No surprises here, Landry Jones named one of the Sooner captains.
With a little over a week until the Sooners first game against UTEP, the 2012 team captains were announced on Monday. The coaches have chosen: Gabe Ikard, Landry Jones, David King, Trey Millard and Tress Way.
Ikard and Millard are Juniors, while Jones, King and Way are all Seniors.
In other non-practice week news, Sooner WR, Trey Franks has apparently been working out in the secondary. Yes, secondary. Also, Safety Bennett Okotcha has decided to leave the team, no immediate word on the reason. Okotcha was back there on the depth chart, so it doesn’t have any serious impact on the team unless we have some major injuries.
The Sooners do return to the field Tuesday, after starting classes on Monday. Just 10 more days. Are you ready?
More Sooner sightings on the college football award watch lists this week, and it’s only Tuesday. So far the total of Sooners making lists is up to eighteen. On Monday came the announcement of the Butkus and the Lombardi Awards.
The Lombardi Award is given out every year to the Nation’s best lineman or linebacker. The Sooners past have had 3 Lombardi winners: Tommie Harris (2003), Tony Casillas (1985) and Lee Roy Selman (1975). For 2012, Ben Habern, Gabe Ikard and Corey Nelson. For both Habern and Ikard, they have been on multiple watch lists over the past week, this is Nelson’s first nomination.
Another one of my favorite awards, the Butkus Award watch list was also announced on Monday, which is given to the Nation’s best linebacker. Tom Wort was on the list with 51 other nominees. This is Wort’s second watch list for 2012, making it on the Nugurski watch list last week. Former Sooner greats who have won the Butkus include Brian “The Boz” Bosworth (1985 & 1986), Rocky Calmus (2001) and Teddy Lehman (2003). All of whom are in my top list of my favorite Sooner players.
On Tuesday, the Biletnikoff watch list came out and included Kenny Stills. The award is given out to the most outstanding receiver in football. The award can be given out to any player who catches a pass. This marks the second watch list for Stills this preseason.
Wednesday will bring the announcement of the Davey O’Brien, which I’d be shocked if Landry is not on it.
On Wednesday, kicker Michael Hunnicut was added to the Lou Groza watch lists for the most outstanding placekicker in college football. The Bronko Nagurski and the Outland Trophy watch lists were announced on Thursday and it adds more Sooners to the preseason awards showcases.
Nagurski watch list player, Tom Wort
The Outland Trophy is given out to the Nations best interior lineman. The Sooners on the list include guards Gabe Ikard and Ben Habern. The Big XII have a total of seven players listed.
The Bronko Nagurski, one of my favorite awards, is given out to the best all around defensive player in the country. Sooners on the list are: CB Demontre Hurst, S Tony Jefferson and LB Tom Wort. The Big XII is representing the list with 13 players.
The Sooners have 5 previous Outland Trophy winners, with the last one being Jammal Brown in 2004. The last Nagurski winner at Oklahoma was Derrick Strait in 2003. Before Strait, the first winner of the prestigious award at OU was the great Roy Williams in 2001.
Friday brings the announcement of the Jim Thorpe award watch list. The Thorpe award goes to the best defensive back in the Nation.
After a huge win in Manhattan, Kansas last Saturday, the Sooners are back in action in Norman against the Texas Aggies this weekend. This will be the last time the Sooners and the Aggies meet up during season play, since the Aggies are leaving the Big XII next year to join the Southeastern Conference.
Even though the Sooners will be missing their No. 1 running back Dom Whaley for the game, they celebrate the return of Ben Habern and Jamell Fleming.
Jamell Fleming returning an interception for a touchdown at this years Red River Shootout
Habern, who broke his forearm during the Mizzou game, has been taking snaps this week. Gabe Ikard, who has been filling in for Habern at center for the last 5 games, will most likely return to left guard. Stoops said that depending on how the week goes, Habern will be back at center or at guard this coming Saturday.
Cornerback Jamell Fleming has been practicing with the team all week after missing several due to a knee injury against Kansas. Fleming underwent arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago and was said to be cleared last week against Kansas State, but told trainers he didn’t feel confident in his knee yet.
Having Fleming back at cornerback will be a major impact for the Sooner secondary, though last week, they showed major improvement from the Texas Tech debacle.
When watching the Aggies this season in a couple of games, the first thing that comes to mind is “The Curious Case of the Aggie Defense”. Everything seems to be happening in reverse order. The offense is making strides forward, then the defense comes out on the field and puts the Aggies back. It has been very apparent this season that the departure of certain players on the Aggie defense really hurt the dynamics this year. Cough cough, Von Miller cough.
The Aggie defense touts the prestigious title of worst pass rush defense in FBS, allowing 318 yards in the air per game. And here comes the Sooner offense who is second in the country for passing, bringing an average of 396 yards per game. This could get interesting.
So the loss of RB Dom Whaley might not be as big as impact this week when thinking about the Sooners offensive attack plan.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Aggies are solid. They have one of the best running games in the Big XII averaging 225 yards per game. Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray are a deadly running combo for the Aggie offense. Aggie QB Ryan Tannehill has 18 touchdowns and 2322 yards so far, and might be one of the most effective QB’s the Sooners have seen so far this season. He is smart and utilizes the entire field very efficiently. He will keep the Sooner secondary on their toes with Ryan Swope and Jeff Fuller on the outside. Aggie coach Mike Sherman hopes to have Jeff Fuller back in full force on Saturday, who is suffering a bruised toe.
Sooner defensive back and Thorpe Award semi-finalist, Tony Jefferson on coming back to Norman this weekend:
We still have a long way to go. We’re making big plays, but we’re still a little wish-washy in some areas, so we can still even be better. We definitely owe Owen Field an apology. We’re looking forward to getting back out there and playing football like we know we can.
The Sooners are also looking for a little bit of redemption from last season. They traveled down to College Station to take on the Aggies at Kyle Field, and left losing 33-19. Oklahoma is 12-2 at home vs the Aggies, and own the series, 18-11.
We need to give the Aggies the proper goodbye from the conference and have a remake of 2003. Yes, I know that isn’t going to happen, but it is still fun to reminisce, no? Aggies do you remember 2003? I bet you do. If not, let me refresh your memory. Bob Stoops had to tell Sooner running backs to lay down on the field after 1st and goal hand-offs, to not make the score go over 80-0…..
Want to see video of it? I knew you did.
Running up the score are we? The Texas Aggies beat Baylor 73-10 the week before, so I wouldn’t feel that awful for them. I love how in one of the last plays of the game, A&M defensive back Melvin Bullitt stops a Sooner running back and gets up like he just won the National Championship. The score was 77-0 at the time and the player was ordered to lay down. Nice stop guy.
Again, it’s not 2003, so the likely hood of that happening is very slim. This is a very good offensive unit that the Aggies have this season, and the game will be a lot closer then 77-0.
The game is this Saturday with kickoff set for 2:30 CST. It will be shown on ABC regionally and ESPN 2 if you are out of the regional viewing area. West Coast will have to catch it on ESPN 3.