The Moore American

October 9, 2013

Nike unveils new Red River threads for Sooners

By John Shinn
The Moore American

MOORE — Nike Football unveiled special uniforms Monday for the Oklahoma-Texas game. Both team jerseys will feature a classic gold Red River Rivalry patch above the numerals on the front of the jerseys, with those numbers outlined by gold twill.

Custom embroidery of “Boomer Sooner” for OU and “Longhorns” for Texas can be found on the inside of the jersey necklines. The Sooners’ jersey also features an additional gold logo neck patch in reference to last year’s victory as the Sooners retained the Golden Hat Trophy.

On Monday, OU coach Bob Stoops said discussions about doing something special with uniforms for the game began last year and it could happen again this season.

“Keeping up with the times, man. You gotta do it,” he said. “Kids like to see it. We’ll probably have some other stuff here and there … Gold accent looks pretty good.”

When asked if it would ever go to the level schools like Oregon, Oklahoma State and Baylor have taken uniform combinations in recent years, Stoops said it wouldn’t happen.

“Probably, not to that extreme,” he said.

Players were pretty happy OU was willing try something a little different.

“We’ll feel a little better; we’ll feel like we look a little prettier but at the same time, it’ll be good for us,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “I see guys are excited about it, so it’s cool.”

Different uniform combinations have been the rage in recent years. Some potential recruits like the idea of it. Schools like Oregon, OSU and Baylor have benefited from the uniform talk.

The only thing different about OU’s uniform Saturday will be the gold trim, but sometimes a little goes a long way.

“When you’ve been wearing the same thing for four and a half years, you put a little gold trim in there and you get excited — I promise,” center Gabe Ikard said. “It’s been in every group text I’ve gotten from anyone on this team. We’re excited about it.”

Perception vs. reality: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is 9-5 against Texas and will try to become the first Sooner coach to claim 10 wins in the Red River Rivalry.

While OU has won the 2000 national title and claimed eight Big 12 championships over the last 14 seasons, there’s always been a perception the Sooners were doing it mostly with players Texas did not want.

Stoops wasn’t buying that Monday.

“As far as recruiting, and I’m not comparing to them or anyone, but we like whatever stars we’ve got. We like our players. When we recruit a guy or decide to offer him, it isn’t because of how many stars. We like how he fits. We may like some intangibles. We may like how tough he is. All kinds of different reasons. I feel we’ve got good players, too,” he said. “Fortunately in some of these games, the last few, we’ve played well. You say me and Mack? Mack and I don’t play. At the end of the day, it’s players on the field. Last year we played well. Guys executed and played well in all parts of the games.”

Stoops is currently tied with Barry Switzer and Bud Wilkinson with nine wins against the Longhorns. Switzer went 9-5-2 during his 16 seasons from 1973-1988. Wilkinson went 9-8 from 1947-63.

Nelson explores redshirt possibilities: Senior linebacker Corey Nelson will petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt following Saturday’s season-ending pectoral injury against TCU.

“We’ll start going through that whole process with our administration,” Stoops said. “So we’ll see where it leads.”

Nelson, a senior, hasn’t redshirted before, but has already played in the five games this season.

Phillips still questionable: OU still doesn’t know if defensive tackle Jordan Phillips will be able to play against Texas. He missed the TCU game due to a non-football related ailment. If he can’t go, OU will rotate Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson at the spot against Texas.

“It is all based on Jordan (Phillips’) status for Saturday,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We have to wait and see what our rotation will be.”

Cotton Bowl memories: Stoops will lead OU against Texas for the 15th Saturday. But he said he didn’t have a favorite memory from the first 14 games.

“Any of the ones you win. I love them all. When you win, of course,” he said. “When you win big, in those instances you get to enjoy the fourth quarter a little more. But what’s more exciting than Roy Williams jumping over at the goal line and forcing a turnover to win the game? Those are fun. We had a shutout one time. Anytime you win it’s special. You always remember certain plays from those wins.”

OU-Kansas will begin at 2:30 p.m.: The Big 12 Conference announced Monday that the football game between the University of Oklahoma and Kansas on Oct. 19 is slated to kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Kansas Memorial Stadium.

The contest will be broadcast by ABC or ESPN or ESPN2.

Falling despite wins: Oklahoma dropped one spot in the Associated Press Top 25 Sunday to No. 12 after Saturday night’s 20-17 victory over TCU. The Sooners remained at No. 10 in the latest USA Today coaches poll.

As for the Big 12 Conference, it still has four ranked teams. Baylor is at No. 15 in both polls. Texas Tech remained at No. 20 for the second straight week in the AP poll and moved up to No. 21 with the coaches.

Oklahoma State holds down the 20th spot in the coaches poll and is No. 22 in the AP Top 25.

Beginning next Sunday, the polls will take a backseat to the BCS standings. The first BCS rankings of the season will be released then.

Protecting the ball: Technically, OU’s streak of games without committing a turnover ended when it failed to recover a pooch kick in the third quarter against TCU. However, OU’s offense has not committed a turnover since the West Virginia game and the streak is the longest since 2004.

Third quarter woes: How bad was OU’s offense in third quarter of the TCU game? Nine plays, three punts, 2 minutes, 12 seconds time of possession, four rushing yards, 0-for-5 passing, two penalties for 20 yards.

“It was frustrating, but obviously our defense was doing a great job at the time, holding them. We weren’t on the field I don’t think that much in the third quarter, but it was rough,” OU quarterback Blake Bell said.

It was the worst the Sooners’ offense has looked this season. After building a 13-0 lead in the first half, it simply grounded to halt in the third quarter.

Bell said TCU didn’t make any major changes after halftime.

“No, obviously you always have your halftime adjustments, and coming out, we obviously wanted to move the ball down the field when we had the chance and we didn’t,” he said.

Close calls: OU never tried to block a punt against TCU. Perhaps it should’ve. Linebacker Eric Striker nearly got to two of them on punt safe calls.

The first time in the first quarter, Striker pulled up because he didn’t want to get a roughing the punter call. But he said he was surprised TCU was letting him through virtually untouched. He narrowly missed a blocked punt in the second quarter.

“It’s not a block call that I was close so on that second one, I was like well, if I can get it, I’m going to get it,” Striker said.

Pleased with the tackles: Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips did not play against TCU due to an undisclosed ailment. OU coach Bob Stoops does expect him to be back for the Texas game.

Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson filled in for Phillips.

Stoops thought both held up well against TCU.

“We’ll have to see on tape, but I thought we had a great run defense the entire day and we had all kinds of pressure,” he said. “Even though we didn’t end up with sacks we were chasing him everywhere and he wasn’t able to set his feet very often.”

More work needed: Odds are OU’s Monday practice will include some work on fielding a pooch kick. TCU’s execution of one in third quarter led to its first touchdown.

“I think it was big. That was a big factor. They put the defense right back out there in positive field position,” Stoops said. “We have a few penalties that bring it closer. That was it. It put them right back in the game. I’m disappointed in our kickoff return team and we need to be able to handle that. Obviously, it’s something we have to work on more. That can’t happen.”