Alternate uniforms return
Oklahoma will sport alternative uniforms for the first time this season when it faces Baylor on Saturday.
“We’re gonna do it. So, yeah, guys are excited about it,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said Wednesday.
The No. 6 Sooners have sported something other than the traditional ensemble twice a season — once at home and once on the road — each year since 2014.
The last time OU wore something other than its traditional uniform for a home game was a 38-31 upset loss to Iowa State last season.
According to Riley, the Sooners decided on which games to bring out the non-traditional garb well before this week.
”We talk about it with some of the captains and some of the leaders before the season,” he said. “We get it done ahead of time, so as the season’s going on those things have been decided well in advance.”
Rested and ready
The Sooners looked like a physically spent team after their 28-21 overtime victory Saturday against Army. Defensive players, in particular, indicated their bodies needed some extra time to recover after the grueling game.
But, according to Riley, the Sooners picked up a jolt this week.
“That win energized the team. You just feel a little different juice about the team. You win one like that, man, it does something that we can’t recreate ourselves. It’s powerful,” he said. “Our team mentality has been good. I think physically we’ve been able to rep more guys this week. … If we had to play today, we’d be ready.”
Redmond shows promise
An issue with blood clots forced freshman defensive end/linebacker Jalen Redmond to redshirt this season. When the announcement came down before the season, Redmond’s condition was considered career-threatening.
Riley said he doesn’t believe that will be the case.
“We’ve had some real positive news since then as far as things look promising for him here in the future,” Riley said. “I don’t think it feels like at all that it’s going to be career threatening, which is a relief — first for him and his health, and everybody here because we all know what kind of future he has here.”
Redmond, who graduated from Midwest City High School a semester early and enrolled at OU in January, was a 5-star prospect by 247Sports.
No sweating after the fourth game
Riley said no OU upperclassmen have said they want to stop playing in order preserve a year of eligibility as a graduate transfer. Several players at Power 5 schools announced they are transferring this week, taking advantage of the new redshirt rule that allows any player who plays in four games or fewer to use it as a redshirt year if they haven’t previously done so.
Coaches were nearly unanimous in their praise of the rule change heading into the season. Riley admits he still favors the rule change.
”I’d still say it’s 90 percent positive,” Riley said. “Were there going to be some repercussions of it that are negative? Yeah and this is one of them right now. Whether it’s coaches changing their strategy and how they deal with it, educating players, whether it’s amending the rule or adding something about only doing it in the first year, it’ll evolve. I don’t think it’s all bad. Those things are news. That’s what is getting all the attention right now.”
The rule could be altered in the future. Riley said allowing freshmen and first-year players to use the four-game rule could solve some problems.
”Right now, we’ve created free agency. The only thing bad with that right now is we can’t sign free agents during the year,” he said. “It’s a key component that we’re missing.”
— John Shinn, for the Tulsa World