OU football notebook: Midseason All-Americans
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Friday, October 12, 2012
10/12/12 at 2:33 AM
Magazine guru Phil Steele included two Oklahoma Sooners on his 2012 Midseason All-America Team - safety Tony Jefferson and wide receiver Kenny Stills.
Jefferson leads OU with 30 tackles, while Stills paces the Sooners in both receptions and receiving yards. Both will be counted on Saturday against Texas, given what they have done this season and in the past against the Longhorns.
Jefferson intercepted a pass and recorded a 15-yard sack in last year's blowout. He made nine tackles in OU's 28-20 victory as a freshman in 2010.
Stills caught two touchdown passes last October, one year after leading the Sooners in receiving against Texas.
"I've played pretty well the last two times," he said.
Stills did his previous damage against Texas as an outside receiver. Any chance he moves from the slot back outside Saturday?
"No," he said. "I feel like we're getting pretty comfortable running the four-wide receiver (set) with me and 'Shep' (Sterling Shepard) on the inside. I don't see anything changing."
It's not just Texas: Landry Jones carries some weight into Saturday's game, trying to become the fourth quarterback in OU history to go 3-0 as a starter against the Longhorns, and looking to break the school's all-time victories record by a starting QB.
His numbers the past two years against Texas - 55-of-89 for 603 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions - are as impressive as that history.
Still, that's not why offensive coordinator Josh Heupel is hopeful about his quarterback.
"His performance in the Cotton Bowl isn't what gives me confidence in him," Heupel said. "Landry, the type of player he is and how he played the other day (at Texas Tech), his ability to play in big games and be resilient and come back and keep attacking and be decisive...
"The player he is is why I have a lot of confidence in him."
Just in case: Nila Kasatati's torn ACL means you should expect left guard Adam Shead to play a full game for the first time this season Saturday. Kasatati has spelled Shead the first four games.
So what if Shead, or right guard Bronson Irwin, needs to come out against Texas?
Offensive line coach James Patton mentioned three possibilities. He could sub in Austin Woods, a backup guard/center and snapper on field goals. He could try freshman Ty Darlington. Or he could slide right tackle Daryl Williams inside and put Tyrus Thompson in for Williams.
"I go a few years back when Trent Williams, our starting left tackle, played center in the Sun Bowl," Patton said. "You've got to be able to move guys around."
Last word: We'll give it to Sooners defensive lineman David King, the Houston senior who starts his last OU-Texas game Saturday.
"Driving down 35-South out of Oklahoma, you know everybody's going down to the game," he said. "You've got 'Boomer Sooner' written on the windows and they're sticking out the number one fingers. Then when you get right outside of Denton, you know it's Texas. The bus drivers who probably have nothing to do with OU or Texas will give them the 'Horns Up.' You get so many middle fingers it's ridiculous. It's a trip. When you actually pull into the State Fair on Saturday for the game, that's when you know it's time to go."
As for the ride home?
"You lose, you've got a 2 1/2-hour drive back to Norman. And you know your fans following you are disappointed," King said. "You never want to lose OU-Texas.
"When you win, you get to plant that flag in the middle of the field. You thank the fans that are still there. Texas fans, they've cleared the stadium. You get to take all of the pictures on the field and with the Golden Hat in the locker room. There's no greater feeling coming back on the bus knowing you've got the Hat for 364 days."