If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
NORMAN â€” All season, Oklahoma fans have clamored for more of the â€œHammer.â€ Ever since he de-cleated three different Stanford players in last year's Sun Bowl.
Since Ronnell Lewis' return from a midseason knee injury, OU fans have gotten their wish. And the â€œHammerâ€ is once again dropping the boom.
Just in time, too.
In tonight's Big 12 Championship, the Sooners take on Nebraska, their first power-rushing opponent since facing Stanford. In another game where Lewis will be vital.
â€œTo play a really physical, downhill, run team like Nebraska like a Stanford, you need guys down there that are going to match up good with strength,â€ said defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright. â€œNot that he's the biggest guy, but he'll be as strong as anybody on that front line.
â€œAnd a guy that can play physical and punch a guy back.â€
Against Stanford and hulkish running back Toby Gerhart, that's exactly what Lewis did. He made six tackles, forced a fumble and helped OU match the Cardinal's physicality up front. A decisive factor in the Sooners' 31-27 victory.
To come away with the school's seventh Big 12 title, the OU front will need to match Nebraska's ruggedness in the trenches. Something the Sooners have struggled with at times, as both Missouri and Texas A&M outmuscled them en route to victories.
But since Lewis' emergence into the starting lineup two games ago, it's been the Sooners flexing their muscles.
Thanks to dominating defense at the point of attack, OU jumped to a 53-10 lead at Baylor, highlighted by Lewis' interception return for a touchdown â€” the defense's first score of the season.
Then the Sooners corralled Oklahoma State's high-powered running game, holding all-Big 12 running back Kendall Hunter to just 55 yards rushing. Lewis also literally had a hand in OU's defensive play of the game, tipping a Brandon Weeden pass up in the air, allowing Austin Box to dive in for the fourth-quarter interception.
â€œEvery time he's on the field, he's making plays,â€ said Jeremy Beal, OU's other defensive end. â€œHe's a great asset to this team, he's playing at a high level.â€
And ready to hammer away against the Huskers.