OU football notebook: OU-Iowa State to kick off at 11 a.m.

By Mike Baldwin and Travis Haney, Staff Writers Published: November 8, 2011

Citing fatigue from playing a number of night games, Oklahoma petitioned the Big 12 and the TV network FX to move its Nov. 26 game with Iowa State into the daytime hours.

The league and TV crew acquiesced Tuesday, taking that kickoff from 7 p.m. at Owen Field to 11 a.m. It will be Senior Day at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

“Our fans have remained loyal through six night games this season with two more on the horizon,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a release. “Of those, four have been in Norman, and we've heard from many fans who have driven home in the very early morning hours. For that reason, and because we feel like a day game may provide warmer temperatures for a late-season game, we have endorsed the idea of moving this game to a daytime start.”

The Iowa State game time was announced before the season even began. OU's coaches, including Bob Stoops, have vented in recent weeks about the number of night games on the Sooners' schedule.

“We appreciate the desire to get times out there early, but in this case, it probably would have been best to wait,” Castiglione said. “We hope that by providing information about the change nearly three weeks before the game, we can help to mitigate any impact it might have on fans traveling to the game.”

A source said OU did have some concern for fans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the benefits of the afternoon game outweighed that apprehension.

Also related to scheduling, an OU source said Tuesday that it would be premature to say a home-and-home deal with Central Florida, for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, is close to being done. The source acknowledged the schools' administrators have spoken, but UCF is among a handful of candidates to fill the nonconference game left by TCU joining the Big 12.

The UCF Rivals website reported Monday night that the Sooners were close to an agreement that would have them playing in 2012 in Orlando, with the Knights coming to Norman in 2013.

SOONERS AMONG ‘GREAT THIEVES' IN COACHING WORLD

Coaches often say there are very few new innovations. Most are ideas they've seen at other programs and put their own twist on. Stoops and co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said the two-fullback power set was something Kansas State ran effectively.

If it was hard to defend, maybe it's something they needed to explore. In the Belldozer, OU's version of the wildcat with quarterback Blake Bell, a new wrinkle was to go to the strongside power formation. It was effective for the Sooners against Texas A&M.

Bell scored two rushing touchdowns and converted another handful of first downs.



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