.
“Orange on me but it ain’t burnt… horns down forever. You know what week it is,” Mayfield wrote.
Mayfield loved playing the role of villain at Oklahoma, so it’s no surprise he is sticking with it. He taunted a Texas signee a couple years back and even taught a bunch of kids to flash the “Horns Down” symbol at his football camp.
We know how Mayfield feels about the rule that bans players from flashing the “Horns Down,” so this is just another way he can keep the tradition alive.
The Texas Longhorns have many reasons to be proud on Saturday.
Texas came back to beat Texas Tech in overtime 63-56 in a stunning comeback. The Longhorns were down 56-41 with 3:13 left. They scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick, then scored again and added a 2-point conversion to tie the game. They won in the first overtime with a touchdown and stop.
Conversely, their rival, Oklahoma, blew a 21-point lead and lost at home to Kansas State 38-35. Texas director of recruiting Bryant Carrington took the occasion to celebrate his team’s victory and OU’s defeat.
Carrington’s job is to pump up his program and to win recruiting battles against Oklahoma. A tweet like that can help him accomplish his goal. But that doesn’t happen first without a big Texas comeback win.
The Kansas State Wildcats overcame hefty odds to stun the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.
Kansas State was down seven players on its two-deep depth chart Saturday due to COVID-19 issues. After falling behind 35-14, the Wildcats looked finished, but a stunning rally ensued.
After a touchdown made it 35-21, Oklahoma’s Seth McGowan fumbled on the second play from scrimmage of the ensuing drive. That game the Wildcats a fairly short field, and they put together a 38-yard drive to score again and get within a touchdown. The Kansas State defense then buckled down, stopping the Sooners at midfield and then blocking the punt. Kansas State needed just two plays to go 38 yards once again and tie the game at 35. Another punt allowed Kansas State to set up for the go-ahead field goal, and the defense proceeded to intercept Spencer Rattler to seal the road win.
The Sooners were considered a national title contender coming into the game. They were favored by 28 points. Kansas State, meanwhile, came in off a loss to lowly Arkansas State. This one was unpredictable to say the least, even though the Wildcats also pulled the upset in 2019.
Rattler received Heisman hype before the season, and while he threw four touchdowns, he was intercepted three times as well. This will be a reality check for the Sooners.
In an era where just about everyone has access to a high-quality video camera at all times, the Oklahoma football team has decided that you can never be too careful.
As of this year, the University of Oklahoma has frosted the dorm room windows that overlook the Sooners’ practice field on campus. The reason, of course, is so students (or anyone else) can’t spy on football practice.
Some have wondered if the film over the windows could be removed after the season or if the 2020 season is canceled, but the university says that will not be the case.
While it would not be hard to imagine a college kid filming a practice and selling it to a rival school, the move seems a bit extreme. There are always going to be ways an opponent can spy on you if they try hard enough, and you could easily argue that a student paying $30,000 per year should at least be able to look out his or her window.
The Oklahoma Sooners announced on Saturday that they have moved up the date of their first game of the season.
Oklahoma and Missouri State have agreed to play on August 29, which is a week earlier than they initially planned to play. The reason they bumped up the game is to allow for as much flexibility as possible regarding their season as they navigate the issues related to the coronavirus.
The Sooners have three non-conference games scheduled prior to their conference schedule against Big 12 teams, with each game spaced out by two weeks. They are set to play Missouri State on August 29, Tennessee in Norman on Sept. 12, and at Army on Sept. 26.
The week after the Army game, Oklahoma would begin its conference schedule. The conference games are scheduled to be weekly on every Saturday for nine consecutive weeks.
The Sooners have been one of the most dominant programs in college football over the last two decades. Since 2000, they have only had three seasons without double-digit wins. They have gone 12-2 three seasons in a row since Lincoln Riley took over.