Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander suffered a shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter of the Sooners' 26-6 win over Iowa State, but returned to the game.
“I don't know how it happened,” Alexander said. “I guess someone ran into my shoulder. It felt like it got knocked out of place. (Trainers) came over and did some things and the pain started leaving. I was nervous at first. I didn't know what to expect.”
So was he optimistic he will play this week against Oklahoma State?
“I'm fine,” Alexander said. “I'll just have to take it slow through the week. I can't be putting too much pressure on it. They said they'll watch it closely. I'll come in every day for treatment.”
REYNOLDS SUSPENDED, DOESN'T PLAY
Sophomore wide receiver Jaz Reynolds, who has averaged 86.5 receiving yards the past eight games, didn't play Saturday. But it wasn't because of a shoulder injury he suffered last week against Baylor.
“He could have played. He was suspended for violation of team rules,” said OU coach Bob Stoops.
Will Reynolds play against OSU?
“Yes, provided things are right this week,” Stoops said.
COLVIN PLAYS STRONG SAFETY
After Javon Harris was burned for several big plays against Baylor, the question all last week was: who would start at free safety? Harris? Tony Jefferson? Sam Proctor?
The answer: Aaron Colvin. It's the third different position Colvin has started this season.
“It's been difficult at times, but I like being able to play every position,” Colvin said. “That's really something I take pride in. Playing free safety was fun, first time ever doing it. Wherever they want me to play, I'll play... It's a lot faster. You have to be more on your toes and ready to trigger on things.”
Proctor started at strong safety. Harris was used in some passing down nickel packages.
“I'm really happy for (Proctor),” said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “He's been a starter and has been hired and fired several times. To see him go out and play at such a high level on Senior Day, when we needed someone to step up, is pretty cool. I'm happy for Sam. I'm happy for us.”
BELLDOZER PACKAGE HITS SNAG
The Belldozer, OU's short-yardage, goal-line package directed by backup quarterback Blake Bell, continues to produce first downs and touchdowns but hit a couple of snags against Iowa State.
“I'm not surprised,” Stoops said. “The more people watch it you're going to have to adjust... It was a little more challenging, obviously, but some of it was good, too.”
Four times the Cyclones stuffed Bell, five times if you include a 3-yard loss when Bell ran the option, pitching to fullback Trey Millard.
The second time the package was used late in the first quarter, Bell threw an interception on second-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
The Belldozer package, though, produced two more Bell touchdowns. He has eight TDs for the season.
For the season, Bell has 33 carries with 24 accounting for first downs or touchdowns.
ONE “TRUE” CHAMPION
At Big 12 Media Days in Dallas in July the conference theme was “One true champion,” referring to a round-robin schedule that forces every team to play everyone.
Ironically, if the Sooners defeat Oklahoma State Saturday, it probably will finish in a three-way tie with the Sooners, Cowboys and Kansas State all finishing 7-2.
“What happened to the one true champion that was promoted when I was down there for Big 12 Media Day?” Stoops quipped. “Isn't that what everyone talked about? Wasn't that the whole promotion? So, that isn't the case now?
“All I know is that's what I was told, as if the other seven (championships) that we had won weren't true. We had to play for them (in conference title games). In the end, that's all I heard, one true champion. That's what was trumpeted.”
OU would win the Big 12 title because of head-to-head wins over OSU and K-State. If the Cowboys win Bedlam they win the league title outright at 8-1.
JEFFERSON CLOSER TO 100 PERCENT
Rover backer Tony Jefferson hasn't played as much in recent weeks since suffering a sprained knee against Texas Tech but looked more like his old self against Iowa State. Jefferson recorded seven tackles, including the Sooners' only sack.
“My knee is gradually getting better,” Jefferson said. “(The pain) is obviously still there. It's not just going to go away that easy. I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent but I know I can go out there and make plays.”
HUNNICUTT ON ANOTHER STREAK
Redshirt freshman kicker Michael Hunnicutt has converted his last eight field goals since missing twice against Texas Tech.
Hunnicutt was four-for-four against Iowa State, including field goals of 28, 37 and 21 yards into a stiff north wind.
For the season Hunnicutt is 19-of-22 on field goals, 50-of-51 on extra points.
“Michael is very young,” Stoops said. “He's going to get stronger and stronger. And you can tell he has great confidence. He hit the one that was a little longer even better than the closer one. He's doing a good job.”
THOUSANDS OF EMPTY SEATS
Saturday's game was announced as the 80th consecutive sellout (84,326) but there were thousands of empty seats. The estimated attendance at kickoff was 70,000, about 15,000 shy of capacity.
With it being Thanksgiving weekend, and cold temperatures, the student section and upper deck were less than half full. By the fourth quarter the upper deck and student sections were sparse.
KICKING WIND ISSUES
Everyone anticipated the kicking game would be affected by north winds of 35 mph, gusting up to 45 mph. But there were some unusual developments.
OU kickers Patrick O'Hara and Hunnicutt failed to reach the end zone with the wind behind their back. Iowa State punter Kirby Van Der Kamp “shanked” a 21-yard punt with the wind.
“Even kicking with the wind it was almost like the wind was knocking it down,” Stoops said. “It was an odd day.”